LOS ANGELES — California started the new year by reporting a record 585 coronavirus deaths in a single day.
The state Department of Public Health said Friday there were more than than 47,000 new confirmed cases reported, bringing the total to more than 2.29 million.
Hospitals in the state ended the year on “the brink of catastrophe,” a health official said as the pandemic pushed deaths and sickness to staggering levels and some medical centers scrambled to provide oxygen for the critically ill.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced Friday that California would begin collaborating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate and upgrade outdated oxygen delivery systems at six Los Angeles area hospitals.
The collaboration comes as older hospitals are having difficulty maintaining oxygen pressure in aging infrastructure and some were scrambling to locate additional oxygen tanks for discharged patients to take home.
California this week became the third state to exceed 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.