California reports record increase in COVID-19 deaths

FILE PHOTO: People wear masks as they walk along the side walk during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in California

(Reuters) - California reported a record increase in new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, with 208 fatalities, according to a Reuters tally of county data.

The most populous U.S. state, also reported 7,600 new cases, bringing its total infections to over 500,000, the highest in the United States. If California were a country, it would have the fifth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.

California's total deaths rose to 9,223, third highest in the nation behind New York and New Jersey, according to a Reuters tally.

California also reported the its first death of a teenager on Friday. The state said the teen was from the Central Valley and had underlying health conditions but provided no further details.

Latinos in California are becoming ill and dying from COVID-19 at three times the rate of whites, the state's top health official warned this week.

Hospitals in California's Central Valley agricultural breadbasket are becoming overwhelmed, and the governor said nearly 200 federal healthcare workers had been deployed to the area to help.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Bill Berkrot)