LIVE UPDATES: California becomes US epicenter of coronavirus outbreak

On Thursday, California recorded 52,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, which is the equivalence of what the entire U.S. was averaging in mid-October.

The state also recorded a one-day record of 379 deaths while there were more than 16,000 people hospitalized across the state.

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Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford University professor, said the state failed to create an imaginative policy to help stop the spread of the disease and keep small businesses afloat.

“The right approach, before the vaccine, is to work to protect the elderly,” he said. “Those are the people—especially living in nursing homes—are the ones who are at the highest risk of death if they were to get infected by COVID.”

The U.S. surpassed 17 million total cases on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. That number includes 1.6 million in California alone.

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