200723 California
A man gives blood at a Red Cross blood drive, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 22, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

San Francisco: California, the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, has reported its highest daily increase in the number of deaths due to the coronavirus.

On Friday, the state reported 159 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, marking back-to-back record days, reports Xinhua news agency.

On Thursday, there were 157 new COVID-19 deaths, a single-day high for the nation's most populous state.

As of Saturday morning, the total number of coronavirus cases in California was 440,181, while the death toll stood at 8,337.

Over the past week, the state has averaged 9,467 new cases and 102 new deaths per day, according to The Los Angeles Times.

There are now 6,952 hospital patients statewide with a confirmed case, an increase of 13 per cent from two weeks ago.

California has also increased coronavirus testing and over the last week, an average of 124,540 tests have been conducted each day.

Meanwhile, state Governor Gavin Newsom did not mention the new deaths neither at his daily online news conference, nor in his tweet.

"New cases: 9,718, seven-day average: 9,881, Average positivity rate for tests: 7.5 per cent, A lot of numbers that tell us one thing: take this seriously. We can't let up. It takes all of us -- acting TOGETHER -- to slow the spread. WEAR A MASK," Newsom tweeted on Friday.

In his daily briefing later in the day, Newsom spent much of his time outlining new protection regulation for essential workers including cooks, construction workers, nurses, cashiers, truck drivers, farm workers and many others.