By CBS13 Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBS13/AP) — California’s COVID-19 crisis has hit grim, new heights as the number of new cases and deaths continue to surge.

Authorities reported 53,711 new coronavirus cases and 293 additional deaths on Wednesday, setting new records. This brings California’s COVID-19 death toll to 21,481, according to the state Department of Public Health. The previous daily high for deaths was 225, reported Saturday.

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The case count included 41,081 newly reported cases and 12,630 cases from previous days because of a change in processing data, but it remained a record nonetheless.

The state said the change involved the implementation of an autoprocessing feature because the surge is requiring local public health departments to process a significantly higher number of test results on a day-to-day basis, resulting in an increased workload.

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The state has now had 1,671,081 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Hospitals are filling up so fast in California that officials are rolling out mobile field facilities and scrambling to hire more doctors and nurses to prepare for an expected surge in coronavirus patients.

Meanwhile, California is distributing 5,000 body bags mostly to the hard-hit Los Angeles and San Diego areas and has 60 refrigerated trailers standing by as makeshift morgues in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 deaths, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

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