For millions of Californians, the COVID-19 pandemic will provide a most unwelcome gift this Christmas: a wide-ranging shutdown imposed as the state grapples with its most massive and dangerous surge in infections and hospitalizations to date. Monday provided even more devastating news: More than 20,000 cumulative deaths and more than 34,000 new coronavirus cases reported Monday alone, according to The Times’ county-by-county tally of infections. That shatters the previous single-day record, set Friday, when 22,369 coronavirus cases were tallied.

 

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