Coronavirus: Hospitalizations decline but deaths near daily record

California reported 680 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, the second-most ever in a single day, while the number of patients hospitalized with the virus declined slightly amid one of the worst winter surges in the country.

The number of patients hospitalized with confirmed cases was down 1.3 percent on Thursday from the preceding day to 20,998 patients. That’s down 2.8 percent from a week before, but still up 838 percent from three months ago, before the current surge started in early...