SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California has reported its second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths but also a dip in hospitalizations below 20,000 for the first time since Dec. 27. The total of 694 new deaths reported Wednesday is second to the record 708 reported on Jan. 8. State Department of Public Health data also show hospitalizations dropped to 19,979. California officials are pinning their hopes on President Joe Biden as they struggle to obtain coronavirus vaccines to curb a coronavirus surge that has packed hospitals and morgues. Doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been arriving haphazardly as they make their way from the federal government to counties, cities and hospitals.