By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday announced the state has ordered 5,000 more body bags for distribution to morgues in three counties including Los Angeles — a grim reminder that COVID-19 remains deadly.

“This is a deadly disease, a deadly pandemic, and we’re in the middle of it right now,” Newsom said. “We’re near the end, but we’re in the middle of the most acute peak as it relates to what we refer to as the third wave — the third and what we hope is the final wave of this disease.”

Newsom said, in the past 24 hours, 142 coronavirus-related deaths were reported throughout the state. Over the past week, the state averaged 163 deaths per day — up from 41 per day one month ago.

“We just had to order 5,000 additional body bags … and we just distributed them down to San Diego, Los Angeles, Inyo counties,” Newsom said. “That should be sobering. I don’t want … to scare folks, but this is a deadly disease. And we need to be mindful of where we are in this current journey together to the vaccine. We are not at the finish line yet.”

According to the governor, the state has 60 53-foot refrigerated storage units on standby in hospitals across California for use if local facilities become overwhelmed by virus fatalities.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)