Gov. Gavin Newsom considers new stay-at-home orders in California as COVID-19 hospitalizations spike

Gov. Gavin Newsom considers new stay-at-home orders in California as COVID-19 hospitalizations spike
Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new criteria related to coronavirus hospitalizations and testing that could allow counties to open faster than the state, during a news conference at Mustards Grill in Napa, Calif., Monday May 18, 2020. Newsom says the new criteria could apply to 53 of the state's 58 counties.AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom says he is considering imposing new stay-at-home orders in California.
  • About 75% of California's 7,733 intensive-care-unit beds are occupied, and projections shared by Newsom indicate that hospitals could reach 112% of capacity by December 24.
  • "If these trends continue, we're going to have to take much more dramatic — arguably drastic — actions," he said during a briefing Monday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said he was considering imposing more stay-at-home orders in California out of concern that hospitals could be overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases by Christmas.

The orders would affect counties in the purple tier of the state's reopening plan, which are under the strictest guidelines. Fifty-one out of the state's 58 counties are in the purple tier.

"If these trends continue, we're going to have to take much more dramatic — arguably drastic — actions," he said during Monday's briefing.
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California, the most populous US state, in November became the second state to pass the grim milestone of 1 million recorded COVID-19 cases. Texas was the first state to do so.

About 75% of California's 7,733 intensive-care-unit beds are occupied, and Newsom shared projections indicating that hospitals could reach 112% of capacity by December 24. The state reported 7,787 coronavirus hospitalizations as of Sunday — an 89% spike over the past two weeks.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's health and human services secretary, told the Los Angeles Times that the hospitalization figures didn't show the entire picture of the spread of COVID-19 in the state, as hospitalizations generally account for cases that were detected a few weeks earlier.
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The state imposed a "targeted safer-at-home order" after last week's Thanksgiving holiday that closed public playgrounds, set a capacity on businesses considered nonessential, and prohibited gatherings between people from different households except for outdoor religious services and protests.

"We have come to a place where our cases and our hospitalizations are so high that we must do something to settle things down," Dr. Sara Cody, the health officer for Santa Clara County, said Saturday upon announcing the new targeted restrictions. "We are now at a critical inflection point." "This pandemic is like a high-speed train, and our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by around the third week of December if we don't apply brakes, right now, with all our collective might," she continued. "We urge everyone to stay home to the greatest extent that you can. Please stay home. Do not go out unless it is for essential reasons or essential purposes."
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