California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday a “drastic” new lock-in order may be needed if the state’s coronavirus cases continue to rise to their highest level since the start of the pandemic.
The Democratic governor made his remarks at a press conference following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, during which about 50 million people are expected to have traveled despite the austerity measures. Health officials have warned that more cases are likely to appear as a result of the festive gatherings.
According to Newsom, officials are considering home orders in the highest case areas as it seeks to address concerns that severe coronavirus cases could triple hospitalizations and flood intensive care beds.
“Red flags are flying in terms of the trajectory of growth forecasts,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “If these trends continue, we need to take much more dramatic, arguably more drastic steps.”
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In the last two weeks, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 89%. As of Monday, nearly 7,800 coronavirus patients were taken to hospital. About 12% of positive California people are likely to need hospital care in the next two to three weeks.
“Current projections suggest that hospital care could double to three times the current amount in a month,” Newsom said.
The biggest concern is the intensive care cases, which have increased by 67% in the last two weeks. If this continues, it will raise ICU beds to 112% of capacity by mid-December.
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These statistics are likely to execute state-ordered home orders out of 51 of California’s 58 counties, which already see the most restrictions on doing business, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of health and human services.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.