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Wednesday, 27 January 2021

California at a COVID-19 'tipping point'

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California at a COVID-19 'tipping point'
California at a COVID-19 'tipping point'

California's governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday the state was at a "tipping point" in the COVID-19 pandemic that would soon overwhelm hospitals as political leaders nationwide struggle to hold back the latest surge.

Gloria Tso reports.

As COVID-19 rages across the U.S., overwhelming hospitals and pushing medical staff to a breaking point, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, gave a stark warning for his state's hospitals on Monday: intensive care units there are on track to exceed capacity by mid-December.

Newsom also said he may impose tougher restrictions over the next two days, including a possible stay-at-home order.

NEWSOM: "We are showing hospitalizations that without any additional interventions, change of behavior or fundamental shifts, we can see an increase in hospitalizations 2-3 times greater in just one month." Nearly 93,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

That's up 11% from last week and double the number reported a month ago, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county public health reports.

Experts worry that number will only keep rising, as the weather gets colder and people gather indoors more often.

CUOMO: "In the new battlefield, hospital capacity is the top concern." On the other side of the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday ordered all elective surgeries to cease in one county.

And urged hospitals statewide to again ready their plans to increase capacity by 50% if necessary, or set up field hospitals.

CUOMO: "...It's about hospital beds, ICU, enough staff and equipment.

// The small gathering spread is now the number one spreader.

This is a dramatic shift." In the absence of a federal blueprint to curb the spread of the virus, more than 20 U.S. states have issued new or revamped restrictions on businesses and social life.

U.S. officials pleaded with Americans ahead of the long Thanksgiving weekend to avoid holiday travel and limit social gatherings.

But many appear to have disregarded those pleas.

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than a million airline passengers on Sunday, the highest since mid-March.

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