California’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown by 16% in the last two weeks as the state has continued to open up, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday, with total hospitalizations reaching a new high at 3,702 patients on Sunday.
“Those that suggest we’re out of the woods, those that suggest this somehow is going to disappear, these numbers tell a very, very different and sobering story,” Newsom said at a press conference on Monday, adding that ICU hospitalizations have also gone up by 11%.
Los Angeles, which allowed the reopening of bars and personal care businesses last Friday, still remains the county with the most hospitalizations, positive cases and deaths. On Monday, the Department of Public Health announced 2,571 new confirmed cases and 18 new deaths.
Mark Ghaly, the secretary of the California Health and Human Services, urged residents to continue wearing face coverings and remain physically distanced from others to decrease exposure. He said the hospitalization numbers were an indication that the increase in cases wasn’t just because the state was doing more testing and warned that more hospitalizations could potentially put pressure on California’s ICU and ventilator capacity in the future.
Last week, Newsom signed an order requiring all Californians to wear face coverings when in public or other “high-risk situations.” He was also joined by California’s past five governors in releasing a PSA on Monday to urge residents to wear masks.