California Gov. Gavin Newsom is back in a precautionary coronavirus quarantine for the second time in two months as surging COVID-19 cases swamp the state’s hospitals and strain medical staffing.
Newsom will quarantine for 10 days after one of his staffers tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday afternoon, the governor’s office said. Newsom was then tested and his result came back negative, as did the tests of other staffers who were in contact.
Last month, members of the governor’s family were exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus. Newsom, his wife and four children tested negative at that time.
As of Sunday, more than 16,840 people were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 infections — more than double the previous peak reached in July — and a state model that uses current data to forecast future trends shows the number could reach 75,000 by mid-January.
More than 3,610 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units. All of Southern California and the 12-county San Joaquin Valley have exhausted their regular ICU capacity, and some hospitals have begun using “surge” space. Overall, the state’s ICU capacity was just 2.1% on Sunday.
The explosion of cases in the last six weeks has California’s death toll climbing. Another 161 fatalities reported Sunday raised the total to 22,593.
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