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California governor Gavin Newsom has told reporters that the state is at a “tipping point” in the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports, with hospitals on the verge of being overwhelmed by new cases.

According to Newsom, the state has “worked hard to prepare for a surge – but we can’t sustain the record high cases we’re seeing.” He added that projections showed ICUs being filled to capacity within the next four weeks, and that therefore a new “stay-at-home” order was being discussed, with a decision expected within the next few days.

The new order would add to measures imposed last week that include a nightly curfew from ten o’clock to five in the morning affecting social gatherings and other non-essential activities. Los Angeles health officials have also banned all public and private gatherings for the next three weeks.

The state of California has confirmed 1,212,968 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic, and 19,141 associated deaths. 14,034 people tested positive for the virus in the last day, and 20 people died. 1,919 ICU beds out of a total of 2,000 in the state are already filled, according to official state sources, and 99.1% of the state is in the highest tier of restrictions due to “widespread” infection.

In the United States as a whole, there are currently around 93,000 people in hospital with coronavirus-related illness, up 11% from last week and double the amount from a month ago, Reuters notes. Around 36,000 people died of coronavirus-related illness in the last month.

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