SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced another three counties were added to the state's watch list of areas of concern amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Napa, San Benito and Yolo counties were all added, bringing the total to 26. Several of the others are in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Newsom spent the bulk of his press conference Wednesday addressing the issues of hospital capacity and protective equipment. He said the state has been successful at maximizing hospital capacity and establishing alternative care sites since March.
That extra hospital capacity has started to look more and more necessary; COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown 44% and ICU admissions have increased by 34% over the last two weeks, the governor said.
The governor also said that California saw 11,694 new COVID-19 cases on July 7, one of the largest daily totals for the state. He noted that the number includes a backlog reported from labs in L.A County.
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Last week, the governor ordered the closures of bars, indoor restaurants, zoos and museums in counties that have been on the state's watch list for more than three days. At the time, that applied to 19 counties, or about 70% of the state's population.
The state now has more than 277,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has seen nearly 6,500 people die of the virus.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to hold back federal money if school districts don't bring their students back in the fall. Determined to reopen America's schools despite coronavirus worries, Trump complained that his own public health officials' safety guidelines are impractical and too expensive.
Shortly afterward, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be issuing new guidance next week "that will give all new tools to our schools." The recommendations will keep students safe, he said, but "the president said today we just don't want the guidance to be too tough. "