California will need an additional 50,000 hospital beds to respond to coronavirus

Gov. Gavin Newsom at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.

Rich Pedroncelli | AP

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said the state will need an additional 50,000 hospital beds to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. 

“As a consequence of updating our models, we are looking to significantly increase our procurement of assets, specifically beds, throughout our healthcare delivery system,” Newsom said.  

The state will expand provided for the needed beds through a variety of means, Newsom said. The hospital system alone will provide for an additional 30,000 beds through its surge plan. The state has also acquired three hospitals that will provide an additional 3,000 beds. 

California will seek to acquire the remaining 17,000 beds through a variety of means, including the use of hotels, motels, fairgrounds, convention centers and other facilities, Newsom said. 

“We need to start stacking in terms of resources throughout the state of California,” he said. 

The state is expanding its efforts to procure 1 billion gloves, 500 million N-95 masks and 200 million shields, Newsom said. 

Newsom on Monday also announced the closure of state park parking lots in an effort to encourage the practice of social distancing. The projection that California will require 50,000 additional beds is only accurate if people practice social distancing, Newsom said. 

“We have numbers that are substantially higher if we don’t,” he said. “We can’t bend the curve if everyone is out.”

Around the world, there are more than 375,000 cases of the coronavirus with at least 16,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., there are at least 43,000 cases, with at least 500 deaths.

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