Coronavirus news: America rushes to contain coronavirus after reaching record high cases | World | News

California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced new measures in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the state as it surpassed 1.3million cases. The state has been divided into five regions and different guidelines were issued for each area depending on ICU bed availability.

Gov Newsom on Thursday said any area with an ICU capacity below the 15 percent threshold would be placed under a stay-at-home order.

He said four out of the five areas – Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California – were set to meet the threshold for the loosening of restrictions within a few days.

Only the Bay Area is expected to hit the target by mid-late December.

Gov Newsom told a news conference: “The bottom line is, if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed.

“If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see our death rate climb, more lives lost.”

He later added in a written statement that he was aware of the effect the new rules would have on “all of us”.

He wrote: “We are at a tipping point in our fight against the virus and we need to take decisive action now to prevent California’s hospital system from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks.

“I’m clear-eyed that this is hard on all of us — especially our small businesses who are struggling to get by.”

He said: “The Riverside County Sheriff’s office will not be blackmailed, bullied or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the governor’s orders.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated in a press release that ensuring businesses comply with the guidelines was not a matter for his force.

The statement read: “Accordingly, while the County understands and appreciates the measures taken by the other Bay Area counties, San Mateo will not at this time be issuing a new local stay-at-home order and will continue to work with business and community leaders on adherence to existing guidelines.”

But Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert, stressed the importance of imposing measures before the healthcare system suffers any further pressure.

He issued the stark warning on Friday during a CNN Town Hall, highlighting the need for “draconian” measures.

He said: “There are some situations where they’ll be doing temporary lockdowns because they can’t strain the health care system anymore.

“The unimaginable thing that no one wants to see happen, that when you have such a strain on the beds and on the personnel, the healthcare personnel, that you’re going to deprive people from the kind of care that they need, being in an intensive care bed, or experienced intensive carers to take care of them.

“We don’t want to go there. And if it requires doing more drastic things or Draconian things like maybe some temporary shutdowns in some areas, I think some of the areas of the country are thinking of that. I know as a fact, that in California, in some places in California, they are thinking about that.”

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