'Early signs' COVID-19 transmission is spiking, California health secretary says

There are "early signs" that coronavirus transmission is on the rise again, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in an afternoon briefing. He said he wanted to "raise an early flag" that things aren't trending in the right direction, especially in the Greater Sacramento area and Northern California.

If current trends hold, short-term forecasts predict hospitalizations to go up 89% in the next month, Ghaly said.

California currently has 2,578 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That number could rise to 4,864 by Oct. 25, Ghaly warned.

MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules

We may be starting to see the effects of Labor Day socializing, which was two and a half weeks ago. Increased transmission may also be a result of more reopening allowed by California's switch to a four-tier reopening plan three and a half weeks ago.

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"With reopening we know that there's more opportunities for mixing and exposure to others that we're not frequently around," said Ghaly. "We've seen that before and we've done a good job to bring it down.

"It's really about not letting our guard down as we did earlier in the summer."

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