A new public health order in California requires hospitals to accept transfer patients from facilities with limited ICU capacity.
The California Department of Public Health issued the order on Monday in response to increasing COVID-19 cases. It will take effect Wednesday, August 18.
A much more contagious variant of the coronavirus is fueling a surge of new cases across the country. California is averaging about 10,000 new infections a day and nearly 7,200 people are in the hospital now because of the virus.
But both of those numbers are far below the peaks seen at the beginning of the year before a vaccine was widely available.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.