A new public health order in California requires hospitals to accept transfer patients from facilities with limited ICU capacity.
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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.
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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.