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California warns flu, COVID could overwhelm hospitals

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Posted at 2:28 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 17:28:19-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — California health officials have warned that a severe flu season could overwhelm hospitals that also are dealing with COVID-19.

California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly joined the heads of the state's hospital and medical associations to urge people to get flu vaccines now.

Ghaly said while the state has seen progress in recent weeks with a drop in coronavirus cases, officials expect an uptick as the economy continues to open.

That makes it critical for hospitals to keep bed space available. Officials said currently hospitals are treating 3,500 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients. About 30 percent are in intensive care units.