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Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that hospitalizations from COVID-19 grew 16% over the last two weeks as the state reported more than 46,000 new cases of the virus, marking significant increases as more Californians begin to return to a sense of normalcy.

The Democratic governor started easing his stay-at-home order roughly six weeks ago and has now allowed 54 of 58 counties in the state to open businesses again. Newsom also noted a modest uptick in the rate of positive cases — from 4.5% to 4.8% — in the last week. The number of patients in intensive care has also increased by 11% over two weeks, he said.

“Those that suggest we’re out of the woods, those that suggest this somehow is going to disappear, these numbers tell a very, very different and sobering story,” Newsom said.

The state has closely monitored hospitalizations and positivity rates as key metrics in determining the spread of the coronavirus in California. Newsom has repeatedly said that the state may need to reinstate some of the restrictions of the stay-at-home order if those metrics spike, but has so far declined to provide details on the level of increases that would serve as an impetus to do so.

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