60,000 homeless in California could get COVID-19: Guv

California governor says 60,000 homeless in state could get coronavirus in next 8 weeks

Representative photo. (AFP)

California's governor said on Wednesday that modeling done by experts has shown that more than 60,000 homeless people could become ill with COVID-19 in the state over the next eight weeks, badly straining the healthcare system. "Over the next eight-week period, we have modeled that of the 108,000 unsheltered Californians that are out on the streets, if you had an attack rate of about 56 percent, you're looking at 60-plus thousand individuals that may have COVID-19," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a Facebook address to the state.

"That creates a deep point of anxiety for the existing population but moreover for our healthcare delivery system, our capacity to move people in and out of the shelters safely without contacting other people and putting them at risk as well," Newsom said.

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California has been among the U.S. states hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, with 598 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, a 21 percent increase over the day before. At least 17 fatalities have been reported in California.

Newsom said hospitalization rates for those infected with COVID-19 was about 20 percent, which if numbers followed the modeled surge, would leave hospitals overwhelmed. 


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