(Reuters) – California’s governor said on Monday that the state needs 50,000 additional hospital beds to accommodate a surge in coronavirus patients predicted by computer modeling.

Governor Gavin Newsom, speaking at an afternoon press conference, said that some of those beds could be made available by hospitals but that thousands more will need to be found if predictions of the course of the illness prove true.

Newsom said the state had gone to the open market looking to purchase some 200 million pieces of protective gear for doctors and nurses treating patients with COVID-19.

The governor said he had ordered the closure of all state parking lots after seeing people gathered at parks and beaches over the weekend despite a sweeping order that California residents stay home to help slow the spread of coronavirus.


(Reporting by Katie Paul and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler)