California virus deaths rocket higher as ICU space tightens

California Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration and the state's hospital association are at odds over how best to create space for critically ill coronavirus patients.

The disagreement comes as health officials warn that already strained medical facilities will soon be overwhelmed by a new surge from the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

California health authorities reported Thursday a record two-day total of 1,042 virus deaths, with many people infected during the surge after Halloween and Thanksgiving.

The California Hospital Association says the state is moving too slowly to find ways to handle so many cases. State officials counter that moves made this week to limit nonessential surgeries and transfer patients to hospitals with more available beds will save lives.