UPDATE 1-Hospitalizations soar in California as COVID-19 pandemic surges

(Adds that three counties have moved back into most restrictive tier of public health regulations)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov 10 (Reuters) - The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in California has risen by 32% over the past two weeks, and intensive care admissions have spiked by 30% as the pandemic surges across the United States, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary said on Tuesday.

Dr. Mark Ghaly said three counties that are home to about 5.5 million people - San Diego, Sacramento and Stanislaus - must reverse their reopening plans and go back to the most restrictive category of regulations aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

More counties will likely be required to roll back reopening in coming weeks, he said.

In the most restrictive tier of regulation, indoor dining in restaurants is not allowed. Gyms and religious institutions are also not allowed to hold indoor activities.

“We anticipate if things stay the way they are... over half of California counties will have moved into a more restrictive tier” by next week, Ghaly said. (Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Leslie Adler and Dan Grebler)