California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Promises “Tougher” Regulations, “Enforcement” Announcement Coming Tomorrow

Black Lives Matter protesters used an alarm and loudspeaker to interrupt California Governor Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus press conference on Tuesday.

The chaos was appropriate as Newsom revealed the grim state of the pandemic in California. Accordingly, the governor said the state would get “tougher” in its approach. “We’ll be making a more formal and detailed announcement on enforcement tomorrow,” he promised.

“We’ll be looking at the health orders in relation to indoor vs. outdoor activities. The 4th of July,” said Newsom. “More broadly, beyond the Forth of July.”

In reference to family gatherings, particularly over the Fourth of July weekend, Newsom said, “We’re gonna need to do more about that…being a little bit more aggressive in regards to guidelines.”

“It’s family gatherings,” said Newsom, “where people let down their guard.” The governor was most concerned about people taking off masks, giving family members hugs and kisses. “Then all of a sudden, you see a spread,” he said.

Watch Governor Newsom’s press conference, interruptions included, below.

Asked about mask order enforcement the governor said, “We’ll be doing more to focus on enforcement in this state. Primarily local enforcement. We have conditioned $2.5 billion in our state budget on [local officials] applying the spirit and the letter of the law. If local officials are unwilling to enforce and being dismissive, we will condition those funds on compliance.”

Newsom said the state’s levers for compliance would include “regulatory oversight, code oversight. OSHA is now very active in this space. Alcohol beverage is active in this space.”

Trying to sound an upbeat note toward the end of his appearance Newsom said, “We bent the curve in the state of California once. We will bend the curve again. We will crush this pandemic. But we’ll have to be tougher.”

That’s an optimistic stance given that the state saw a near-record number of newly-diagnosed COVID-19 cases — 6,367 — in the past 24 hours. That’s a 2.9 percent jump over Monday’s number. It comes less than a week after the state set a record with 7,149 new infections last Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the state reported that California now has 222,917 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 5,980 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 77, that’s up 0.7 percent. The number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 4,167,139 an increase of 105,447 tests. That’s up from about 85,000 tests the day before, but virtually the same as Monday’s dily number. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 5.6 percent. California’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by 301 patients, a 6.3 percent jump. Thirty percent of all ICU beds in the state were occupied by coronavirus patients.

“In particular concern is the number of hospitalizations and the number of ICU beds,” said Newsom

The number COVID patients in ICU beds grew 4.3 percent overnight and saw a 37 percent increase of a two-week period.

The governor said the positivity rate of new tests was 4.4 percent two weeks ago. Now, over the past 7 days, it’s 5.9 percent.

Newsom said on Monday that he would likely be using the “dimmer switch” to toggle back reopening measures in more hard-hit counties. He said there were seven counties, including Los Angeles, that likely would need to “reinstitute community measures.”

Testifying before Congress on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so I am very concerned,”

After rolling back coronavirus reopening measures twice in three days, Newsom said on Monday that the positivity rate in the state has, in seven days, risen from 4.4 percent to 5.5 percent, even as the state upped its testing to over 100,000 a day. Newsom revealed that, in the past seven days, positivity looks even worse at 5.9 percent.

On Friday, Newsom had Imperial County roll back its lifting of the stay-at-home order. On Monday he hinted a that that measure might be in the future for more counties in the state.

Newsom ordered seven California counties close bars and nightspots on Sunday. Those counties include Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings, Ventura and Imperial. He said the counties have been on a watch list from between 3 and 13 days due to increasing COVID numbers. At 14 days, the governor said the state will enforce remediation measures.

On Monday, Newsom added Solano, Merced, Orange and Glenn Counties to that watch list. The counties of concern to state officials now account for 72 percent of the state’s population, he said.

The cumulative positivity rate of tests in Los Angeles County increased from 8 percent to 9 percent as of Monday, while the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased to 8.8%. That’s well outside one key state guideline for reopening, which requires that the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate be less than 8 percent.

Also on Monday, the Los Angeles County Health Department closed area beaches over the Forth of July weekend. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti later announced the prohibition of fireworks displays and nixed gatherings of people who do not live in the sqme household.

On Tuesday the State of New York, which was once the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., restricted travel from several states, including California. As numbers spike in other states, the COVID-19 numbers in New York are down dramatically.

With roughly 2.6 million infections reported in the United States, at least 124,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

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California Orders Residents To Wear Face Masks In Public

California State Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order urging all residents to wear face coverings while in public, citing the prevailing risks for COVID-19 exposure and infection.

The order was issued on the growing concern of the pandemic, as the number of Californians leaving their homes for work and other needs is increasing. The rule is exempted for certain individuals including kids under two years and those with medical conditions, among others.

Until now, the health officials in the state had only recommended that Californians wear cloth face coverings, which was not mandatory.

In a statement, the Governor and State Public Health Officer & Director Sonia Angell said people must wear face coverings when they are in the high-risk situations. These include indoor public space, healthcare services settings, public transportation, workplace, etc.

The order comes as the confirmed coronavirus cases have increased sharply in the state, reaching 167, 233 as of June 18, with 5, 355 deaths.

Newsom noted that the state has limited the spread of the virus and associated hospitalizations and deaths through collective actions, yet there are increased risks.

According to the officials, people who are infected but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic play an important part in community spread, and the use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets.

The officials added that the new order for face masks does not substitute for existing guidance about social distancing and handwashing.

Amid the intensifying spread of coronavirus, Governments and major corporates across the world have made it mandatory for people to wear masks, which are scientifically proven to reduce disease transmission.

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California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Reports New Infections Rose Over 40 Percent In Past 24 Hours

On Wednesday, before California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the coronavirus crisis in the state, he took some time to deliver details about a 5.8 earthquake in the Owens Valley.

It was an appropriate preface, as Newsom went on to announce the state had seen another record number of newly-diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The 7,100-plus new infections. That’s a jump of 2,000 infections in just 24 hours.

“We cannot continue to do what we have done over the past weeks,” said Newsom. He said some people got cabin fever, some people just let down their guard.”

“I’m not naive,” said Newsom. People are mixing. We are spreading this virus. It is our behaviors that are leading to these numbers.”

The state also had a record number of tests, 90,000-plus. But, said the governor, “those numbers can be misleading.”

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A more important number, he maintained, is the positivity rate of those tested. Newsom recalled that it was 40.8 percent at the peak of the latest curve. He said that total, on the 14-day chart, is 5.6 percent. But that is up from 5.1 and, looking at the chart Newsom displayed of the most recent days’ data, headed much higher.

“We are seeing hospitalizations beginning to increase,” said Newsom citing another key indicator. The state has seen “a 29 percent increase in hospitalizations over a 14-day period,” he said. As with hospitalizations, Newsom indicated that the last few days have been even more acute than the long term tend line.

Newsom said, though, that “We have been preparing to reopen the economy…Preparing for an increase in community spread…hospitalizations.”

As a result the state has increased its “surge capacity.” Califonia now has an extra 6,000 surge capacity hospital beds, accoring to the governor, and 1,500 alternative beds that can also be activated.

Currently, only eight percent of total hospital bed capacity are being occupied, not including the alternative care sites. That’s a lot of extra capacity. But, warned Newsom, Monday it was “about 7 percent.”

More concerning “ICU numbers are increasing just over 18 percent over the past 14 days.” 20 percent to 30 percent in the past few days. 1,268 beds occupied out of 4,034.

The California state health department on Tuesday reported what was then a record number of new coronavirus cases. That daily tally of 5,019 was a big jump from the previous record of 4,230, which was recorded on Monday. Hospitalizations, a confirmation that these are new infections vs. the result of increased testing, also rose to a record of 3,868 total.

Hospitalization totals broke records on both Saturday and Sunday, with 3,702 COVID-19 patients reported in hospital beds. The previous high before the weekend came nearly two months earlier on April 29. That was 3,497 new hospitalizations.

California was one of seven states that, on Tuesday, reported the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began, according to the Washington Post. The others included Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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