Newsom Recommends “Dimming” the Reopening Phase in CA Counties

Governor Newsom announced Monday that Glenn, Merced, Solano, and Orange County were added to the targeted engagement list of counties being closely monitored for spikes in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The state is actively monitoring and providing daily data assessments for all 58 counties in California. The now 19 targeted engagement counties (representing about 72% of the states population) are receiving targeted technical assistance and 7 counties are reinstituting community measures and are required to begin dimming reopening plans.

Newsom said, “In the last seven days we’ve seen a 45% increase in the total number of cases that have tested positive in the state of California,” he continued, “We don’t like the trend line and that’s why this mandatory mask requirement is in effect and why we’re using this dimmer switch to start to pull back.”

Due to the worsening numbers Newsom ordered Fresno, Imperial, Kings, Kern, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare to close bars amid surging COVID-19 cases. He also recommended eight other counties, Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus, and Ventura, to close down bars.

Last week, Newsom instructed Imperial Country to reenter a shelter-in-place order. ABC7 reported, “The county, which is on the state’s border with Mexico, is seeing an exceptionally high positivity rate, or the proportion of people being tested that return a positive result for COVID-19. The 14-day average positivity rate is approaching 23% in Imperial County, Newsom warned.”

He explained the state’s “Approach is to dim the reopening based on local conditions to reduce the spread of the virus. California is diverse. Counties are best positioned to make data-informed decisions when to reinstitute public health interventions.”

Over the weekend, there were 16,089 new COVID-19 cases in California with 5,972 on Friday, 4,810 on Saturday and 5,307 on Sunday. In the last two weeks hospitalizations have increased by 43% & ICU patients have increased by 37% due to COVID-19.

Another, “Deep area of focus and concern” for Newsom is coronavirus in prisons. Out of the 113,000 individuals in the system, 2,589 have tested positive. In San Quentin alone, there are 1,011 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19. 42% of inmates in San Quentin are already medically vulnerable, so Newsom explained the state is working on a plan to move people to Seton Hospital if need be.

A few weeks ago, the state released 3,500 individuals early in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and plans to release 110 more inmates who are nearing the end of their sentence. However, only 40 people out of the 110 have a place to stay, so the state is weighing the pros and cons of allowing people out early.

Although, coronavirus numbers are rising Newsom said he is, “Very confident in our resiliency, our capacity to recover as a state,” and will be distributing free masks within sectors as California reopens.

Newsom ended the press conference reminding people to, “Wear a face covering, physically distance, and wash your hands.” Watch the entire press conference here.

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