During a press conference today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced three more counties were added to the state’s monitor list due to concern of coronavirus pandemic.
The three counties added: Napa, San Benito, and Yolo raised the total number to 26 counties. 18 of the counties have issued local orders, 4 counties have issued state orders and the state is awaiting action for the remaining 4 counties.
On July 7th, California saw 11,694 new COVID-19 cases and 111 deaths, one of the highest daily totals for the state. Governor Newsom noted the high number includes a backlog reported from laborites in Los Angeles County; he estimated without the backlog, the number would be below 10,000 new cases. On a 7 day average, 8,116 new coronavirus are confirmed each day.
In total, California has more than 277,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has had 6,5000 people die due to coronavirus. On average, the state is currently testing 106,085 people daily.
Newsom spent time addressing the state’s hospital capacity and personal protective equipment. In March, hospitals had a surge capacity of 20%, no established alternative care sites, and no prepositioned medical assets. Now, in July, California has the capability to treat 50,000 COVID-19 patients, built alternative care sites, such as the sleep train arena, established new hospital capacity such as seton, and deployed federal medical stations.
Additionally, in March the state had one million procedure masks and 21 million N-95 masks. Now, the state has 232 million procedure masks and 46 million N-95 masks. Although this is a large step forward, Newsom said, “We recognize we still have a lot more work to do beyond N-95 masks.”
Over the last two weeks, coronavirus hospitalizations have increased by 44% and ICU admissions have increased by 34% and the positivity rate is up to 7.1%.
Carmela Coyle, Head of Hospital Association, explained it’s, “All about masks and social distancing and hand hygiene. Every time you do that in your home, in your neighborhood and in your community you are helping a nurse, you’re helping a doctor, you’re helping a hospital and you’re saving a life.”
With Trump’s recent announcements, many people are questioning if schools will reopen in the fall. Newsom himself is unsure stating, “How do we safely reopen our schools?… That’s determined on our behavior, on what we do over the course of the next few weeks to mitigate growth and spread and transmission on this disease….data and science make those decisions.”
The governor said not enough people are wearing masks and physically distancing, too many people are mixing with people they do not live with and there have been outbreaks in essential workplaces. The prison and jail outbreaks have begun to decrease with 400 less COVID-19 positive patients in the prison systems, but the system should still be wary.
Watch the full press conference here.