California Pulls ‘Emergency Brake’ as 41 Counties Enter Most Restrictive Tier

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File

Governor Gavin Newsom reported coronavirus cases have doubled in California over the last 10 days, causing the state to pull an “emergency brake” moving most counties to the most restrictive tier in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a press conference Monday. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet, faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer.”

As of last week, 13 counties were in the purple tier. Now, on Monday, Newsom announced 41 counties, or 94% of California, is in the purple tier. Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly typically share tier updates on Tuesday afternoon, but officials said the shocking announcement could not wait another day.

“You can see the purple, all up and down the state,” said Newsom.

“In the Bay Area, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Napa and Solano counties will go backward into the purple tier, the state’s most restrictive, effective Tuesday. San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties will move back into the red tier, the second-most restrictive,” reported the SF Chronicle.

San Francisco is one of the many counties moving multiple tiers. The city jumped from the least restrictive yellow tier to the second-most restrictive red tier meaning non-essential offices must close and gyms will limit capacity to 10%.

The concerning rise in cases worries health officials as California became the second state in the U.S. to surpass one million coronavirus cases last week. Newsom urged everyone to wear a mask, physically distance, wash your hands and minimize mixing.

Watch the full press conference here.

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