Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on California’s response to coronavirus, including both additional closures for watchlist counties (including L.A. County) and closures across the state. You can read highlights below or watch the full press conference above.
GYMS, CHURCHES, SALONS, MORE MUST CLOSE IN LA COUNTY, OTHER WATCHLIST COUNTIES
All counties on the county monitoring list — 30 out of the state’s 58 counties, which represent about 80% of the state’s population — have to close indoor operations for additional sectors due to the risk of COVID-19 spread. And any additional openings based on county variances are no longer allowed.
Those additional closures:
- Fitness centers
- Worship services
- Offices for non-critical sectors
- Personal care services
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Indoor malls
The governor said that the state is moving back into a modified version of its stay-at-home order, Newsom said. He once again compared the state’s stay-at-home order to a dimmer switch — not fully on with an open economy, but not fully off with a lockdown.
Coronavirus hospitalizations and the positivity rate are continuing to rise, Newsom said. The number of intensive care unit patients is also moderately increasing, he said.
INDOOR RESTAURANT OPERATIONS, MORE MUST CLOSE THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA
Effective today, all counties are required to close indoor operations in a number of different areas. The list is similar to an order that counties on the state’s monitoring list were already under, including Los Angeles County.
Those areas are:
- Wineries and tasting rooms
- Movie theaters
- Family entertainment centers
- Zoos and museums
- Bars must close all operations
COVID-19 IS HERE TO STAY — YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR
“COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom said.
He said that the state will be working to mitigate the disease’s spread for the long-term, until there is a vaccine or effective therapy. California is a leader in some of the work going on when it comes to COVID-19 therapeutics, Newsom said, allowing for some optimism.
Vaccines are unlikely to be able to be procured, administered, and distributed at scale in the immediate future, Newsom said.
Californians have to adopt new behaviors to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Newsom said. He emphasized limiting your mixing with people outside your household — and if you have to mix, do it outside when you can.
He also reminded people to wear a mask, physically distance, and wash your hands.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS: 7.4% POSITIVITY, SOME COUNTIES BELOW 20% ICU BED AVAILABILITY
In the most recent reporting period, there were 8,358 COVID-19 positives. The seven-day average is 8,211. That’s up from the average at this time last week: 7,876.
There were 23 COVID-19 deaths yesterday. A total of 72 died Saturday. Newsom noted that more than 100 people died on one day last week, but only 6 died on another day — though, he said, 23 is likely on the low end when it comes to deaths.
The state’s positivity rate is now at 7.4% over the past 14 days. Over the past 7 days, the positivity rate is at 7.7%. Yesterday, almost 138,000 people were tested.
The positivity rate is up from 6.1% two weeks ago and 6.7% last week. That’s a 21% increase from where the rate was two weeks ago.
Hospitalizations are up from 5,077 two weeks ago to 6,485 — a 28% increase. Newsom noted that the rate of growth has improved, as last week there was a 50% increase from the week before.
COVID-19 patients are currently taking up 9% of the state’s hospital beds, while 60% of the state’s hospital beds are occupied total, including non-COVID patients. That’s up from 8% of the state’s beds being occuped by COVID patients last week.
ICU patients are up 20% over two weeks; last week, those numbers were up 39%. That’s gone from 1,528 two weeks ago to 1,833 now. COVID-19 patients are taking up 16% of the state’s ICU beds.
Officials are seeing an increase in rural parts of the state in their ICU use, which is part of the reason for the expansion of the stay-at-home order, Newsom said. ICU capacity is below 20% in those counties.
Newsom plans an update on testing with California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on Tuesday.
KEEPING SCHOOLS CLOSED — MORE GUIDELINES COMING ON DISTANCE LEARNING, MASKS, SPORTS, CHOIR, MORE
The governor addressed news that L.A. Unified School District decided to start the school year with distance learning still in place. He said that he wanted to applaud the leadership of districts deciding to do so for giving children and parents the opportunity to adjust and make plans.
Newsom noted that there is still a lot of work left to help students affected by the “digital divide” and not having the same ability as their peers to engage in distance learning.
The governor signed off on new regulations Friday that are currently being “socialized” within the school system — it includes guidelines around masks, contact sports, choir, bussing, and distance learning. That includes addressing the digital divide, as well as social and emotional concerns that are part of distance learning, Newsom said.