California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) suggested Tuesday that California will roll out new coronavirus restrictions, a development he revealed after discussing the growing rate of hospitalizations and positive coronavirus test results.
“We’ll be making some additional announcements on efforts to use that dimmer switch that we’ve referred to, and begin to toggle back on our stay-at-home order and tighten things up,” said the governor, referring to his gradual reopening analogy. “The framework for us is this: If you’re not going to stay home, and you’re not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce, and we will.”
During a press conference, Newsom said that hospitalizations increased 6.3% on Monday, and the number of ICU patients increased 4.3% the same day. Although he did not offer specifics as to his plans, Newsom said he would make a separate statement Wednesday that would contain additional information.
Newsom also stressed that the spread of coronavirus is “much more probable” when in a public setting and indoors, rather than in a public setting and also outdoors. As such, said Newsom, his administration would “start looking at the health orders and health directives in the counties in relationship to indoor versus outdoor activities.”
With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, Newsom maintained that “one of the areas of biggest concern as it relates to the spread of COVID-19 in this state remains family gatherings,” said Newsom. “Not just bars, not just out in the streets where people are protesting and the like, it’s specifically family gatherings.”
He then provided an illustrious example of the dynamics at a family gathering that could allow the coronavirus to spread: “They may walk into that barbeque with masks on, they may put the cooler down, immediately the mask comes off, and you have a glass of water, and all of a sudden, nieces and nephews start congregating around, and then they’re jumping on top of Uncle Joe, and then Uncle Joe is putting them back to Aunt Jane, and all of a sudden, there comes Uncle Bob, two hours late, he gives everyone a hug, and they’re all ‘Hey, Uncle Bob, Where’s the mask?’ And Uncle Bob [says] ‘Oh, I don’t believe in [that].’”
“The whole thing starts to take shape,” said Newsom, adding that family gatherings represented the top concern expressed by health officers.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the positivity rate for coronavirus tests has been increasing gradually over the past week, and is now at a 5.9% seven-day average, up 0.3% from the seven-day average a week ago. Approximately 670,000 test results have been returned during this time frame.
The L.A. Times also notes that the largest share of positive test results skew younger, with people between 18-34 comprising over 30% of positive test results. Deaths, however, skew older. Roughly 45% of confirmed coronavirus deaths occur in people over the age of 80, and slightly more than 30% occur with people between the ages of 65-79.
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