California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Says 33 Million Californians Live In Counties Now On State “Watch List”

California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Says 33 Million Californians Live In Counties Now On State “Watch List”

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered 19 counties to immediately close all bars and suspend indoor operations at restaurants, movie theaters and card rooms for three weeks. Those counties had been on the state’s watch list at least three days due to elevated COVID-19 levels.

Five more counties were added the state’s monitoring list over the weekend. They are: San Diego, Colusa, Madera, Marin and Monterey. Those areas haven’t been on the list long enough for the state to order business closures, but San Diego County voluntarily reintroduced some restrictions last week.

With those five additions, California now has counties that account for 33 million people — more than 83 percent of the state’s population — on notice due to coronavirus concerns.

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This comes as Los Angeles County’s new daily coronavirus cases crossed the 3,000 mark, a record, with a record 3,187 reported for July 3.

On Monday, Newsom announced 5,699 new coronavirus cases in the state as of July 5th, the last reporting period.

The governor said 127,000 people were tested on Saturday alone. But he was quick to note that the positivity rate of those tests is also going up. The positivity rate just 14 days ago was 4.9 percent. As of Monday, that rate was 6.8 percent.

Hospitalizations are up 50 percent over a 2-week period to nearly 6,000. Likewise, ICU admissions are up 39 percent over 14 days.

One ray of hope was that the number of deaths was way down. Only 6 COVID-related fatalities were reported during the recent period. But deaths the governor reminded, are a “lagging indicator.”

“The cohort of individuals that are being tested now are getting younger and younger,” said Newsom. Their needs, once they test positive “may not be as acute,” he said.

Newsom indicated on Friday that state enforcement would be fanning out over the weekend to ensure compliance from businesses with the shut-down orders. This weekend, enforcement agencies had nearly 45,000 contacts with businesses, he said, with close to 6,000 in-person visits from Alcohol Beverage Control alone.

“There were plenty of citations,” said Newsom.