Newsom pulls ‘emergency brake’ in state reopening

Coronavirus. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control
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After the state has seen a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a rollback on reopening in 37 counties and updated guidance on face coverings — and said the state is contemplating some form of a “curfew” to reduce the spread of the virus.

Effective Tuesday, 94% of the state will go back to being under the most restrictive tier, with 28 counties moving from the red to the purple tier, meaning the virus is widespread, and nine moving from the orange to the red tier, where the virus is substantial, and two moving back into the orange tier where the virus is moderate, in hopes to reduce community transmission.

“We are sounding the alarm,” said Newsom in a prepared statement. “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. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Now is the time to do all we can – government at all levels and Californians across the state – to flatten the curve again as we have done before.”

State health officials are noting the sudden rollback in reopening is due to the rate of growth in cases, which is faster than the state saw in July. Los Angeles County has remained in the most restrictive tier.

During the state press briefing Monday, Newsom said state and health officials are looking at other states that have implemented curfews. “We are considering the notion of a curfew. There are a lot of cities, large and small, all across the country that also are promoting certain kinds of curfews.”

Newsom said the option of implementing a curfew is being assessed and no solid plan to enforce one has been made yet.

He also announced new guidelines that will strengthen when face coverings must be worn. The new guidance states a face covering should be worn whenever an individual leaves their home unless alone in a car or at an office, or are properly socially distanced from others in an outdoor setting.

Updated guidance for youth sports has been postponed by the California Department of Public Health and California Interscholastic Federation competitions aren’t allowed until new guidance is provided by the state.

The press release added, “Today’s action will remain in effect until the State Public Health Officer determines it is appropriate to make modifications based on public health conditions and data.”

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