Governor Newsom on Reopening California: ‘a State That Is Holding Strong’

Gov. Gavin Newsom announces the positivity rate of Covid-19 testing has dropped on Monday.

(CN) — California health officials are keeping a close eye on Los Angeles and 12 other counties that continue to see rising trends related to the spread of Covid-19 just as more sectors of the state’s economy reopen and infections continue to rise.

Nearly all 58 counties in the Golden State have reopened multiple sectors of their economy by following the state’s required guidelines, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced during a Covid-19 briefing.

There are 13 counties that have had three consecutive days where the data on positive infections, hospital bed use and other factors were cause for concern for state health officials, including Los Angeles, Kern, Fresno, San Jose, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Imperial and King counties. The remaining counties were not listed by the state’s health agency.

Roughly 150,000 Californians have been infected with Covid-19 and over 5,000 have died, according to the state’s health agency.

Ramped up testing across the state has yielded a 4.5% average positive rate for all tests, which is a dramatic decrease from the beginning of the pandemic in March when California’s rate was nearly 41%.

Still, the rise in deaths and infections continues unabated as more parts of the state reopen.

“The last few weeks have been challenging,” Newsom said. “Our focus remains very, very direct at addressing the issue of the spread of Covid-19.”

While individual counties call for their own policies on the wearing of face masks and social distancing, Newsom said, “We are not out of the woods yet.”

“It’s incumbent on us as individuals to be smart,” said Newsom, warning of the need to avoid a second wave of the novel coronavirus.

“We have a state that is holding strong,” Newsom said, comparing California’s stable hospitalization rate to other states that experienced a surge of infections.

On March 19, Newsom made the monumental order for the state’s 40 million residents to stay home as infections began to rise. But earlier this month his office announced guidelines to allow local health officials to make the final determination on when they can reopen their economies.

Slowing down and tracking the spread of the virus is still a priority for California health officials and the state has over 2,000 contact tracers and expects to have 10,000 by July 1.

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