Newsom Adds 3 More Counties to State Monitoring List, Talks About Reopening Schools

Rebekah Sager
July 09, 2020 - 11:22 am
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    In light of the surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU cases, California Governor Gavin Newsom gave his daily report on the state's preparedness. 

    As of July 8, there are 288,000 coronavirus cases and 6,563 deaths in California. On July 6, California reported 6,090 new cases of COVID-19, according to the California Department of Public Health

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    Newsom announced that three more counties have been placed on a state monitor list. They include Napa, San Benito, Yolo, and other counties -- bringing the total list of counties monitored to 26. 

    "A lot of essential workers put their lives on the line... these are younger individuals that represent the diversity of the state and made vulnerable by exposure," Newsom said. 

    There's a 44% increase in hospitalizations in the last two weeks and a 34% increase in ICU admissions in the state.  

    One of the largest single-day COVID-19 positive cases in the state 11,694, but that number includes some L.A. county backlog of testing numbers. Newsom said the actual number is closer to 10,000. The seven day average 8,116 tested positive for coronavirus.

    Newsom answered questions on reopening schools in the state by saying, "We need to address safely reopening schools. And we must insist on learning at the beginning of the school year." 

    "We are providing flexibility based on local conditions, it's foundational in a state as large as California. All of these need to be managed on the local level. I fear that more than I fear a tweet," Newsom said referring to President Trump's Wednesday tweet threatening to withhold funding from states that don't reopen in the fall). 

    According to the Los Angeles Times, LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reportedly told officials from both public and private schools that “Every single school district at this point needs to have plans in place to continue distance learning for 100% of the time.” Adding that, “We would be irresponsible if we didn’t say to you that you have to have the back-up plan ready.”

    Newsom reiterated that the state has set aside money for distance learning and is working with partners across the state to determine the safest time to reopen. 

    Newsom has said the state targeted counties on the monitoring list and high-risk workplaces and stressed that workplace safety guidelines include masks being worn by staff and patrons, physical distancing in place, and appropriate signage.

    Over the weekend, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officials made close to 6,000 in-person visits to bars and restaurants. Newsom said the Department of Industrial Relations and Division of Occupational Safety and Health made contact with more than 440,000 businesses, and the majority corrected deficiencies on the spot. 

    The new guidelines are for certain sectors to close their indoor operations for all the counties that have been on the county monitoring list for at least three consecutive days. 

    -restaurants

    -wineries and tasting rooms

    -movie theaters

    -family entertainment centers

    -zoos and museums

    -card rooms

    Last week, Gov. Newsom ordered the closure of bars in LA County and other counties.  Meanwhile, Orange County and Riverside counties also decided to close their bars. 

    On June 18, Newsom issued a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public. All of this as Dr. Fauci warns that the U.S. could see 100,000 cases of COVID-19 a day if Americans don't follow safety protocols and recommendations from public health.

    "If you're not going to stay at home and you are not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce and we will and we will be making announcements on enforcement tomorrow," Newsom said adding the spread in indoor facilities is much more probable than in outdoor settings.