California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Announces 5 Counties Have Come Off State Monitoring List; Is L.A. Next?

California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Governor Gavin Newsom Facebook

“We are seeing a decline in the total number of counties on the state monitoring list,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom at his Monday midday news conference.

Newsom noted that the number of counties on that list — which prevents large gatherings, schools and businesses like movie theaters to be open — fell from 42 to 40 last week and, this week, fell further to 35 counties.

The state has made “progress across the spectrum,” according to the governor.

Calaveras, Mono, Napa, Sierra and Orange County were the areas that came off the list this week. San Diego was removed last week.

Newsom hinted at which region might be next: “San Francisco has made some progress. More Updates will be forthcoming…over the course of the next few days,” he said.

As for Los Angeles County, its numbers continue to drop. The county’s public health office announced 13 new deaths and 1,198 new cases of COVID-19 are confirmed on Monday. The L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a statement that it “sees signs of the spread of COVID-19 slowing in key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.”

The department reported a 7-day average positivity rate between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Per the L.A. Department of Public Health:

If we can maintain this lower rate of transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools, more businesses reopening or, someday, moving their operations back indoors. I know this has been an extraordinarily difficult time, but we must all take our roles seriously and be diligent. It is everyone’s goal to get to a place of safer reopening. But community transmission rates must continue to decrease if we are to get to this place – including where schools can reopen in a way that is safer for students, teachers and staff members.

County health director Barbara Ferrer noted last week that, of the 6 requirements for reopening, L.A. county falls short only in the rate of new cases, which last week stood at a 14-day daily average of 295 new cases per 100,000 residents. The state benchmark is 100 or less.

Daily hospitalizations have decreased by 45 percent, according to the statement, from the peak of over 2,200 in mid-July. There are 1,219 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 32 percent of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. County public health officials called the decreasing number of daily hospitalizations “one of the best indicators as it is an accurate representation of how many people are currently seriously ill from the virus.

The state, overall, is making encouraging progress against coronavirus, with numbers that continue to drop.

The California Governor revealed last week that the state was working on new guidelines that would determine which counties will be subject to state restrictions and which will not. He said they will be released this week.

“We’re working with local health officers all up and down the state,” Newsom said last week. “We’re working on new criteria, more prescriptive criteria, more dynamic criteria, as it relates to our health order statewide, as it relates to reopening business sectors in the state.”

When pressed on Monday, Newsom was tight-lipped, saying only that “real progress was made over the weekend. We’re making some adjustments based on the feedback we got on Saturday and Sunday . We had a meeting this morning. We’re working with others, not only in industry, but state and local health officers and we look forward to having them out this week.”

Watch Newsom’s press conference below in which he discussed the state’s COVID battle as well as its fight against the historic wildfires currently scorching the state.

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