Amid the grim news that, after a week of record daily numbers, the U.S. had now recorded over 10 million coronavirus cases to date, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state was also moving in the wrong direction.
After revealing 7,212 new daily cases recorded over the past 24 hours in the state, Newsom said the 14-day average of hospitalizations was up to 28.6%. The number of coronavirus-related ICU patients was up 27% over the same 14-day timeframe.
The governor also reported that the 14-day average of the crucial test positivity rate had risen from 2.5% on October 15 to “above 3.7%” on Monday. See the state’s updated coronavirus dashboard here.
Newsom called these “sobering” numbers and revealed that, according to early data he’d seen, they did not bode well for counties hoping to progress through the state’s tiered reopening ladder. Below is a map identifying where each California county stood in the state’s colored tiering system as of Monday.
“I anticipate tomorrow from Dr. Ghaly that you’ll hear more restrictive tiering,” the governor said. “You’re starting to see R-Effective rate, the case rate growing. I anticipate that we’ll see some counties moving backwards, not forwards.” See the tweet below for an outline of the state’s tiering structure.
Los Angeles now sits firmly within the most restrictive — or “Purple” — tier. L.A. County health officials said last week that they do not anticipate the county moving out of the Purple Tier any time soon.
NEW: California is launching a Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Your county will be assigned a color based on:
– Case rate
– Positivity rate
Your color determines how businesses can operate in your county.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) August 28, 2020
The governor said, as the numbers increased, the state was being well served by his decision to develop a tiering structure that was “more restrictive not based on political whim, but based upon data.”
“The tier system is working as designed,” he asserted, before warning that the state was definitely seeing the “second wave” of the virus.
“I am concerned that we may be over exuberant that we now have a safe vaccine and people may go back to their usual form,” said Newsom. “The availability to people like you and me is a long way off. Do not take your guard down.” First responders, he reminded Californians, will get the vaccine first.
The governor said we likely still have to face the worst months of the pandemic before most of us have access to a vaccine. “We should see a mass distribution of these vaccines [beginning] in April,” he predicted.
“Let us double down on the work that we have done together, on non-pharmaceutical interventions” like masks and social distancing, he pleaded.