“If past is prologue, we’re entering a season where we should expect an increase in cases, an increase in hospitalization and increase in deaths,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom today at a media event in the Central Valley.
While the state’s Covid numbers generally having been falling since a recent high on October 27 — that, despite Halloween gatherings — Newsom observed again today that cases are rising in the UK and Germany and across the country and the trend could be heading west.
“We should anticipate that we are going to see an increase in cases,” the governor said. “I don’t say that to alarm people. I say that only to level set.”
He also said that, while California has generally higher vaccination rates than the rest of the country, there are pockets of the state that are not doing well.
“In counties that have lower vaccination rates, we’re seeing higher case rates” said Newsom. “We’re also seeing higher death rates.”
He specifically mentioned Riverside and San Bernardino, two L.A.-adjacent counties that could serve as incubators for the virus. He drew the same parallel between low vaccination rates and high case rates in the Central Valley, one of the state’s hardest-hit regions.
“The quickest way of getting this pandemic behind us is vaccination,” the governor continued, revealing that he’s getting his own children vaccinated. “My 12-year-old got vaccinated a few weeks ago. My 9-year-old is getting vaccinated this afternoon.”
In anticipation of a winter surge, Newsom revealed that “we have also propositioned a series of interventions,” including surge staffing from out of state. The governor noted that, last week, he extended the Covid state of emergency order through late March, which gives state and local officials more flexibility to plan.
“We just need people to hold on a few more months,” said Newsom. “My belief is that if we can do that and get vaccination rates up just another 5% or 10%, we’ll be in a much different place come spring or summer.”