40 California counties are facing strict pandemic restrictions and a possible curfew due to a huge surge in cases.
California was one of the many states that began to transition towards less restrictive measures for its residents as Covid-19 cases showed signs of slowing down some five months ago. Now, the state is also joining the rest of the nation in seeing a major spike in coronavirus outbreaks, forcing the individuals in power to revert back to early lockdown days.
Just last week California alone surpassed one million new infections, causing the governor to warn its citizens of the staggering amount of new hospitalizations and ICU admissions that have also gone up as a result of these new infections. Governor Gavin Newsom published a news release this week in which he showed residents that this is the first week California counties didn’t make any moves to lessen the restrictions in their area.
For context, California counties have been using a tier system to determine how much they can reopen. As the weeks progressed and certain counties saw their case numbers going down, things like restaurants, gyms, and bars were able to slowly allow customers back into their establishments. Now, the governor announced that he would be pulling the “emergency break” on reopening for the entire state as infections began to surge yet again.
“California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer.”
Within the past 10 days new daily cases have doubled in California. The first week of November showed a 51% increase in new cases, breaking the previous state record of 39.2% in June. Newsom went on in his release to claim that officials are considering a curfew and closely studying how other countries are responding to their new surges in cases to understand the efficacy of certain restrictive measures.
40 California counties are moving backwards in terms of their state’s restriction tier system. Specifically, 41 counties are now in California’s purple tier, which is the most restrictive tier in the system as it indicates a widespread risk level. That means more than 94% of the state’s population has entered the purple tier, including Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Santa Barbara County, San Diego County, Riverside County, Orange County, Fresno County, Sacramento County, Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County.
In the purple tier, “bars, breweries and distilleries that don’t offer food are ordered closed, while restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, places of worship, museums and gyms are outdoor only,” according to the release. Dr. Mark Ghaly is a California Health and Human Services Secretary who claimed that just three weeks ago only nine counties were in the purple tier, which should be a major cause for concern for all Californians.
“We must keep transmission low and that’s to avoid flooding the health care delivery system. Rising cases will likely translate to more Covid-19 hospitalized patients in just a matter of two to three weeks.”
Over the past two weeks California saw a 48% rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations. According to Newsom, 5% of all hospital patients in the state are battling Covid-19. ICUs have also seen a staggering 38% rise in new admissions, however, the governor claims that they have been preparing for these dramatic increases and have implemented 11 surge facilities throughout the state that can be set up within 1-4 days that have a total bed capacity of around 1,800.
Newsom recently had to apologize to the citizens of California, however, for his own hypocrisy in regards to enforcing things like mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding gatherings, as the governor claimed a few weeks ago that he attended a friend’s birthday celebration which was an outdoor dinner celebration.
“As soon as I sat down at the larger table I realized it was a little larger group than I had anticipated, and I made a bad mistake. Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back, gotten in my car and drove back to my house. Instead, I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples that were outside the household.
Regardless of the restrictions our county, state, and federal leaders are enforcing, we all can agree that America needs to begin combating these extremely high numbers of new Covid-19 related infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Continue to listen to healthcare professionals and wear a mask at all times in public settings, only go out to get essential supplies if you can, and continue to social distance. Remember, we’re all in this together unless we aren’t.
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