While California recorded a decline in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed that some areas in the state are still a concern, and that a second wave poses new dangers.
“We’re seeing modest declines overall — but we’re not out of the woods,” Newsom said in a tweet.
During his coronavirus briefing on Monday, Newsom offered some “good news:” The seven-day average of coronavirus cases has declined about 21% statewide. He indicated that positivity rates have also decreased, as the number of daily tests administered across the state has increased.
Additionally, Newsom reported a 10% drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations over 14 days, and a 5% decrease in ICU admissions during the same window.
While 32 new fatalities were reported Monday, significantly less than the daily average, Newsom said the recent death of a Central Valley teen due to coronavirus is a “sober reminder of how deadly this disease is and how it can impact anybody.”
The governor said the latest figures are only for the last few days, and he hopes to see a consistent decline or stabilization in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“This virus is not going away. It’s not just going to take Labor Day weekend off, it’s not going to take Halloween off or the holidays off,” Newsom said. “Until we have quality therapeutics, until we have a vaccine, we are going to be living with this virus.”
He added that though the state had weathered a storm early in the pandemic, cases increased as modifications were lifted and had to be tightened again. The U.S. is still experiencing the first wave of the virus and a second wave in the fall could be made worse as it coincides with flu season, Newsom said.
And while strides are being made in Southern California, where hospitalization rates have declined in some regions, the Central Valley is now a concern.
Counties in the area are experiencing high positivity, hospitalization and ICU rates, and people of color as well as essential workers are being disproportionately affected, Newsom said. Officials will work to decompress hospitals and will offer other targeted support similar to what was done in Imperial County, which previously had an alarming positivity rate.
As the new school year nears, 38 counties currently on California’s monitoring list cannot reopen campuses for in-person instruction based on the state’s guidelines.
Newsom said the state will release guidelines for elementary schools that can apply for waivers to reopen sometime Monday.
Also on Monday, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest district, unveiled its plan for the start of the new school year, as LAUSD and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement over distance learning.