By practically every metric, California is steadily beating back the coronavirus pandemic. But officials are watching data that could suggest a second surge of the virus is on the way, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.
As COVID-19 test positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths have fallen, more than half of California’s counties have been allowed to reopen some indoor business operations. Health officials are now watching as a lesser-known metric that signals how quickly the virus is spreading has “crept back up,” Newsom said.
“If we’re not cautious, if we’re not vigilant, if we’re not wearing our masks, if we’re not practicing physical distancing, these numbers can start to tip back up,” he said.
The metric, called the effective transmission number, represents the average number of people who are infected by each person with COVID-19. A rate under 1 means COVID-19 cases will fall over time, while a rate over 1 means cases will increase, experts say.
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