Story at a glance
- As coronavirus cases rise in California, Newsom blames private gatherings in homes.
- He urges Californians to continue quarantining and social distancing.
As California coronavirus cases continue to soar past the relative plateau the state saw from late March to mid-May, state officials are working to identify the root of the case growth.
On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) implored Californians to not let their guard down, continue to practice social distancing and wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Sacramento Bee reports that he also noted that part of the increase in the total number of infections is a result of increased testing, but that much of the spread throughout the state can be traced to small gatherings of family and friends at private homes.
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Newsom said that communal events, such as birthday parties, playdates for children and other social events are responsible for a large portion of the sharp rise in new cases. As younger people in their 20s and 30s are coming into contact with the virus, Newsom, along with other leading public health experts, warn that they can spread the virus to more vulnerable older demographics.
“We cannot continue to do what we have done over the past few weeks,” Newsom said Wednesday. “The reality is people are mixing, and that is increasing the spread of this virus. That shouldn’t surprise anybody... We are putting people’s lives at risk.”
As of June 25, California had 196,046 confirmed cases, following a record-breaking day where 7,149 new cases were recorded by state health departments.
The vast amount of cases are centered in Los Angeles County.
Hospital data indicates that the number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized is rising, both in standard beds and in ICU units. The latest data reports that 4,095 hospital beds are occupied by a positive coronavirus patient, and 1,268 ICU beds contain a COVID-19 patient.
In terms of hospital capacity, however, the state appears equipped to handle its influx of coronavirus patients. Newsom confirmed that coronavirus patients account for 8 percent of the state’s overall hospital capacity, and 30 percent of its ICU capacity.
Regardless, he urged Californians to continue wearing masks — a formal public health order — and continue to maintain at least 6 feet apart from other people.
The state is currently still in Stage 2 of reopening, where lower-risk workplaces like retail, manufacturing, offices without telework and outdoor museums are allowed to operate.
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