Story at a glance
- California may pause its economic reopening following sharp rises in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
- Texas and Florida have already paused their reopenings amid rising case counts.
As California continues to battle a surge of new coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that if need be, the state will pause its reopening in a bid to quell the coronavirus spread.
KTLA reports that the state’s positivity rate has risen to 5.1 percent over the past two weeks, and 5.6 percent during the last week.
Hospitalizations due to coronavirus infections have similarly risen by 32 percent over the last two weeks.
“We’ve got Fourth of July coming up,” Newsom said. “We have rules of the road — expectations — that we believe need to be met, and cannot impress upon people more important at this critical juncture, when we are experiencing an increase in cases that we had not experienced in the past, to take seriously this moment.”
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Statewide, California has 195,571 active cases, a staggering daily increase of 5,349 new cases as of June 24. The vast bulk of cases are centered in Los Angeles County, with other Southern California counties trailing behind.
Citing the exponential growth of new coronavirus cases, Newsom said that further reopening will depend on progress made in reducing disease transmission.
“To the extent we do not see progress being made, and we’re not advancing the cause of public health and public safety, then we certainly reserve the right to put a pause in terms of advancing into the subsequent phase,” he said.
The state is currently in Stage 2 of its reopening, where lower-risk places of work and select nonessential businesses are operating. Across the state, it is mandatory to wear masks in public.
Other states dealing with a resurgence in cases have paused their reopening efforts. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who led one of the earliest reopening plans, halted reopening plans in the wake of increasing hospitalizations.
“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” Abbott said.
“The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business,” he said.
Florida, another Sun Belt state struggling with the surge in cases, will not be continuing its reopening, after recording multiple record-breaking daily new cases and reporting 13,775 hospitalizations due to the virus.
“We are where we are. I didn’t say we were going to go on to the next phase,” DeSantis said at a press conference.
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