'Writing is on the wall': UCSF doctor predicts even more restrictions coming to California

Monday, November 16, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Even as California throws its reopening plans in reverse, a UCSF doctor expects more restrictions are on the way.

"Unfortunately I think the writing is on the wall," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, who specializes in infectious diseases. "Gov. Newsom is studying some of the curfew plans and some of the evidence from some of the European countries. The fact that he is looking at these plans and what has happened in these countries suggests that he is thinking about more austere measures."

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday he is studying the efficacy of curfews in other countries to see if such a measure could help California get the spread of COVID-19 under control. The state is seeing cases rise dramatically, prompting the Department of Public Health to move 40 counties backward in reopening tiers.

"I think Gov. Newsom put it best when he said, 'We're pressing an emergency brake.' Basically I think when you reach a certain point, you have no other choice but to press the stop button," said Chin-Hong.

But the doctor has expressed concern that just shutting down businesses -- as the state orders counties to do by changing their reopening tiers -- isn't enough to stop the spread.

"It's like you're taking a sledgehammer to the problem; it's not very fine-tuned," he told the Associated Press. "It doesn't address where a lot of the catalysts are for transmission."

Dr. Chin-Hong says the biggest sources of transmission are multi-factor: indoor social gatherings, pandemic fatigue and traveling.

"We haven't seen increases like this ever in the history of the pandemic so far," he said of the country's concerning COVID-19 spike. Just in California, cases have doubled over the past 10 days. "It was only a matter of time before we saw that increase."

Watch ABC7 News' full interview with Dr. Chin-Hong below, including a rapid-fire Q&A about the forthcoming coronavirus vaccines.
UCSF doctor talks about COVID-19, California's decision to move backward in reopening

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