Gov. Gavin Newsom paints sobering picture of COVID-19 in California

ByLyanne Melendez and Alix Martichoux via KGO logo
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
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Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference Monday to give an update on California's response to the coronavirus pandemic. The state has seen a rise in cases and hospitalization in recent days.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom shared a sobering view of coronavirus pandemic during a Monday press conference.

Newsom said more than 46,735 Californians have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 14 days, which represents a 35.6% increase in cases since the outbreak began in March. A record number of people tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

"We're not into the second wave," warned the governor. "We're not out of the first wave."

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"The testing is going up and up and up, but that doesn't tell the entire story," Newsom explained. "We're starting to see a slight uptick in the positivity rates."

Last week, 4.5% of those tested in California came back with a positive result. This week, that number modestly increased to 4.8%.

VIDEO: Gov. Newsom gives sobering COVID-19 update

But the more stunning statistic is the rise in hospitalization: 16% over the past 14 days.

Even with that jump, Newsom emphasized hospitals around the state still have adequate capacity and more than 11,000 ventilators to treat the most sick patients.

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Last week, Newsom issued a statewide order to require Californians to wear masks in high-risk settings in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus. On Monday, he reiterated the importance of wearing masks as more sectors of the economy are allowed to reopen.

At the moment, 11 counties are being monitored due to worsening COVID-19 trends: Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Tulare counties. Contra Costa County was on the watch list for a short time last week, but has since been removed.

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Newsom's office announced just a few hours before the schedule briefing that state leaders had reached an agreement on the 2020-21 budget.

"The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused a sudden and dramatic change in our nation's and state's economic outlook - and has had a cascading effect on our state budget," Newsom said in a press release. The governor's revised budget revealed last month warned of significant cuts to a variety of sectors, unless federal support came through.

"In the face of these challenges, we have agreed on a budget that is balanced, responsible and protects core services - education, health care, social safety net and emergency preparedness and response. This budget also invests in California small businesses harmed by the pandemic," the press release continued.

The governor's office didn't release the full terms of the agreement, but reiterated in his press conference that small businesses would be prioritized and there are protections against teacher layoffs.

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