COVID-19 RISK CALCULATOR: Quiz yourself on the safest, most dangerous things you can do as CA reopens
During a routine update Monday on COVID-19's impact throughout the state, Newsom stressed the importance for individuals to "mitigate the likelihood and need" to reverse course by being mindful of their actions as more aspects of the economy are reopened.
"We don't intend to do that, we don't want to do that, but I want to make this clear - we are prepared to do that if we must," Newsom said. "Clearly we have the capacity, individual and collective capacity, not to have to go in that direction by just being a little bit more thoughtful about how we go about our day-to-day lives."
READ MORE: New COVID-19 cases in California rise 69% in 2 days, Gov. Gavin Newsom says
Although individual counties have the authority to enforce certain health requirements, the governor said the more important tool for enforcing those protocols lies with the "moral persuasion each and everyone one of us has as individuals to be good examples."
When asked about the possibility of moving backward through phases of reopening Wednesday, Newsom replied, "As long as we're working together, so long as we're attacking these issues together, and as long as we start to see more and more compliance with our mask mandate, then I think we can move forward more safely and work our way through this without having to toggle back."
Newsom's statements came days after issuing a statewide order that requires Californians to wear a mask in high-risk settings.
On Wednesday, the governor shared a stunning view of the surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
New COVID-19 cases in California: from 4,230 on Sunday, to 5,019 on Monday and 7,149 on Tuesday. That's a 69% increase in new cases in just two days.
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Even more serious is the trend when it comes to hospitalizations. The number of patients hospitalized with the virus has gone up 29% in just two weeks, from 3,177 to 4,095.
ICU hospitalizations are also on the rise: 18% in 14 days.
WATCH: Here's a breakdown of Newsom's four stage plan to reopening California
KABC contributed to this report.