California sees surge in COVID-19 cases as more Bay Area businesses reopen

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Over the weekend, California registered a daily high of new confirmed COVID-19 cases. A U.C. Berkeley professor explains how reopening the economy is a direct effect to increased cases, but the Bay Area itself is not seeing a surge.

"There's no question reopening causes more cases, causes more hospitalizations- causes more deaths," Dr.John Swartzberg said. Dr. Swartzberg is a Clinical Professor Emeritus for U.C. Berkeley.

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He believes California is opening up the right way.

"If you look at the Bay Area- things have opened up relatively gradually here compared to many other parts of the country and even other parts of California. We haven't seen a surge in the Bay Area. We've seen like undulations like this- up and down," Dr. Swartzberg said.

He said compared to Los Angeles that is seeing more cases, the Bay Area is doing well.

"Alameda now has been going up until the last few days and starting to come down again. Where as San Francisco has done really well recently with the numbers coming way down," Dr. Swartzberg said.

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced salons, barber shops, and outdoor bars could open as soon as next Monday- instead of mid-July as originally planned.

Dr. Swartzber says, each of us has to look at the risk involved with these activities

"If I decide to take a risk and get infected, I can spread that virus to other people who may have decided they didn't want to take the risk. So whenever I make those decisions I'm not just making them about myself - I'm making them also about other people," Dr. Swartzberg said.

He said there's a pattern to the increase of cases we're seeing nationwide.

"This pattern that we've been seeing - consistently seeing in the United States- it's not one uniform spread of the disease. It's an explosion here, an explosion there- things calm down explode somewhere else. That's the pattern we're seeing," Dr.Swartzberg said.

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ABC7 News asked if recent protests over the death of George Floyd that's brought crowds of people together has had an effect on the nationwide increase.

"To date, we don't see any obvious effect from the protests. Now I'm going to give it another week or so to see," Dr. Swartzberg said.

On Monday Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference where he described the update on COVID-19 as "sobering."

He said even though there's a 16% increase in hospitalizations, hospitals in California have the capacity to handle the surge.

"Despite an increase in hospitalization, despite an increase in total number of ICU patients, our capacity remains fairly stable," Governor Newsom said.

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