In a livestreamed press conference Monday morning, California Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back previously lifted mandates, ordering that restaurants, bars and other indoor business be closed again, based on increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“We’re moving back into a modification mode of our original stay at home order, but doing so, using what is commonly referred to as a dimmer switch,” he said, explaining that the point was to slow the spread as conditions changed, rather than to shut down the economy.

“As a consequence of an increase in positivity rates, and an increase in hospitalizations and Intensive Care Units, based upon the predicate, this foundation that we laid on utilizing a ‘dimmer switch,’ today we are announcing additional statewide actions as it relates to our stay-at-home order,” Newson said. “Effective today, we are requiring all counties to close their indoor activities, in the following sectors; Restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, cardrooms and the shuttering of all bars. This is in every county in the state of California, not just the counties that were on the monitoring list that we announced on July 1.”  

Newsom added that all counties on the monitoring list must also close outdoor activities to the extent possible.

“Now, with counties on the monitoring list, we have this list,” he said. “Fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services that include hair salons, barber shops and indoor malls.”

Newson said the state monitors all counties but provides extra support to those 30 counties on the list, which make up 80 percent of the state population. He said he expected other counties to be put on the list, based on current trends. He said last Monday, there were 23 counties on the list and by the next Monday, there were 30. He said he expects at least two more to be added in the next couple days. Trinity County is not on that list.

Newsom went over statewide rates and percentages as it related to trends, testing numbers, hospitalizations and hospital bed availability statewide.

“We’re starting to see in some rural parts of the state, an increase in ICU use that is generating some concern,” he said. “Let me be specific, in Placer County and Butte County, ICU capacity is limited to somewhere [below] 20 percent capacity in those counties.” Newsom said that when that trend spreads into counties such as Lake, it gets the attention of state officials.

“That’s fundamentally why, today, we are moving forward with the modifications that I lead with,” he said. One thing that I think is incredibly important to remind all of you is that this virus is not going away anytime soon. I hope all of us recognize that if we’re still connected to some notion that when it gets warm, it’s going to go away or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off, this virus has done neither.”

Even in triple-digit temperatures, COVID numbers are still climbing.

“That’s why it’s up to all of us to recognize, soberly, that COVID-19 is not going away … until there is a vaccine, and/or an effective therapy.”

Newsom lauded the state’s collaborations with labs and universities to research and develop solutions.

“As always, I want to remind you to limit your mixing with people outside your household,” he said. “It’s just common sense, but the data suggests that not everyone is practicing common sense.”

The full conference can be viewed on the California Governor Facebook page. –

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