Trinity County now joins most of the state of California in the most restrictive COVID-19 tier, due to local, regional and statewide increases in confirmed infections.
“We are sounding the alarm,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday morning. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said time is of the essence in responding to the surge in COVID-19 numbers statewide.
A release from the Governor’s Office Monday said the rate of growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases is faster than it was in July, which led to a significant peak in cases.
“This requires a swift public health response and action from all Californians to slow the spread of the virus,” it stated. “Immediate action will help protect individuals at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 and will help keep the state’s health care delivery system from becoming overwhelmed.”
“Personal decisions are critical,” Ghaly said, “and I am I imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing and wash their hands.”
As of Monday, 41 counties, including Trinity, were bumped into the top tier, totaling 94 percent of the state’s population.
The shift from a minimal infection rate (yellow) to a widespread infection rate (purple), puts new restrictions on some county businesses, namely restaurants, bars and wineries. According to the state website, restaurants can only serve outdoors with modifications, and bars, breweries and distilleries are ordered closed. Banks and essential services are to remain open, with modifications. Churches are allowed to have outdoor services with modifications. Modifications mostly refer to the number of people allowed at the business at one time.
Tiers and information about all California counties can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.
West Coast states act
In a travel advisory issued Friday, Nov. 13, Gov. Newsom, joined by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, urged people returning to West Coast states from others voluntarily quarantine for 14 days.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” said Newsom. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”
Along with quarantine recommendation, the governors also urged people to limit exposure to their own families and those in their households. Gov. Brown noted that the virus doesn’t stop at state lines.
“As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” she said. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”
“COVID cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” said Gov. Inslee. “Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease. I am happy to partner with California and Oregon in this effort to help protect lives up and down the West Coast.”