On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new COVID-19 cases and positivity rates were down in all areas of California except for the Central Valley, which is due to receive more money and support from the government this week.
In addition to the $52 million in funding and state strike teams sent last week, Governor Newsom announced an additional $6.5 million in donations being sent to the Central Valley for essentials for vulnerable people.
Protocols first enacted in formerly hard-hit Imperial County such as sending patients to hospitals outside the county and increasing protective measures will be applied to the eight counties of the Central Valley to help lessen the spread and reduce the number of new cases.
Positivity rates in Imperial County were as high as 30% in June and early July, with rates now around 11.2% following the intervention of strike teams.
“The Central Valley is now California’s biggest area of concern,” noted Governor Newsom during Monday’s press conference.
However, Governor Newsom also announced a spate of good news during the press conference. The number of daily new cases in California has fallen to a weekly average of 7,764, an huge 21% drop from the 9,800 average a week before. New COVID-19 patients have also gone down by 10%.
“That’s some good news,” said the Governor of the statewide declinations.
He also announced that positivity rates fell from 7.5% to a flat 7%, coming closer to the 5% and under rate over two weeks that the World Health Organization (WHO) has given as the stay-at-home order threshold.
“They still have a long way to go, and it’s only a week, but it’s showing you that California is doing everything it can to get back on track and reopen,” stated Luke Pulaski, an economist studying the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, to the Globe. “California learned its lesson on reopening early and is being cautious. Compare it to Southern states or even Washington state where cases are still on the rise. If they keep up, California can come back quicker than most. And with the economy the way it is, it can’t come soon enough.”
Governor Newsom remained cautious as well, warning that new COVID-19 cases have only gone down for a week.
“One week does not make the kind of trend that generates headlines,” added Newsom. “We won’t feel confident for a few weeks. This virus is not going away. Its not going to take Labor Day weekend off Halloween off or the holidays off. Until we have a vaccine we are going to be living with this virus.”
As of Monday, 514,901 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in California, with 9,388 deaths being reported since March.
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