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Newsom ‘sounding the alarm,’ considering curfew as CA sees highest rate increase of coronavirus cases yet

Coronavirus Update

Citing what he called an unprecedented spike in new COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today the state is hitting an "emergency brake'' on economic activity, moving 28 counties back to the most restrictive tier of California's matrix governing business operations.

You can watch the full update below:

The move means 41 of the state's 58 counties are now in the restrictive "purple" tier, which severely restricts capacity at retail establishments, closes fitness centers and limits restaurants to limited outdoor-only service. The 41 counties represent 94.1% of the state's population. Before Monday, only 13 counties were in the "purple" tier.

Newsom also said the administration is studying the effectiveness and impacts of a curfew but is still assessing the option.

"All of that is being assessed," he said. "We want to socialize that. We have a lot of questions about what that looks like, what that doesn't
look like, who does it impact, who doesn't it impact, what does a real curfew
mean in terms of certain kinds of industry and business activities. That's what we're referring to in this space.''

Newsom noted that the biggest increase the state had seen previously
was in mid-June, when California had a 39.2% increase in new cases in one week.

At the start of November, the state saw a 51.3% increase in a one-week period, he said.

Newsom said the spike in cases raises concerns about a possible overwhelming of the hospitals. To help prevent such an impact, he said the state has 11 "surge facilities'' that can be activated to prevent hospitals from being overrun in particularly hard-hit areas. Those facilities have a total capacity of 1,872 beds.

The first such facility will be activated in Imperial County.

Dr. Mark Ghaly stressed there is a "rapid rise" in cases. "Cases today will end up in our hospital beds in two to three weeks," he said.

Travel Advisory for California

On Friday, Gov. Newsom asked Californians to avoid "non-essential" travel.

Amid a statewide surge in coronavirus cases, Gov.Gavin Newsom joined with the governors of Washington and Oregon today to issue an advisory urging people to avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and recommending that people traveling into the state quarantine for 14 days.

"California just surpassed a sobering threshold -- 1 million COVID-19
cases -- with no signs of the virus slowing down,'' Newsom said in a
statement. "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.''

Newsom also made headlines Friday for apologizing for attending a birthday party during the pandemic, saying he "should have modeled better behavior." 

MORE: Gov. Newsom under fire for attending birthday party during pandemic

Riverside County case concerns

In Riverside County, social gatherings are also concerning to medical experts.

Health officials in Riverside County say parties and gatherings held during the Halloween holiday and around election night may already be developing into an increase in coronavirus cases, but we won't know the exact impact for a few more days.

"It's not something that we are looking forward to, but we anticipate that," said Jose Arballo, Senior Public Information Specialist for Riverside County Department of Public Health. " We will probably start seeing the impacts of Halloween and the election next week."

Arballo also pointed out, "There is more of the virus within the community."

MORE: Riverside County could see impact of Halloween and election gatherings in coronavirus case numbers next week

The latest county data, released Friday, showed a one-day increase of 639 new cases, 12 deaths, and 15 hospitalizations. New information is expected Monday afternoon.

Riverside County is still in the purple tier, where case transmission is considered "widespread."

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Riverside County Tier Update

Riverside County continued to move farther away from the metrics needed to be able to reopen businesses once again.

  • 13.9 Adjusted Case Rate (Last week - 11.5) --- Needs to be 4.0 – 7.0
  • 6.7% positivity rate (Last week - 5.9%) --- Needs to be 5.0 – 8.0%
  • 8.5% HEQ rate (Last week - 7.8%) --- Needs to be 5.3 – 8.0%
  • 13.1 new cases per 100K (Last week - 11.5) --- Needs to be between 4 to 7 cases per day per 100K

Stay up-to-date with the latest local coronavirus news, including reopenings and closing, new case data, live news conferences, and other updates at KESQ.com/Coronavirus or download the News Channel 3 app on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus: Questions Answered / Top Stories

KESQ News Team

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