During Friday's address, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state was recommending that Imperial County reinstate its stay at home order, the first county to have to do so, due to high positivity rate and hospitalization.
Imperial County hospitals reached capacity last month, according to officials, and many patients have been moved to nearby Riverside County. A total of 500 patients have been sent to other county but Newsom said this has not been enough.
The positivity rate in Imperial County stands at 23%, Newsom said. This is the highest rate among California counties.
Imperial County borders Arizona and Mexico, two areas with a high number of cases. Newsom said it's too early to tell whether these areas have had a big effect on Imperial County.
Mexicali currently has 4,538 cases and 763 deaths, while Yuma County in Arizona has 5,323 cases and 76 deaths. Yuma County had a case growth of over 4,000 between May 31 and June 25, according to our sister station KYMA.
Newsom said Imperial County officials will meet in the next few days to reinstate the stay-at-home order, however, if they don't, the state will have to step in. Imperial County Public Health Department released a statement Friday afternoon stating that the county has already had a stay-at-home order in place since March.
On Wednesday, Governor Newsom began a similar address with a reminder that "we are still in the first wave" of the coronavirus pandemic. He said California was experiencing a recent increase in cases in the state.Situations differ by county across the state, Newsom acknowledged. Riverside County is on a watch list with the state health officials, as News Channel 3 reported.
Newsom promised that there would be accountability. He said there are measures in the budget that will help enforce accountability at the local level. Governor Newsom said state agencies like Alcohol and Beverage Control, or OSHA, can also help enforce coronavirus-related restrictions.
As of June 22, Riverside County was failing to meet four critical state criteria:
- Number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days
- Testing positivity rate
- Percent change in hospitalizations
- Number of tests per day per 100,000 people