Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on California’s response to coronavirus. You can read highlights below or watch the full press conference above.
Three of Newsom’s children were recently exposed to a California Highway Patrol officer who has tested COVID-19 positive, so Newsom and his wife are also quarantining. He delivered his press conference Monday from his home.
The governor said that he would continue to update the public on his own COVID-19 tests. Newsom and his wife both tested negative Sunday. He coughed during the press conference, but said it was due to tea, not anything else. He noted that they also have one live-in helper from overseas, and that she had also tested negative.
Newsom and California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly stressed that gathering on Thanksgiving is risky. Hospitals are already feeling the impacts of the surge in cases, according to Ghaly.
Ghaly encouraged people to celebrate with their own household, or to drop off meals for those who are high-risk. If you do gather, Ghaly has suggested staying close to home, citing the state’s travel advisory.
Those in the 18-49 age range represent nearly 60% of all new cases, according to Newsom. They make up 7% of the deaths. Ghaly warned that those in that younger demographic can still spread the disease to those who are more vulnerable at these Thanksgiving gatherings.
No additional counties moved to a different tier of the state’s reopening phases when the state looked at numbers on Friday.
A handful of counties are expected to move to a more restrictive tier on Tuesday, while “a county or two” may be able to move to a less restrictive tier, Ghaly said. He plans to make those announcements Tuesday at noon.
WHY ISSUE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER FOR AFTER 10 P.M.?
According to Ghaly, the decision was partially symoblic. He said that one reporter asked if COVID could tell time, and he said no — that doing the same things after 10 p.m. as at 10 a.m. are just as likely to spread COVID.
But nonessential gatherings are more likely to occur after 10 p.m., Ghaly noted.
“Non-essential coming together really does happen without the best productive tools. People take off their mask, they come a little closer than they should, they celebrate and do certain things that allow transmission to go pretty quickly,” Ghaly said.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
There were 8,337 positive COVID-19 cases in the latest reporting period, based on more than 220,000 tests conducted. The seven-day average is 11,591 positive cases.
The state set a record for testing on Saturday: more than 265,000 tests. The seven-day average is 198,379 tests conducted.
The state’s 14-day positivity rate is 5.5%, while its seven-day positivity rate is 5.8%; the U.S. as a whole is at 9.8% over the past week.
The 14-day positivity rate is up from 3.7% to 5.5% in the past two weeks.
COVID-19-positive hospitalizations are up 77% over the past two weeks. COVID-positive patients make up 7% of the state’s health care system capacity. COVID-positive ICU admission are up 55% over the past two weeks. That makes up 17% of the state’s critical care capacity.
CALIFORNIA’S PREP FOR DISTRIBUTING A VACCINE
The state is anticipating the FDA approving a vaccine in early December, but mass vaccination is still a ways off. Health care workers will be first in line, followed by other vulnerable populations, including essential workers and those over age 65. Newsom said broader distribution could happen from March to July, but the state will reassess that timeline in January.
Pfizer plans to directly distribute vaccine through its network, while Moderna is distributing through the company McKesson. The vaccine will ship directly to providers, according to Newsom.
The state is helping Pfizer with its distribution by supplementing their network by procuring:
- 16 ultra-low-temperature freezers
- 11 transport containers as a state back-up plan
- 61 smaller freezers for placement across the state
Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t require this special storage or transportation.
Newsom said that they’ve reviewed data from phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials, and have no concerns thus far.
Newsom cited the state’s experience with mass vaccinations, ranging from the annual flu vaccine to experience with H1N1 and Hepatitis A.
There were approximately 19 million flu vaccine doses given in the last flu season, with the majority administered over a 3-4 month span. There are also tens of millions of other routine vaccinations administered on an annual basis.
According to Newsom, local health departments have a proven ability to provide surge capacity. He cited the fact that they doubled the routine administered doses during the H1N1 pandemic.
Newsom said that the CDC Vaccine Playbook was released on Sept. 16. California was one of five juridictions to take part in early vaccination planning with the CDC and the Department of Defense.
California put out its own vaccine plan on Oct. 16. The state is also helping the CDC with its own planning.
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