California Governor Gavin Newsom said he is prepared to “revert back” to more stringent state stay-at-home orders if necessary during an update on COVID-19’s effect on California.
On Monday, Newsom addressed the COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations, the statewide face-covering order and business reopening guidelines. He said it is up to each individual in the state to “mitigate the likelihood and need” to revert back to the lockdown orders that were implemented at the start of the pandemic.
“We don’t want to do that, we don’t intend to do that, but let me make this very clear — we are prepared to do that if we must,” Newsom said. “Clearly we have the capacity… not to have to go in that direction by just being a little bit more thoughtful about how we go about our day-to-day lives.”
The positivity rate for COVID-19 cases has gone up from an estimated 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent, moving closer to the 5 percent rate that the World Health Organization advises to stay under.
The positivity rate takes into account how many positive cases have come in comparison to tests that have been taken.
“We are not naive,” Newsom said. “The more you test, the more numbers of individuals will test positive… but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We’re starting to see an uptick in positivity rates.”
In the last 14 days there has also been an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. In that time, California saw a 16 percent increase in hospitalizations with an 11 percent increase in ICU patients.
Even with the hospitalization increases, Newsom said there are enough hospital beds and ICU ventilators to accommodate the increase in patients.
Newsom said the goal is still to bend the curve down until a vaccine is created, which could come by the end of 2020, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“You’ve probably heard that one of those vaccines… and there are several moving along at several paces, one of them will enter Phase 3 study in July,” Fauci said in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday.
According to the CDC, the “Phase 3” process involves the testing on thousands of people to demonstrate its effectiveness and safety.