On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered all restaurants, wineries, movie theaters/family entertainment, zoos, museums and cardrooms to close indoor operations statewide. Newsom announced his reasoning on Twitter, citing the “alarming rates” of the spread of COVID-19 cases as the second wave hits California.

Newsom also provided further requirements for 30 counties, stating that the counties must close indoor operations for fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops and malls.

The counties affected by the announcement are the ones on the state of California’s monitoring list. A county on the watch list for more than three days are ordered to further rollback reopening. The list is dynamic, being constantly updated as more information arises.

Newsom’s approach to California’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been describe by himself as a “dimmer switch,” not an on-and-off switch to control the economy and the rules. He has been responding to the data and trendlines of the coronavirus, and California managed to mostly avoid the first wave that hit New York and New Jersey in the spring.

Part of the reason that California’s reopening has been rolled back is the increasing positivity rates. The positivity rate is the ratio of tests that return positive results over the total tests given. While the positivity rate had been high during the early days of the epidemic, when it was mostly people with symptoms who were getting tested, it had lowered to around 7% in California as more testing sites became available to the public.

The positivity rate had a 21% increase over two weeks in California, rising from 6.1% to 7.4% by Monday. Following the higher positivity rate was an increase in the hospitalizations, which increase by 28% over the two-week period.

There have now been nearly 35,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 7,000 deaths in California.




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