Gov. Newsom again stresses distancing, mask use to limit COVID-19 spread

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the Veterans Home of California Friday, May 22, 2020, in Yountville. Photo by Eric Risberg, AP Photo/Pool

Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed Monday that the actions of residents across the state will determine how quickly the state reopens during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom has continuously advocated for the use of masks and face coverings and the need for physical distancing as the pandemic has worn on, encouraging residents that certain activities like in-person schooling and indoor dining are not feasible if people flout the state’s public health guidelines.

“We have to minimize the transmission of this disease,” Newsom said. “We have to minimize that by practicing physical distancing, wearing the face coverings and doing the kinds of things that are well-described and, obviously, now need to be more vigilantly followed.”

The state continues to see an aggregate rise in positive cases and hospitalizations due to the coronavirus as counties started to reopen at the outset of summer. An average of nearly 9,000 people per day tested positive for the coronavirus over the last week, Newsom said.

In addition, the state’s positive test rate continues to hover around 7.5 percent despite an average of more than 120,000 tests being completed each day.

“We’re going to continue to ramp up those efforts,” Newsom said of the state’s testing capacity.

Alongside the surge in cases, coronavirus deaths in the state also reached an average of 91 each day over the last week, according to state officials. “Hospitalizations and (intensive care unit) use continue to be a cause of concern in the state,” Newsom said. “That’s why we want everybody to double down on everything we have been doing so that we can get back to school, get back to work in the traditional ways.”

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