Statewide activities are moving indoors. Bars are closed in the areas of highest concern. Over the July 4 holiday, local, county and state leaders closed beaches and their parking lots. Ten multiagency enforcement strike teams were launched.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is proud of these actions, he said during a press conference last week.
“I just want to compliment the local efforts, the county efforts, the educational efforts, and the social persuasion that was very I think well represented and demonstrated over the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” Newsom said.
Many counties took further action. Of 23 listed counties, 13 issued local orders. Those include Los Angeles, Ventura, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Imperial, Santa Barbara, Tulare, Fresno, Stanislaus, Merced, Kinds, Orange and Contra Costa. Three stayed connected to the state’s orders—Riverside, San Bernardino and Kern—and Colusa, Glenn, Solano, Monterey, Marin, Madera and San Diego are awaiting action.
The state is monitoring those 23 counties and will provide technical assistance by engaging the counties’ local health officers and elected officials. As a result, criteria will be addressed and support will be offered.
In addition, the state is working and focusing on enforcement. The state has prioritized enforcement on parts where there are known violators, high-risk workplaces, and industries that should be operating in an appropriate and safe manner, like restaurants and bars.
The state has significantly increased its enforcement with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the Department of Industrial Relations & Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology.
There have been close to 6,000 in-person visits to bars and restaurants. As a result, the ABC visited about 6,000 establishments. Through the Department of Industrial Relations and OSHA, over 440,000 businesses were contacted through in-person visits, phone and email. As for the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, 344 licenses were contacted and provided comprehensive safety checklists.
“So significant improvement and increase in enforcement. We are going out with the resolve this moment needs, to make sure people are protecting themselves and protecting others, to mitigate the spread of this virus,” Newsom said.
However, the spread of the virus continues. As of July 5, 5,699 new cases were reported. The seven-day average is 7,876. The average daily number of tests is 104,609, and the state has tested 127,000 people: a new record number of people. Both the testing and positivity rates are increasing. Hospitalizations have increased to 5,790 individuals, and the ICU admissions number has risen to a total of 1,706. He said 11,416 ventilators are available. The state still has ample hospital capacity in its system, but it is being monitored very closely. Twenty-four people died due to coronavirus during the holiday weekend.
“Everybody is moving, they’re taking action, they’re being responsible, and we’re very, very grateful for that,” Newsom said.
“That’s the spirit of the moment, the spirit of the times. A recognition of individual responsibilities. I’ll remind you, we did an incredible job collectively as a state. Forty million of you did a remarkable job to move aggressively and early. We were the first state to move forward with stay-at-home orders. We were able to bend that curve.
“We have the capacity to do that again to mitigate this increase in the total number of positive cases and the transmission of this disease. The most important thing you can do is wear a face covering. It is a mandate in the state of California. It protects not just you but others. It’s a sign of respect, a sign of responsibility, and it’s also a demonstration of, I believe, character, to meet a moment head on and to be forceful, in terms of our resolve, to save lives.”
More information about all of the above is available at covid19.ca.gov.