On Monday, July 20th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, Newsom opened by speaking about personal responsibility. He implored Californians to wear masks, socially distance, and minimize mixing. This behavior, the Governor said, will help reduce the spread of the virus.
He also went over the “dimmer actions” recently taken, including closing indoor operations of certain businesses statewide and additional sectors in counties that are on the County Monitoring List. Newsom also announced the state is issuing new guidance for the personal services industry regarding outdoor operations.
Currently, there are 33 counties on the County Monitoring List.
Per usual, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 figures, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient numbers. There are 6,921 (+0.3 percent) positive COVID-19 hospital patients. Of those patients, 1,943 (+1.1 percent) are in the ICU. For additional context, there was a 16 percent increase in hospitalizations over the last 14 days – but the rate of increase is declining. Two weeks ago, hospitalizations increased by 50 percent over 14 days, last week it was 28 percent, and now it's 16 percent. That is an encouraging sign, Newsom said.
Finally, Newsom reported that California's positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is holding at 7.4 percent, while the 7-day rate has declined to 7.2 percent.
During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked if he has received any heads up from President Trump about the prospect of sending federal law enforcement into Oakland. "The answer is no and we would reject it," he said.
Newsom was also asked about a New York Times report which stated: "Governor Gavin Newsom of California was told that if he wanted the federal government to help obtain the swabs needed to test for the virus, he would have to ask Mr. Trump himself — and thank him." Newsom said the report is not true. “We were grateful and I expressed gratitude, but no one told me to express it."
When asked about why some counties were allowed to reopen even if they did not meet criteria around contract tracers, Newsom punted the question to Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly. Dr. Ghaly said counties allowed to reopen had "a credible plan" to meet the metric.
Newsom was also asked about pending legislation and specifically whether he would sign non-COVID-19 related bills. "We're not backing off on any of our responsibilities in this state," Newsom said about the Legislature passing legislation that is not necessarily COVID-related. "I look forward to signing many bills." He also complimented Legislative Leadership for how they have handled this session thus far.
Regarding whether there is any consideration being given to letting schools operate outside, Newsom stated, "Not currently in terms of the guidance we put out."
The briefing concluded approximately at 12:40 PM PDT.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. There are now a total of 391,538 (+1.8 percent) confirmed positive cases and 7,694 (+0.1 percent) deaths in California. As of July 18th, there have been 6,286,852 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 119,634 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously. A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.
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