California is not yet looking to clamp down on a still new reopening of most of its economy, even as cases of the virus in the state start to rise.
Governor Gavin Newsom said as much during a telebriefing, despite saying over the last several months that should there be an increase in cases that reached an unspecified threshold there would likely be a return to stricter mandates. Nevertheless, Newsom late last week mandated that every person out in public wear a face covering as the state and Los Angeles saw new single-day highs of positive cases.
“As long as we’re working together, we’re attacking these issues together and we start to see more compliance with the mask mandate, I think we move forward more safely and work our way through this without having to toggle back,” Newsom said Wednesday.
States like Maine, Kansas, Idaho, even Texas, which on Tuesday had a record number of more than 5,000 confirmed cases, have this week started to put back in place some mandates to limit spread of the disease that had been lifted weeks ago. In Idaho, bars that had been allowed to reopen were again forced to close and gatherings of more than 50 people again banned. Maine also had plans to let bars reopen at the start of July and now has rescinded the timeline. Texas governor Greg Abbot, who allowed the state to reopen more than a month ago, said it’s now facing a “massive” outbreak and has told county officials that they can begin restricting outdoor gatherings and urge people to stay home.
For California, which has just allowed in-store shopping to reopen, as well as hair salons and even nail salons, with businesses given guidelines to follow, Newsom said the recent increase in cases is nothing the state can’t handle at this point. As of June 24, the state had more than 190,000 confirmed cases, with a rate of positive tests up 5.1 percent from two weeks ago. Hospitalizations are also up, according to state records.
“California led as the first state to do the stay-at-home order and we crushed the curve,” Newsom said, referring to the steep upward trajectory of the virus in early March. “But we made it crystal clear throughout that we’re extending the curve. It allowed us all this time, so we can absorb an increase in the number of positive cases.”
When Newsom abruptly began reopening the state’s economy in May, he admitted that an increase in cases would be inevitable.
“I can’t emphasize enough that we’ve used our time wisely,” Newsom added. “The stay-at-home order bought us time to build out infrastructure.”
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