SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — While Gov. Gavin Newsom said that California’s current COVID-19 case rate was stable on Monday, he warned that with case numbers rising across the country and the globe, that could change.
“You’re starting to see an increase in COVID-19 cases all across the country. In fact, as of this morning, 21 states have seen an increase in transmission rate of COVID-19,” said Newsom. “We’re seeing this, by the way, not just across the country; we’re seeing this increasingly around the world.”
“Take a look at the headlines in France out of Paris today and what’s happening in the United Kingdom; what’s been happening in Israel and what Germany is projecting and is concerned about. This is the second wave that many had predicted based on our closest approximate frame, what happened [with the Spanish flu] in 1918 and 1919.”
Newsom warned residents against letting their guard down to avoid a second wave that could be as impactful or more impactful than the initial wave of COVID-19 cases.
“That’s why we have to be very vigilant and very sober about what is going on,” said Newsom.
The governor pointed out that it takes about 20-30 days for upticks in hospitalizations to register as cases start to increase.
Newsom showed a slide that showed California among the states in the U.S. that had fared well lately in terms of case trends and transmission rates.
Overall, the state had a 2.6 percent positivity rate within the past seven days with both hospitalization and ICU rates dropping significantly.
As far as the state’s four-tier county status system, Newsom said that 18 counties remain in the highest-risk purple or “widespread” tier, with 22 counties in the red or “moderate” tier, 15 in the orange tier and only three counties in the lowest-risk yellow tier, but that more progress would be announced on Tuesday by Dr. Mark Ghaly.
Newsom also indicated that there would likely be an update to the system by year’s end.
When Newsom was asked by a reporter for his reaction to President Donald Trump’s tweet earlier Monday after having contracted COVID-19, where he announced he would be released from Walter Reed Medical Center and said that the American people should not “be afraid of COVID.”
“To minimize, to negate, to dismiss this pandemic as anything but what it is — a deadly pandemic, a deadly disease that’s impacting lives and destroying families as well as our economy — I don’t think advances the collective cause of bringing this country back together,” Newsom replied.
In Burlingame, business owners said reopening is already moving slowly so the prospect of a second wave shutting businesses back down would be a crushing blow.
“It would be devastating,” said Sam Malouf, owner of Sam Malouf Authentic Luxury, a retail store.
Malouf said reopening his business has been a huge challenge.
“It’s like an old car … if you don’t drive it, it’s going to take awhile to jump the battery and get the engine running again,” he said.
Others remarked about how spirits have been lifted by the increase in business.
“Now that everything is open, there’s a life out here,” said Jumana Hassan of Cakery, a specialty bakery that makes custom cakes. “And if that doesn’t go well, then the life isn’t going to be out here.”
San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said it has already been very difficult for everyone to adapt to the Covid-19 restrictions.
“This pandemic … it’s like a bowling ball on marbles, it’s ever-shifting,” he said.
Canepa said people could still stave off the possibility of a second wave by wearing face coverings and continuing social distancing but he is concerned that President Trump’s actions which seem to minimize the virus will make it harder to keep the numbers flat.
“I think it does hurt us because it appeals to people who already have this notion that masks don’t save lives and masks don’t help,” Canepa said.
“People need to wear their damn masks.”