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Newsom hits “dimmer switch” on reopening in several counties

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Governor says trends are alarming enough to call for a pause

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday afternoon the state is pushing the reopening "dimmer switch" in a number of counties facing high spikes in coroanvirus cases.

Gov. Newsom reminded Californians he had warned the state might have to step back from phased re-opening plans if cases kept increasing.

“The approach is a dimmer switch, and that approach is different in each county,” said Newsom. “We don’t like the trend line.”

The state's positivity rate has been higher than health officials would like, and it continues to climb. The governor said, over the past two weeks, the state has seen a 45% increase in positive test results. He also cited a 43% increase in hospitalizations. However, Newsom says the state's hospitals are prepared.

“The positivity rate is very concerning,” he said. “Numbers are going up, but our ability to manage and absorb is also significant.”

Watch the Governor's press conference here:

The rise in cases numbers was so concerning to Newsom, on Sunday he ordered the closure of all bars in seven counties. The same order recommended eight additional counties pause their reopening efforts and close their clubs and pubs. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors announced Monday it too would close down all its bars.

“The bottom line is we’re doing this because we have seen an increase in the spread of this virus. We’ve been very clear, this shouldn’t surprise anybody watching, as you reopen the economy, as we move away and make the meaningful modifications which we did to our stay-at-home order, you’re going to see people mixing that were not mixing in the past,” Newsom said.

The bar order had little impact on Imperial County because it had yet to open this type of venue. The County Board of Supervisors held a closed emergency meeting Monday evening to form an action plan to send to the governor. County leaders will focus on increased public education until the governor signs off on their plan.

[Related Story: Imperial County releases guidelines to combat coronavirus]
California Coronavirus / State & Regional News

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.

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