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Newsom pulls “emergency brake” on reopening in California

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More than 28 counties moving back into most restrictive tier of state scale

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday immediate actions to slow the spread of coronavirus, including "pulling an emergency break" on reopening, and strengthening the statewide mask mandate.

Newsom said, effective Tuesday, more than 94% of California's population will move back into the state's most restrictive purple tier. That means many non-essential businesses will be forced to close.

28 counties will move back in the purple/widespread tier. 9 others will move back into the red/substantial tier. Newsom said the state will continue to closely monitor the data, and will move back more counties if necessary.

“We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet –faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Now is the time to do all we can – government at all levels and Californians across the state – to flatten the curve again as we have done before.”

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) says coronavirus is spreading faster than it did in July. The state added nearly 2,900 cases on Monday alone. Since the state of the pandemic, 1,033,473 California have contracted the virus. The illness has killed more than 18,000 of them.

Watch Gov. Newsom's full briefing here:

The state's health chief says the rising numbers illustrate the need for fast response.

“The data we are seeing is very concerning. We are in the midst of a surge, and time is of the essence. Every day matters and every decision matters,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Personal decisions are critical, and I am I imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing and wash their hands.”

Gov. Newsom also said California will strengthen its statewide mask mandate. Moving forward, individuals must wear a face covering whenever outside their homes, with few exceptions.

Related: California Coronavirus Cases

California Coronavirus / Top Stories / Video

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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Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

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