Surging coronavirus cases dominated the news in California this week. Here’s the latest from across the state…
California Passes 1 Million Covid-19 Cases
Johns Hopkins reports that California has passed the 1-million milestone for confirmed cases of Covid-19, with a total of 1,004,116 cases statewide. The latest announcement from the California Department of Public Health states 998,502 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to date.
On Thursday the department recorded 6,893 new cases, with 3,399 individuals hospitalized and 931 in the ICU. Since the start of the pandemic, Covid-19 has taken the lives of 18,137 Californians. The seven-day positivity rate is up again at 4.4% and the 14-day positivity rate is also up at 4.0%.
(See last week’s News Roundup to compare the stats.)
CDPH reminds us that rain and colder weather, as well as the upcoming holiday, make Californians more likely to gather indoors. Doing so increases the risk of Covid-19 transmission, and should be avoided in favor of virtual or outdoor gatherings. Updated guidance prohibits gatherings of more than three households; prohibits indoor gatherings in the purple tier and strongly discourages indoor gatherings in the red, orange and yellow tiers. Individuals in high-risk groups are discouraged from attending any gatherings.
Go to covid19.ca.gov to find out the latest Covid-19 statistics in your county.
West Coast States Issue Travel Advisories
With Covid-19 cases rising nationwide, California, Washington and Oregon have issued travel advisories urging against non-essential out-of-state travel. The advisories also ask visitors entering or leaving the three west coast states to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million Covid-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading Covid-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”
You can read California’s travel advisory here.
11 California Counties Return to a Higher Tier
Due to rising Covid-19 cases, this week 11 California counties were demoted to higher tiers in the state’s color-coded system. Those counties are now subject to increased restrictions on business and activities. Counties moved by health officials into the most restrictive purple tier are Sacramento, San Diego and Stanislaus. Moving from the orange to red tier are Amador, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Pacer and Santa Cruz. Modoc, Siskiyou and Trinity counties moved from the least-restrictive yellow to the orange tier.
San Francisco Rolls Back Indoor Dining
Due to a significant rise in Covid-19 cases in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed announced this week that the city will temporarily roll back the reopening of indoor dining. It will also cut the allowed capacity of fitness centers and movie theaters, and pause the reopening of indoor instruction at high schools. The changes go into effect at midnight tonight.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus. Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again,” said Mayor Breed. “I know this is not the news our residents and businesses wanted to hear, but as I’ve said all along, we’re making decisions based on the data we’re seeing on the ground. Right now, our public health officials are telling us we need to take these steps to get the virus under control and save lives – so that’s what we’re doing.”
Wildfire Survivors Can Get Free Legal Help
Wildfire survivors in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sonoma counties are eligible for free help with disaster-related legal issues. Those counties are within a federal disaster zone declared on October 16 for the Bobcat, Creek, El Dorado, Oak, Slater and Valley fires.
The program offers no-cost aid with wildfire-related legal issues, available by calling the hotline at (888) 382-3406. Attorneys speaking English and Spanish are available to help with securing FEMA and other benefits, home repair contracts, insurance claims, replacement of legal documents and mortgage-foreclosure problems, among other types of assistance. The program is a partnership between FEMA and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.