Weekly News Roundup for Friday, November 20th, 2020

California State Capitol Building in Sacramento, California

Again this week, rising coronavirus cases dominated the news statewide and nationwide. Read on for the latest measures to curb cases and other news from across California…

California Issues Curfew for Purple Tier Counties

Covid-19 case rates increased by approximately 50 percent in California during the first week of November. In response, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health have announced a limited stay at home order enacting a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier. All non-essential work and personal gatherings must stop between those hours starting at 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 21st and ending at 5 a.m. on December 21st.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

Covid-19 Update: California Breaks Record for New Daily Cases

California has 1,072,272 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to date. This includes 13,005 newly recorded cases on Friday, a new record for the highest number of cases reported in a single day. Sixty Californians died of the virus this week, adding to the total of 18,557 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The seven-day positivity rate is 5.9% and the 14-day positivity rate is 5.2%; both figures are up since last week.

With Thanksgiving approaching, the CDC advises that the safest way to celebrate is at home with the people you live with. Gatherings with family and friends from other households increase the risk of catching or spreading the virus as well as the flu. You can protect others by staying home.

Governor and Lawmakers Face Criticism for Social Distancing Failures

Governor Gavin Newsom was subject to widespread criticism after attending a dinner party at the French Laundry at which he defied the state’s social distancing guidelines. At the birthday party for a friend, Newsom sat inside the restaurant, close to at least a dozen individuals from more than three households. This came shortly after his administration issued guidelines for Californians to limit private gatherings to three households or fewer. Newsom issued an apology on Monday.

At least four elected officials from California are confirmed or appear to be attending a conference at a Maui resort in defiance of California’s recent advisory not to travel out of state. The four-day policy conference has brought together approximately 100 legislators and lobbyists from four states to discuss safe reopening amid the pandemic.

Mountain View Fire Kills One in Mono County

The Mountain View Fire, which erupted on Tuesday in Mono County near the Nevada border, has burned more than 28,000 acres, killed one resident and destroyed more than 90 buildings. The Governor declared a state of emergency on Wednesday. The fire forced the evacuation of the towns of Topaz, Walker and Coleville. Its cause has not yet been determined.

California Sees an Increase in Rare Complications from Gonorrhea

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports a significant increase in a severe form of gonorrhea called disseminated gonococcal infections (DGI), which is an uncommon, but significant complication of untreated gonorrhea.

“As an infectious disease and public health physician, I am very concerned that we are seeing completely preventable complications of sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections that went undiagnosed and untreated, likely due to people not seeking care or getting routine testing during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer. “STD risk has not gone away. There are a few groups we especially want to remind to seek STD screening. If you are a sexually active female 25 years of age or younger, if you are pregnant, if you are a man who has sex with men, or if you are living with HIV, please contact your healthcare provider to get recommended testing for STDs.”

For more information on STDs in California, visit www.std.ca.gov.

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