Governor Gavin Newsom reported coronavirus cases have doubled in California over the last 10 days, causing the state to pull an “emergency brake” moving most counties to the most restrictive tier in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a press conference Monday. “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.”
As of last week, 13 counties were in the purple tier. Now, on Monday, Newsom announced 41 counties, or 94 percent of California, is in the purple tier. Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly typically share tier updates on Tuesday afternoon, but officials said the shocking announcement could not wait another day.
“You can see the purple, all up and down the state,” said Newsom.
In the Bay Area, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Napa and Solano counties will go backward into the purple tier, the state’s most restrictive, effective Tuesday. San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties will move back into the red tier, the second-most restrictive.
The adjusted average daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Contra Costa has doubled in recent weeks, rising from 4.3 per 100,000 population on Oct. 16 to 9.2 on Nov. 16.
The average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in Contra Costa has also increased sharply, from 1.9% on Oct. 16 to 3.6% on Nov. 16.
Health officials are also closely monitoring the number of people hospitalized in Contra Costa because of COVID-19, as a large surge in patients could overwhelm the local healthcare system. There were 21 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Contra Costa on Oct. 16, compared to 48 on Nov. 16.
To prevent unnecessary illness and death, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is urging residents to take the safety requirements seriously and consider what they can do to reduce the risk of infection to themselves and their families – such as wearing face coverings whenever they leave home.