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Alameda, Contra Costa among counties moved to purple tier as governor pulls 'emergency brake' on reopening plans

'We are seeing (COVID-19) community spread broadly,' Newsom says

Most of the Bay Area's counties will move into more-restrictive reopening tiers this week as the state attempts to extinguish its current rise in new coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

A total of 28 counties -- including Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Napa, Santa Cruz and Solano counties -- will be moved into the most-restrictive purple tier Tuesday, part of what Newsom described as the state "pulling the emergency brake" on its reopening plans.

In addition, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties moved into the red tier, the second most-restrictive tier in the system.

According to Newsom, the state has seen its quickest increase in new cases statewide over the last 10 days since the pandemic began in earnest in March.

"Every age group, every demographic, racial, ethnic (group) in every part of the state, we are seeing case rates increase and positivity rates increase as well," Newsom said during his Monday afternoon briefing on the pandemic.

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"We are seeing community spread broadly," he added.

The only counties in the greater Bay Area that did not move to a stricter tier were Sonoma and Monterey counties, which were already in the purple tier.

The state tweaked the way counties are assigned to tiers, moving them to a more-restrictive tier after only one week of rising cases rather than the previously established two.

The state will also move counties across multiple tiers if their rate of viral spread is high enough and will begin assessing tiers several times per week rather than every Tuesday, as it had since announcing the tier system at the end of August.

Several of the counties that will move to the purple tier, such as Alameda and Contra Costa counties, were already on track to move into a more-restrictive tier by Tuesday.

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While the virus' spread across California is on the rise, Newsom argued the state is far more equipped to handle the surge than it was in the early months of the pandemic, when beleaguered states bid against each other for necessary items like ventilators, surgical gowns and other personal protective equipment.

The state has 11 surge facilities with nearly 2,000 beds throughout the state that are able to support overwhelmed hospital systems for up to 96 hours.

According to Newsom, one of those facilities is expected to prepare to open in Imperial County over the next week.

The state's inventory of personal protective equipment sits in the hundreds of millions, including 180 million N95 masks, 23.9 million face shields and 64.5 million gowns.

"We've been very active in building up those supplies, including those surge facilities throughout the state," Newsom said.

Newsom said the state would also lean on its continuously increasing capacity to test for the coronavirus and report results within 24 to 48 hours.

The state is currently averaging about 164,000 tests per day, and results from some 200,000 tests were reported Sunday.

Newsom argued the state's preparation for the virus' next surge as well as progress in vaccine trials from companies like Moderna and Pfizer should be cause for some optimism in combating the virus in the coming months.

"Bottom line is, we're moving from a marathon to a sprint," he said, adding that there is a "proverbial light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel."

Newsom and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly acknowledged that some local-level officials have questioned the efficacy of closing businesses in an effort to stop the virus' spread when private social gatherings have often been the cause of rising case rates.

Ghaly suggested that activities like sit-down dining at restaurants, particularly indoors, and working at an indoor office building are just as likely to result in the virus spreading as attending a private gathering.

"Those are the ideal situations for COVID to spread and the situations we know we want to try to avoid," Ghaly said.

The state recorded a test positivity rate of 4.6% of the last 14 days, which Newsom acknowledged is well below the seven-day national positivity rate of 9.6%, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, California's 14-day positivity rate rose from 3.2% on Nov. 2 to 4.6% Monday while coronavirus hospitalizations increased 48% over the last 14 days, Newsom said.

"While we have fared better than the national average, we don't compare ourselves to the average," he said. "We can do more and we can do better."

Newsom suggested that the national wave of new cases has also bled into California to some extent despite the state having some of the strictest reopening guidelines in the country.

"There's an interdependence, there's a reality that stretches beyond the nation's largest state and 40 million Americans that live here," he said. "An impact that we're experiencing, not just across the country, but the impact and the transmission rates around the world."

"Clearly, we're not immune from those cycles," he said.

According to Newsom, state officials are considering additional measures such as a statewide curfew of some activities to discourage people from social gatherings that increase the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The commonwealths of Massachusetts and Virginia both have implemented statewide curfews in some form as well as various cities across the country.

Studies from France, Germany and Saudi Arabia have also shown the efficacy of curfews on reducing the virus' spread, Newsom argued, noting that state officials have not yet decided how to proceed.

"We have a lot of questions about what (a curfew) looks like, what that doesn't look like, who does it impact, who doesn't it impact, what does a real curfew mean in terms of just certain kinds of industry and business activities," he said.

The tier changes will take effect Tuesday. Ghaly is expected to give another tier assignment update later this week.

Newsom says sorry for dinner party

Newsom publicly apologized Monday for attending a birthday party at the French Laundry earlier this month, saying that he contradicted the guidance he's given discouraging social gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle's Alexei Koseff, Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, attended the 50th birthday party for Jason Kinney, a longtime political advisor, on Nov. 6 at the Michelin-starred restaurant in Yountville, located in Napa County.

The dinner included at least 12 people, according to Koseff's report, which Newsom said on Monday was "a larger group than I had anticipated."

"I made a bad mistake," Newsom said. "Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back to my car and drove back to my house."

Newsom acknowledged that he contradicted his own administration's guidance on social gatherings, which discourages the mixing of more than three households, and noted that he has to practice the standards he's laid out for the rest of the state.

Newsom added that he's gone out to dinner only two other times since February, both times outdoors and alone with Siebel Newsom rather than with a larger group.

"I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice," he said. "I've done my best to do that. We're all human, we all fall short sometimes."

At the time, Napa County was in the "orange tier," the second least-restrictive tier of the state's pandemic reopening system, allowing both indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants.

However, the state tightened restrictions on most counties Monday, moving more than two dozen -- including Napa County -- into the state's most-restrictive, purple tier as cases rise across the state.

Newsom granted that he had concerns about losing political capital and public trust at a time when the state hopes to rein in riskier activities like indoor dining at restaurants and just over a week before Thanksgiving.

"You have to own it and you have to be forthright," he said. "I'm doing my best every single day and trying to model better behavior. So I made one mistake, I should have just gotten up from that table -- and left. And so you own that, you move on and you continue to do the work that you were sent here to do."

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— Bay City News Service

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Alameda, Contra Costa among counties moved to purple tier as governor pulls 'emergency brake' on reopening plans

'We are seeing (COVID-19) community spread broadly,' Newsom says

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 1:20 pm
Updated: Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 4:31 pm

Most of the Bay Area's counties will move into more-restrictive reopening tiers this week as the state attempts to extinguish its current rise in new coronavirus cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

A total of 28 counties -- including Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Napa, Santa Cruz and Solano counties -- will be moved into the most-restrictive purple tier Tuesday, part of what Newsom described as the state "pulling the emergency brake" on its reopening plans.

In addition, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties moved into the red tier, the second most-restrictive tier in the system.

According to Newsom, the state has seen its quickest increase in new cases statewide over the last 10 days since the pandemic began in earnest in March.

"Every age group, every demographic, racial, ethnic (group) in every part of the state, we are seeing case rates increase and positivity rates increase as well," Newsom said during his Monday afternoon briefing on the pandemic.

"We are seeing community spread broadly," he added.

The only counties in the greater Bay Area that did not move to a stricter tier were Sonoma and Monterey counties, which were already in the purple tier.

The state tweaked the way counties are assigned to tiers, moving them to a more-restrictive tier after only one week of rising cases rather than the previously established two.

The state will also move counties across multiple tiers if their rate of viral spread is high enough and will begin assessing tiers several times per week rather than every Tuesday, as it had since announcing the tier system at the end of August.

Several of the counties that will move to the purple tier, such as Alameda and Contra Costa counties, were already on track to move into a more-restrictive tier by Tuesday.

While the virus' spread across California is on the rise, Newsom argued the state is far more equipped to handle the surge than it was in the early months of the pandemic, when beleaguered states bid against each other for necessary items like ventilators, surgical gowns and other personal protective equipment.

The state has 11 surge facilities with nearly 2,000 beds throughout the state that are able to support overwhelmed hospital systems for up to 96 hours.

According to Newsom, one of those facilities is expected to prepare to open in Imperial County over the next week.

The state's inventory of personal protective equipment sits in the hundreds of millions, including 180 million N95 masks, 23.9 million face shields and 64.5 million gowns.

"We've been very active in building up those supplies, including those surge facilities throughout the state," Newsom said.

Newsom said the state would also lean on its continuously increasing capacity to test for the coronavirus and report results within 24 to 48 hours.

The state is currently averaging about 164,000 tests per day, and results from some 200,000 tests were reported Sunday.

Newsom argued the state's preparation for the virus' next surge as well as progress in vaccine trials from companies like Moderna and Pfizer should be cause for some optimism in combating the virus in the coming months.

"Bottom line is, we're moving from a marathon to a sprint," he said, adding that there is a "proverbial light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel."

Newsom and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly acknowledged that some local-level officials have questioned the efficacy of closing businesses in an effort to stop the virus' spread when private social gatherings have often been the cause of rising case rates.

Ghaly suggested that activities like sit-down dining at restaurants, particularly indoors, and working at an indoor office building are just as likely to result in the virus spreading as attending a private gathering.

"Those are the ideal situations for COVID to spread and the situations we know we want to try to avoid," Ghaly said.

The state recorded a test positivity rate of 4.6% of the last 14 days, which Newsom acknowledged is well below the seven-day national positivity rate of 9.6%, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, California's 14-day positivity rate rose from 3.2% on Nov. 2 to 4.6% Monday while coronavirus hospitalizations increased 48% over the last 14 days, Newsom said.

"While we have fared better than the national average, we don't compare ourselves to the average," he said. "We can do more and we can do better."

Newsom suggested that the national wave of new cases has also bled into California to some extent despite the state having some of the strictest reopening guidelines in the country.

"There's an interdependence, there's a reality that stretches beyond the nation's largest state and 40 million Americans that live here," he said. "An impact that we're experiencing, not just across the country, but the impact and the transmission rates around the world."

"Clearly, we're not immune from those cycles," he said.

According to Newsom, state officials are considering additional measures such as a statewide curfew of some activities to discourage people from social gatherings that increase the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The commonwealths of Massachusetts and Virginia both have implemented statewide curfews in some form as well as various cities across the country.

Studies from France, Germany and Saudi Arabia have also shown the efficacy of curfews on reducing the virus' spread, Newsom argued, noting that state officials have not yet decided how to proceed.

"We have a lot of questions about what (a curfew) looks like, what that doesn't look like, who does it impact, who doesn't it impact, what does a real curfew mean in terms of just certain kinds of industry and business activities," he said.

The tier changes will take effect Tuesday. Ghaly is expected to give another tier assignment update later this week.

Newsom says sorry for dinner party

Newsom publicly apologized Monday for attending a birthday party at the French Laundry earlier this month, saying that he contradicted the guidance he's given discouraging social gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle's Alexei Koseff, Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, attended the 50th birthday party for Jason Kinney, a longtime political advisor, on Nov. 6 at the Michelin-starred restaurant in Yountville, located in Napa County.

The dinner included at least 12 people, according to Koseff's report, which Newsom said on Monday was "a larger group than I had anticipated."

"I made a bad mistake," Newsom said. "Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back to my car and drove back to my house."

Newsom acknowledged that he contradicted his own administration's guidance on social gatherings, which discourages the mixing of more than three households, and noted that he has to practice the standards he's laid out for the rest of the state.

Newsom added that he's gone out to dinner only two other times since February, both times outdoors and alone with Siebel Newsom rather than with a larger group.

"I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice," he said. "I've done my best to do that. We're all human, we all fall short sometimes."

At the time, Napa County was in the "orange tier," the second least-restrictive tier of the state's pandemic reopening system, allowing both indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants.

However, the state tightened restrictions on most counties Monday, moving more than two dozen -- including Napa County -- into the state's most-restrictive, purple tier as cases rise across the state.

Newsom granted that he had concerns about losing political capital and public trust at a time when the state hopes to rein in riskier activities like indoor dining at restaurants and just over a week before Thanksgiving.

"You have to own it and you have to be forthright," he said. "I'm doing my best every single day and trying to model better behavior. So I made one mistake, I should have just gotten up from that table -- and left. And so you own that, you move on and you continue to do the work that you were sent here to do."

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Jackie C
Registered user
Livermore
on Nov 16, 2020 at 2:36 pm
Jackie C, Livermore
Registered user
on Nov 16, 2020 at 2:36 pm
36 people like this

[Removed as promoting a website]


Senor Citizen
Registered user
Danville
on Nov 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm
Senor Citizen, Danville
Registered user
on Nov 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm
33 people like this

Dear Jackie: Please post the name of your business here in this thread.

I want to make absolutely certain that I never darken your door. Your attitude screams North Dakota, but you are here where people appreciate science and precaution, and understand community.

While you're at it, please post a letter to Mitch McConnell - tell him to get off his unprincipled butt and pass a business relief bill that actually helps People below the wealthiest among us.


Bill Brasky
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 16, 2020 at 8:39 pm
Bill Brasky, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 16, 2020 at 8:39 pm
32 people like this

At Senior Citizen:

I'm not sure economic principals will allow us to lock down a huge chunk of our economy then keep printing and handing out money


Senor Citizen
Registered user
Danville
on Nov 17, 2020 at 11:42 am
Senor Citizen, Danville
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 11:42 am
16 people like this

Bill: "Economic Principles" did Not get in the way of funneling many $Billions of tax cut dollars to the super-richest Americans before the plague set in, but they get in the way of providing desperately needed aid to poor and middle-class Americans, including Jackie's small business, whose fortunes have been devastated by the plague?

Hmmmm ... pretty selective, one-way principles, it seems to me.


Nicki
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:33 pm
Nicki, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:33 pm
18 people like this

And of course, there is this hypocrisy:

Web Link

and our Gov. Newsom attending a large paraty at the expensive French Laundry restaurant in Yountville..At least he apologize for his hypocrisy:.
Web Link

One appropriate behavior for the powerful and one for the rest of us.


Senor Citizen
Registered user
Danville
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:44 pm
Senor Citizen, Danville
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 4:44 pm
15 people like this

Nicki - hypocrisy is a pretty strong word, best reserved for sustained, contradictory behaviors.

As Dr. Freud said: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a mistake is just a mistake.

It was brief, as you note he made a full-throated apology: the end.


Facts&Science
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Nov 17, 2020 at 5:40 pm
Facts&Science, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2020 at 5:40 pm
12 people like this

Thanks you Senior citizen
Very well said


Resident001
Registered user
Castlewood
on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:30 am
Resident001, Castlewood
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:30 am
20 people like this

@ Senor Citizen:
“but you are here where people appreciate science and precaution, and understand community”

Economics is also a science. The goalposts are being moved constantly in the name of science. I am glad our politicians are immune to COVID being they roam around so freely without heeding the rules they hand down. You don’t understand community or else you wouldn’t be so quick to want to ruin someone’s business. Small business owners are losing everything and I’m not on with that, maybe you are. The lockdown didn’t work. I repeat- Lockdowns don’t work.


John
Registered user
Birdland
on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:34 am
John, Birdland
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:34 am
8 people like this

Well said Resident001


Senor Citizen
Registered user
another community
on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:47 am
Senor Citizen, another community
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:47 am
12 people like this

The role of government is to protect its people - with both appropriate precautions that ALWAYS work and HAVE WORKED here and elsewhere (compare CA and the Dakotas) - AND with financial assistance to small businesses and individuals who've been devastated by this plague. Both ends are part of community.

I believe your argument is with Senator McConnell and the President. They've had a small business aid package in front of them SINCE MAY! They have sensed "no urgency." Give them some!


Resident001
Registered user
Castlewood
on Nov 19, 2020 at 10:38 am
Resident001, Castlewood
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 10:38 am
15 people like this

@ Senor Citizen:

If the role of government is to protect it’s people, I’ll have none of it thank you. The cure is worse than the disease. The people who want lockdowns (like I said before, it did nothing but harm us in every way) are the people who actually think the government operates in our best interests and not theirs. Oh and please don’t defend Newsom, it’s not a good look.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 19, 2020 at 11:26 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 11:26 am
15 people like this

"The role of government is to protect its people - with both appropriate precautions that ALWAYS work and HAVE WORKED here and elsewhere (compare CA and the Dakotas) - AND with financial assistance to small businesses and individuals who've been devastated by this plague."


Businesses are not being protected by Newsom wanting a so called "equity index" as a condition of reopening. People need to be returning to work/opening businesses as quickly as possible. The only thing "working" here is using COVID to promote "progressive" political causes.


Resident001
Registered user
Castlewood Heights
on Nov 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Resident001, Castlewood Heights
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm
13 people like this

@Michael B

Yes, this is the ‘great reset’ they have been waiting for. God help us.

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
Ronald Reagan


Senor Citizen
Registered user
Danville
on Nov 19, 2020 at 2:16 pm
Senor Citizen, Danville
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 2:16 pm
10 people like this

I see Res - so good of you to have turned down the $1200 check and any possible PPP-type loans.

You DID turn them down, right?

In a national emergency, we look to the Feds for leadership. Nobody found any there, so it was left to the Guv and crew to follow very well-proven and established public health protocols. The comparative numbers speak for themselves, loudly. The Dakotas have a population density 1/25 of CA's ... and a death rate 18X higher. That's not random variation - it's good government to which you and I may owe our very lives.

You seem to have no inkling of how good you have it.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 19, 2020 at 2:30 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 2:30 pm
10 people like this

"Nobody found any there, so it was left to the Guv and crew to follow very well-proven and established public health protocols. The comparative numbers speak for themselves, loudly. The Dakotas have a population density 1/25 of CA's ... and a death rate 18X higher. That's not random variation - it's good government to which you and I may owe our very lives. You seem to have no inkling of how good you have it."


Good government? You seem to have no inkling about being played by politicians and your civil liberties being eroded. Approximately 99% of the population who contract the virus are going to recover - which makes continued lockdowns/school closures rather meaningless. The "cure" is worse than the disease in terms of mental health and loss of employment.


Resident001
Registered user
Castlewood
on Nov 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Resident001, Castlewood
Registered user
on Nov 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm
7 people like this

@Senor Citizen,
“ I see Res - so good of you to have turned down the $1200 check and any possible PPP-type loans.”

I didn’t get a PPP loan, I didn’t get a stimulus check.


Senor Citizen
Registered user
Danville
on Nov 20, 2020 at 6:28 am
Senor Citizen, Danville
Registered user
on Nov 20, 2020 at 6:28 am
3 people like this

Apparently you don't exist - as often happens on the internet.


Resident001
Registered user
Castlewood
on Nov 20, 2020 at 7:11 am
Resident001, Castlewood
Registered user
on Nov 20, 2020 at 7:11 am
5 people like this

@ Senor Citizen:

It’s hard to believe that I didn’t qualify for the stimulus and didn’t lose my job? Is your world that myopic? You need to get out more. Oops, scratch that, you do what your government tells you.


Bill Brasky
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 20, 2020 at 9:16 am
Bill Brasky, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 20, 2020 at 9:16 am
2 people like this

My problem is for people piping off that we have to lock everything down is to realize that after 8 months of locking things down the collateral damage to these decisions is real. I have 2 friends that have had to check into rehab and a relative go into depression because of job loss and lack of interaction as a direct result of said "lockdowns.

Now we all know the risks of this disease and how it increases as you get older and your current health condition. So, with that information, if you're older than 60 with conditions or don't feel comfortable going out then please stay home, and stay safe until the vaccine arrives. For the rest of the population let individual decision and liberty reign. The only thing I'm entitled to in this country is my Liberty

God Bless America!


BobB
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Nov 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm
BobB, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Nov 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm
9 people like this

Did anyone else notice that vaccines are on the way and so far they appear to be more effective than many had hoped. The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight, and if we all do our part we can put this disease in the rear view mirror. No one is denying these shutdowns have caused a great deal of pain and some people have been harmed much more than others. But the harm from just letting the disease run would have been worse.

Please -- Let's focus on the positives here. It is clearly looking like vaccines are very effective against COVID-19! Let's keep as many people safe as we can while we roll out the vaccines to our most vulnerable people and our front line workers.


Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 21, 2020 at 6:45 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 21, 2020 at 6:45 pm
8 people like this

Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) has recorded 642 COVID-19 infections in Pleasanton.

Alameda county reported the age group with the greatest number of infections is 18-30.

Alameda county reported the race with the greatest number of COVID-19 deaths in the county are White.

Hispanic - Latino is close behind with 128 recorded deaths in the county from COVID-19.


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