SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that a rise in coronavirus cases is worrying, and warned counties to heed statewide precautions and enforce them.
He doubled down on his warning, saying if individual counties did not enforce the state's guidance, they can lose funding.
"We cannot support bad behaviors, but we want to encourage and support good behavior," Newsom said. "And if counties simply are going to (flout) the rules and regulations that they attested to, the information that they put online and said, `We agreed to this criteria.' ... If they decide, `well, you know what, even though the numbers are going up, we're done, we've got this, we're just going to ... dismiss these new rules and regulations' -- we're going to attach some considerations, some consequences to that. There's $2.5 billion in this budget that simply will not flow to those counties that do that."
Newsom added that while he doesn't anticipate having to take such actions since the majority of counties have been cooperative, funding will be issued monthly — not annually — to ensure counties continue to adhere to health restrictions.
Newsom went on to plead with residents to continue to practice good hygiene and wash their hands, wear facial coverings when around others, avoid large gatherings, and stay home when sick to halt the spread of COVID-19.
"Washing your hands isn't just putting your damn hands, forgive my language, under the faucet for two seconds and calling it a day," Newsom said. "We've all seen that. Many have done that ... but in this pandemic, come on. We can do a little more and a little bit better."
Monday, Newsom warned that the state was prepared to "revert back" to COVID-19 restrictions if needed, as the state sees a rise in cases. The governor added, "we don't intend to do that, we don't want to do that, but I want to make this clear - we are prepared to do that if we must."
Last week, Newsom issued a statewide facial covering order for residents in high-risk settings, with exceptions, to address a rise in cases throughout the state.
He said Wendesday that the most recent 14-day average of people testing positive for the virus in California overall is 5.1%, up from 4.6% earlier this month. He added that the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 increased by 29% over the last two weeks, and the number of ICU patients went up 18%.
Tuesday, California reported 183,073 coronavirus cases and 5,580 deaths from the virus.
City News Service contributed to this report.