Governor asks California county to reimpose stay-at-home

Posted at 1:24 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 16:54:27-04

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants a Southern California county to reimpose stay-home orders amid a surge in positive coronavirus tests there and through much of the state.

Imperial County, with a population of 175,000 people on the state’s border with Mexico, has been the slowest in the state to reopen.

"Some counties, like Imperial, haven't been able to move into that attestation process, because they can't meet that criteria," Newsom said of the county's struggle to reopen. "We reserve the right to toggle back if we don't see movement at the local level."

Newsom said the state is working with the county to send additional resources to help local officials address coronavirus cases. Despite this, the governor said interventions are not making enough of an impact, leading to reinstituting the stay-at-home order.

The county's positivity rate has averaged 23% in the last week, compared with 5.7 % percent statewide. Newsom said there is also a need to decompress the county's hospital system, which other counties have helped do by accepting patients.

"I just sent 76 ventilators down to Imperial County. We are in the midst of the first wave of this pandemic. We are not out of the first wave. This disease does not take a summer vacation," Newsom said.

Newsom added that he's awaiting a CDC study to determine if outside cases — for example, in hotspot Arizona — have contributed to the rise in cases in Imperial County.

The Imperial Valley provides many of the vegetables in U.S. supermarkets during winter.