Newsom Indicates L.A. County Could Close Back Down Soon: “We Will Be Stepping Up Our Enforcement”

Deadline reports “Transmission is increasing in the state,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom said plainly at his Monday coronavirus press briefing. Accordingly, Newsom said he would likely be using the “dimmer switch” to toggle back reopening measures in more hard-hit counties. He said there were seven counties, including Los Angeles, that likely would need to “reinstitute community measures.”

Right now, that involves the closing of bars and nightclubs. Newsom indicated that he would leave it to county officials to determine the appropriate measures. But if counties are not effective in remediation, “I am committed to intervening,” said the governor.

“We are considering a number of other things to advance and we will make those announcements as appropriate,” said Newsom. Those may include “augmenting the orders and advancing even more restrictive ones.”

Remediation also includes enforcement, said the governor. Thus, “We will be stepping up our enforcement,” Newsom said. He indicated that the state had earmarked $2.5 billion dollars in COVID funds and those would be predicated upon the proven success of counties’ enforcement measures. “If people are flauting those rules and regulations,” said Newsom, “[then] we’ve got to do more.”

The governor also said that, while he is concerned about small businesses’ success, OSHA will be stepping up measures to increase enforcement of anti-COVID measures in the state.

Newsom revealed that he was working with institutions and victims’ advocates to identify 3,500 inmates to be released early, if they can prove they have a place to go. These would be what the governor referred to as non-violent, non-sex offenders.

After rolling back coronavirus reopening measures twice in three days, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the positivity rate in the state has, in seven days, risen from 4.4 percent to 5.5 percent, even as the state upped its testing to over 100,000 a day. Newsom revealed that, in the past seven days, positivity looks even worse at 5.9 percent.

On Friday, Newsom had Imperial County roll back its lifting of the stay-at-home order. On Monday he hinted a that that measure might be in the future for more counties in the state.

Newsom ordered seven California counties close bars and nightspots on Sunday. Those counties include Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings, Ventura and Imperial. He said the counties have been on a watch list from between 3 and 13 days due to increasing COVID numbers. At 14 days, the governor said the state will enforce remediation measures.

On Monday, Newsom added Solano, Merced, Orange and Glenn Counties to that watch list. The counties of concern to state officials now account for 72 percent of the state’s population, he said.

“We start with bars,” said Newsom. “In the last seven days we’ve seen a 45 percent increase [in cases] in the State of California.” The governor said that, in addition to those venues, small gatherings of friends and family were likely contributing factors.