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Bay Area Headlines: Friday, 6/26/20, AM


Discouraging Metrics On CA COVID-19 / Can Governor Newsom Order People To Wear Masks? / CA Sets Zero-Emission Goal For Trucks

Discouraging Metrics On CA COVID-19

COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by nearly one-third during the past two weeks. California also set daily records for the number of positive tests several times this week.

Governor Gavin Newsom says cases are up because the state is testing more people than ever. But he also noted yesterday that one of his preferred metrics — the percent of positive test results out of the total number tested in a single day — is also up:

"The positivity rate has begun to increase over the course of the last few weeks. it's 5.1% now positivity rate over the last 14 days. What I'm not sharing in terms of a slide but want to share with you in a transparent way is a 5.6% positivity rate in the last seven days."

Newsom is urging Californians to wear masks when in public and to avoid gathering in groups or with people outside their household.

Can Governor Newsom Order People To Wear Masks?

Does Governor Gavin Newsom really have the power to make face masks mandatory in public? A Northern California mayor and some viral Facebook posts allege he does not.

Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum made the claim about the governor’s authority on Facebook. Many other widely shared social media posts also say Newsom just doesn't have the right to make face masks mandatory. 

McGeorge School of Law Professor Leslie Jacobs says that’s not accurate.

“The governor does have the authority to require face coverings. The public health authority that the state has is actually very broad.”


Jacobs also cited the California Emergency Services Act. That’s the law Newsom used in March to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.


“We have to realize that the governor has the authority to keep us in our houses. He has authority to shut the businesses down entirely.”


Jacobs added that the governor is obligated to end the state of emergency, and all the orders that come with it, at the earliest time possible. So, these powers are broad, but they are only temporary. 


CA Sets Zero-Emission Goal For Trucks

California is the first state in the nation to set a zero-emission goal for truck sales. Under the new rule, passed yesterday, more than half of new trucks sold in California would need to be zero-emissions by 2035. And all of them by 2045. The groundbreaking regulations were voted unanimously by the California Air Resources Board.

It sets targets for manufacturers to begin hitting goals for electric truck sales by 2024. Environmental and health advocates say the rule is a major step toward reducing deadly air pollution and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

The regulation estimates that it will bring 300,000 electric trucks to California’s roads by 2035, including 17,000 semi-trucks.

Kevin Vance created a program of folk music for KALW, A Patchwork Quilt, in October 1991. He grew up in Berkeley during the 1960s and '70s and spent his years learning in public schools, community colleges, bookstores, libraries, and non-commercial radio stations, as well as from the people around him. When he's not on the radio, then he's selling books, taking care of his family, listening to music, entering stuff into a computer, or taking a class.