California's counties are expected to face more restrictions this week in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Officials say the jump in numbers is partially due to the new state lab that opened last month, which will increase testing capacity by 150,000 per day at peak.
California’s health secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, says sources of new infections range from essential workers to places of worship and restaurants. But he says there is one common factor: private household gatherings are “a major source of spread” for counties experiencing increased transmission.
Governor Gavin Newsom said he was encouraged by the news that pharmaceutical company Pfizer has a vaccine that’s proven 90 percent effective in trials. However, he cautioned that availability to people beyond first responders and healthcare workers is many months off.
Newsom said: “I am concerned, truthfully, that we may get over-exuberant because now we believe we have a safe and effective vaccine that is available, and people may go back to their original form. That would be a terrible mistake.”
Dr. Ghaly is expected to announce more restrictive tier measures for counties this week, to counter this latest uptick in cases. Newsom said the state also plans more “precise and prescriptive” messaging, including guidelines around gathering for Thanksgiving.