Newsom press conference

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a Monday news conference.

Gov. Gavin Newsom warned of a potential new stay-at-home order as COVID-19 cases reach record levels across the state.

At a Monday news conference Newsom said 51 of California’s 58 counties were now in the purple “widespread” tier of COVID-19 restrictions as the average daily number of new cases over a seven-day-period reached 14,657, toppling the previous peak of 9,881 new cases set in late July.

Currently San Joaquin County has the 11th highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state per CA.gov.

“We anticipate based upon what occurred over the course of the last number of days, that within the next number of weeks, one to two weeks, based upon Thanksgiving activities and all the efforts to educate people against those activities and gatherings, that we will see an increase in cases,” Newsom said.

Daily COVID testing has reached nearly 224,000 tests and the positivity rate sits at 6.2% over a 14-day-period.

That percentage causes concern as roughly 12% of new cases reported will require hospitalization over a two-week-period.

“At the current projections, this is the point I was just making a moment ago, the current projections, we are showing hospitalizations that without any additional interventions, change of behavior, or fundamental shifts in the way we are conducting ourselves as individuals in this state, that we could see an increase just in hospitalizations that are two to three times greater than the current census in just one calendar month,” Newsom said.

Currently 59% of hospital beds within the California health care system are currently being used with 11% of them being COVID -19 patients.

Projection show by Christmas Eve hospitalizations will reach 78% of the capacity with hospitals in San Joaquin Valley reaching 83% capacity.

Newsom said hospitalization will have anywhere from 10% to 30% of the patients admitted to intensive care units or respiratory support. The current numbers show that within two weeks ICU beds will reach 112% capacity statewide by mid-December and 120% in the San Joaquin Valley in the same time frame. Northern California ICU capacity is excepted to reach 134% within one to two weeks.

“But if these trends continue, we’re going to have to take much more dramatic, arguably drastic action, including taking a look at those purple tiered counties, and they are now 51 of the 58 counties,” Newsom said. “ It will require, and we are assessing this in real-time over the next day or two, to make determinations of deep purple moves in those purple tiered status that is more equivalent, more in line with the stay-at-home order that folks were familiar with in the beginning of this year, with modifications in terms of the work that we are currently doing.”

The state issued the first stay-at-home order on March 19 calling for citizens to remain at home unless they were an essential service worker in one of 16 designated ‘critical infrastructure sectors’.

Citizens could leave their homes in the course of shopping for necessities or seeking health care or outdoor exercise while maintaining social distancing.

The city of Tracy had issued a three-week shelter-in-place order on March 18which was superseded by the state order.

A curfew from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. was announced on Nov. 19 as COVID-19 numbers continued to climb.

Dr. Mark Ghaly from the California Health and Human Services agency said they have been working with health care leaders across the state as they prepare for another potential surge.

“We are doing all that we can to anticipate the surge; building beds, adding staff, making sure equipment’s available, working to make sure all of the different waivers and permissions are in place so hospitals can do all they can for the patients coming in their front doors,” Ghaly said. “I remind you that the high case numbers that we’ve seen in the last week and 10 days have not even begun to impact hospitals yet. We know that it takes about two weeks. So a few days ago, when we had a case level of 18,000 plus cases in the state, what that tells us is that’s not yet impacted the hospitals, the emergency rooms, the ICUs.”

On Monday the San Joaquin County Public Health Services reported there were 705 hospital beds in use in the county, which is 72% of the licensed beds.

There are 149 COVID-19 patients, which is 20% hospital beds in use.

In the county there are 104 adult intensive care beds in use which is 105% of the licensed ICU beds. There are 29 adult ICU patients which is 28% of the ICU beds in use.

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital reported 43 hospital beds in use with 18 COVID-19 patients.

There are six adult ICU beds in use which is 75% of the adult ICU capacity and two of them are being treated for COVID-19.

San Joaquin County has had 26,064 cases reported with 1,471 active and 510 COVID-19 deaths.

Statewide as of Monday the California Department of Public Health said there have been 1,225,189 COVID-19 cases with 19,211 deaths.

There are 8,240 people hospitalized and 1,890 of them in the ICU with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and another 809 hospitalized and 110 in the ICU suspected as COVID-19.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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