California sees decline in COVID-19 cases, but not in the Central Valley

Last week the governor said Central California had become a hotspot for COVID-19 outbreaks.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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California's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations saw a small decline statewide, but Newsom said while the stats were encouraging, they don't reflect all parts of the state, incl

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations saw a small decline statewide Governor Gavin Newsom reported on Monday. However, he said while the statistics were encouraging, it does not reflect the reality of all parts of the state, including Central California.

Last week Newsom declared the Central Valley a COVID-19 hotspot, with hospitalizations and ICU admissions surging in eight of the local counties.

RELATED: Central California is a COVID-19 hotspot, state investing $52M to help slow surge

On Monday, the governor revealed more of the state's plan to reduce transmissions within the eight counties, including an additional $6.5 million in donations to help with "essential supplies, food, rent and utilities and more for vulnerable families, individuals and the nonprofits who serve them." But further information on how that aid would be allocated, and who qualified for it, was not immediately released.

The governor said the protocols followed in Imperial County during its surge in June will now be applied to the Central Valley. The plan will bring some patients into neighboring communities to relieve local hospital capacity and bring protective supplies to essential businesses.

Newsom said the strike teams that were deployed to Imperial County helped to bring the county's positivity rate down, and health officials gain more control of their patient surges. He was hopeful the same response would help mitigate the stress on Central California's resources and reduce transmissions rates.

Coronavirus-related deaths in the state have increased, which has become a point of concern to state health officials, the governor said. He added death had touched all age groups, including a Fresno County teen who died last week.

RELATED: Fresno County teenager is the first California child to die because of COVID-19

Statewide COVID-19 cases over a seven-day period were 7,764, down 21.2% compared to last week. Hospitalizations decreased by 10% over a 14-day period while ICU admissions decreased by 5%.

California's positivity rate was 7% on Monday. Newsom said that while the state's daily average number of tests was up, the number of people who tested positive for the virus was down relatively.

The governor said the decline in transmission rates could have been impacted by more people wearing their masks, having fewer gathers and keeping some business sectors closed.

He said that while it's a good sign, the state needs to see a stable decline in cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions, and its positivity rate to reopen some businesses.

WATCH LIST: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse

Thirty-eight California counties were on the state's monitoring list on Monday.

As the new school year approaches, many districts will start classes through distance learning. Newsom said counties need to be off the list for two weeks straight before schools can reopen their campuses to students.

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