Most California counties join Sonoma in the most restricted Covid tier today under new state guidelines that strengthen face-covering rules. “We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet.”
Over 94 percent of California’s population is now in the most restrictive of the four levels — the Purple, or “widespread’ category — established by Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
The updated guidance mandates that a face covering is required at all times when outside of the home, with some exceptions.
The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes, Newsom said. He likened the move to “pulling an emergency brake” on plans for a full re-open. “Now is the time to do all we can to flatten the curve again, as we have done before.”
Immediate action will help protect individuals at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 and will help keep the state’s health care delivery system from becoming overwhelmed, officials said.
“We are in the midst of a surge, and time is of the essence. Every day matters and every decision matters,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “I’m imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing, and wash their hands.”