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Newsom: We're Seeing A Modest Decline In Coronavirus Positivity Rates

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The number of Californians testing positive for coronavirus is going down even as the average number of people being tested is going up — and this is good news, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a noon press conference today.

Compared to a week ago, the COVID-19 positivity rate, the number of hospitalizations and the number of ICU admissions are all showing modest declines.

These are "encouraging signs, but one week does not make a kind of trend...We'll need to see another few weeks of this kind of data…to feel more confident about where we are as a state," Newsom said.

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The total number of deaths from coronavirus has, however, increased over the last few weeks, according to Newsom, who cited the death of a young person in Fresno.

"This is a sober reminder of how deadly this disease is. I don't want to be an alarmist," Newsom said, acknowledging that although people in their teens are unlikely to die from COVID-19, it can happen.

Over the last 14 days, an average of 121 people in California lost their lives to coronavirus each day.

"We're likely to see those numbers remain stubbornly high over the course of the next number of days, potentially [the] next week or so," Newsom said.

The governor said 38 counties, which "represent the vast majority of the population" in California, remain on the state's monitoring list. This list helps determine how restrictive quarantine guidelines are in each area.

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Newsom also took a moment to praise the business community. He said he understood the whiplash many business owners around the state have felt with reopening and re-closing orders.

Newsom said Alcoholic Beverage Control and Cal/OSHA had conducted tens of thousands of visits and "the vast majority of businesses are doing everything in their power [to comply with the new regulations] under these very difficult circumstances. And the vast majority that are not 100% in compliance come into compliance very, very quickly. Perfect rarely is on the menu, and people are doing their best under extraordinary circumstances."

When asked about the process for elementary schools to apply for a waiver so they can offer classroom instruction even if they're in a county on the state's monitoring list, Newsom said the details of this waiver process will be revealed this afternoon.

"We've been working very closely with many of those same officials that expressed concern… There were some modifications that were made last week based upon the input from many in the educational field, not just our health field."

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