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Newsom: California Reporting Record Number Of Coronavirus Cases

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California reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases yet today.

Test results for 12,807 people came back positive. That's out of more than 127,000 tests and tops the seven-day average of 9,420, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today.

In addition, 115 new deaths were reported statewide. That's more than the seven-day average for deaths, which is 90, Newsom said (for comparison, the previous week's average daily number of deaths was 98). The governor stressed the importance of looking at the seven-day averages, as daily death numbers this week alone fluctuated from just nine to 115.

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So far the state has had 413,576 positive cases of COVID-19 out of more than 6.6 million tests. The seven-day positivity rate now sits at 7.6%.

Newsom spoke from a warehouse in Sacramento, with stacks and stacks of boxes as a backdrop, in one of his regular updates on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch the full video above or read highlights below.

PROCURING PPE

Newsom said the state is stepping up its efforts to procure personal protective equipment, or PPE, as it tries to keep up with a burn rate of 46 million masks per month.

"Our PPE strategy has been a success. Our PPE strategy was predicated on the lack of a national strategy, where many had recognized and California early on recognized that we were competing, not only with other states, but other nations, including the United States, our federal partners themselves, in terms of getting adequate supplies of PPE."

The state has procured millions of masks for frontline health care workers and essential workers in other sectors, including farm and grocery workers. As just one example Newsom cited, the state has received about 146 million N-95 masks (the kind medical workers need), with 150 million more coming in the next few weeks.
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But given the rate at which the masks are being used, Newsom said, the state needs to "go big and continue to be bold." He said Sacramento is working to extend contracts with suppliers to make that happen.

Newsom said early steps the state took to modify Californians' behavior gave officials more time to focus on procuring PPE, and he said despite some exceptions, he's seen improvements in compliance with public health guidance. He thanked residents for recognizing their own ability to help bend the curve yet again through individual action.

"We will succeed in extinguishing this virus. We will succeed in going back to some semblance of a higher vigilance but semblance of normalcy when we get this vaccine, when we work through the therapeutic efforts, and when we get on the other side of this. But when that happens will be determined on our behavior, day in, day out, individual by individual."

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