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California governor hints he will tighten virus restrictions

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California governor hints he will tighten virus restrictions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is hinting that he will tighten coronavirus restrictions for California’s nearly 40 million residents as a COVID-19 surge has counties rushing to close down bars and beaches ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

Newsom planned Wednesday to announce he will “tighten things up” only weeks after loosening his March 19 stay-at-home order and reopening most businesses.

The state requires people to wear masks when they can’t maintain physical distance but public health officials have said lack of social distancing during Memorial Day get-togethers in May may have contributed to the surge.

California has confirmed close to 223,000 infections, a nearly 50% increase over two weeks ago that has been driven in part by the state’s ability to now test more than 100,000 people per day. But more concerning to officials is the steady growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations — a 43% increase in the past two weeks.

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Newsom said the state will be more aggressive in enforcing public health orders.

“If you’re not going to stay home and you’re not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce — and we will,” Newsom said Tuesday.

“You’ve got to keep people from congregating,” agreed Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. But he said it’s up to the public to heed social distancing.“Just because it’s summer and they feel like having a barbecue with all their friends, it can’t be that way,” Rutherford said. “I don’t know how one legislates that.”Newsom’s cryptic warning had merchants worried that they will once again have to stop in-person shopping that barely resumed.“For some of our […]

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