Gov. Newsom implores Californians to socially distance over the Fourth of July holiday weekend
With ominous Covid numbers across California, Governor Newsom is again urging caution.
"We are in the midst of the first wave of this pandemic, we are not out of the first wave," said Newsom at a briefing Friday.
"This disease does not take a summer vacation."
Fifteen counties are under watch due to a rising caseload, including two in the Bay Area: Santa Clara and Contra Costa.
Others, including San Francisco and Marin, have reversed course on some re-openings slated for Monday.
Newsom says counties are correct to toggle back and forth on restrictions as they see fit. With what he calls "unprecedented growth" in coronavirus, he expressed worry about travel and socializing over the upcoming July 4 holiday.
"As we celebrate our independence as a nation, let's do so responsibly," said Newsom, urging masks and social distance at gatherings of any size.
"We know families are saying, 'we miss Uncle John, so why don't we bring him and the kids over for a bar-b-que?'," said Newsom.
"Well you may be putting Uncle John's life at risk."
Overnight, California saw nearly 5,0000 new cases, with hospitalizations and ICU admissions surging too.
Imperial County, on the state's southern border, is being urged to reinstate its stay at home order, with 23 percent of its tests positive.
"The 23 percent tells us not only are there many cases but many undetected cases," said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the Ca. Department of Public Health.
More than 500 patients have been transferred from Imperial County to hospitals in neighboring counties because hospitals are full.
Funeral homes are overwhelmed too, and asking for refrigerated trucks.
Yet the gloomy data seems at odds with widespread re-openings across the state.
"We're going to do everything we can to insure safety in our place and I get the sense other restaurants will as well," said Henry Hautau, owner of Finnegans Marin Restaurant and Bar in downtown Novato.
Finnegans is on Grant Avenue, where Friday evening, a two-block stretch was closed to traffic to allow restaurants to serve outdoors.
Starting Monday, they will be able to shift indoors again, with strict guidelines.
"That's what I hear and I'm a little worried," said one man, dining with his family.
"With this second wave, or the first wave being extended, I'm not so sure."
Other patrons said they would have no hesitation to enter a restaurant for a meal.
"I know the numbers are going up which was expected, but we've got to have some normalcy in the world," said one.
Hautau did notice the crowds were lighter, and wondered if the surge in cases might be keeping people home.
"Last two weeks, there was an hour wait for tables, and this week you're seated in five minutes, so I think there might be some fear."
Hautau also observed more mask-wearing as well.
"I definitely get the sense people are more cautious this week than they have been before."
Monday, Marin County also moves ahead with hair salons, barber shops, campgrounds and RV parks, driving schools, and picnic areas.
But due to a record number of cases, 54 in 24 hours, it postponed approval for nail salons, gyms, tattoo and cosmetology businesses, hotels, and vacation rentals.
"Please, please, practice common sense and common decency," pleaded Newsom at his briefing, imploring Californians to take the pandemic seriously, amid a rising death toll.
"79 human beings lost their lives, 79 families torn apart, because they lost a loved one the last 24 hours, what more evidence do you need," concluded Newsom.