Gov. Newsom Sends COVID-19 Winter Surge Warning

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In the lightly-vaccinated Central Valley, Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday pushed hard for people to get the vaccine, and pushed back at those who will tell you otherwise.

“I recognize the fear that many of us have as we enter into the winter, as we enter into a season where, if past is prologue we should anticipate an increase in cases,” he said.

The governor spoke at Kings County Grade School, pointing to the area's low vaccination rate and high rate of COVID-19. 

Most medical experts agree with the need for higher vaccination rates, but there's no agreement that a winter surge has begun.

“I really don't see a lot of evidence of the start of a winter surge,” said Dr. George Rutherford, UCSF epidemiology professor. “It may come later or not at all or stay at this elevated baseline we've been at since August."

But the health officer of Marin County, the most vaccinated county in the state, said the surge is here already.

“Taken together, the increase locally, regionally and globally, sends the unfortunate message that our winter surge has begun in Marin,” said Dr. Matt Willis.

The governor said the size of the winter surge depends on what people do right now.  

“My belief is, if we can get those vaccination rates another 5 to 10%, we'll be in a completely different place,” said Newsom.

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