reopening the bay area

Napa County Added to State's Watch List Due to Spike in Coronavirus Cases

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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that Napa County has been added to the state's list of counties being monitored for rises in confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases.

Napa is now one of 26 counties on the state's monitoring list, joining Contra Costa, Marin and Solano as the Bay Area counties on the list.

Each county that reaches three days on the list, which also includes coronavirus hotspots across the state like Los Angeles and Riverside counties, is subject to modifications to its economic reopening such as closing indoor businesses and activities like bars and restaurants.

Restaurants and wineries in Napa County are taking a step back. Starting Thursday, the county is closing all indoor dining and wine tasting due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. NBC Bay Area's Joe Rosato Jr. has reaction from restaurants trying to make sense of it all.

"I want to just acknowledge that a number of these counties didn't come kicking and screaming," Newsom said. "In fact, (they) reached out to us in anticipation they were likely to enter the list and we are very proactively working with them."

Newsom said the state has blown past its previous goals for daily coronavirus testing and the acquisition of personal protective equipment likes face masks and gloves.

One of the first Bay Area counties to allow indoor dining and wine tasting is now reversing course. With COVID-19 cases rising, Napa County is on the governor's watch list and starting Wednesday, restaurants and wineries can no longer serve inside. Jean Elle reports.

The state's inventory of medical procedure masks has ballooned from a million in March to 232 million in July while the state supply of N95 masks has risen from 21 million to 79 million in that same time span. Over those five months, the state has distributed some 280 million procedure and N95 masks to hospitals and medical centers across the state.

State public health officials have overseen a steady buildup of the state's hospital bed capacity during that time as well, and the addition of pop-up medical care sites such as Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento and Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

More than 35,000 people have also applied to the California Health Corps program, which launched at the end of March with the goal of expanding the pool of active health care workers by drawing from recently retired medical professionals, medical and nursing students and medical disaster response team members.

Nearly 750 of those Health Corps workers have already been deployed to facilities of concern like skilled nursing facilities and the state's prison and jail systems.

State health officials confirmed 11,694 new cases Tuesday, however Newsom stressed that a significant portion of those new cases came from the backlog of several laboratories in Los Angeles County.

The state's seven-day average for new cases sits at 8,116, Newsom said, and while daily testing figures have eclipsed 120,000, the average positivity rate across the state has risen two full percentage points, from 5.1 percent on June 24 to 7.1 percent this week.

"I cannot impress upon people … the potency of your individual decision-making," Newsom said, encouraging the state's residents to continue physical distancing, wearing face coverings and frequently washing their hands.

"The last four months have been meaningful and intentional and we have done an enormous amount to prepare … But, again, we need your compliance, we need your support," he said.

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