Santa Clara, Contra Costa Counties on State Watch List for Virus Spikes

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After a week of increasingly troubling news about the new surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom led a chorus of local and state leaders calling for a new slowdown in the state's reopening plans.

Newsom also talked about 15 counties where hospitalization rates are now high enough that they have been put on a watch list, which includes the Bay Area counties of Contra Costa and Santa Clara.

Over the past few days, Contra Costa County has seen hospitalizations jump 17%, and the state believes it's because more people are getting sick as the economy reopens and they resume their normal routines.

Santa Clara County has seen a 23% increase in hospitalizations, and the state attributes that rise to transfers from outside the county and long term care facilities, as well as people from elsewhere choosing their hospital care inside Santa Clara County.

Both Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties said they are working on revised orders and will issue them next week.

The hottest spot on the state's COVID-19 watch list is Imperial County in Southern California. The county's small hospital system is overwhelmed and the state has transferred more than 500 patients to other counties in the past five weeks.

Newsom said he has advised Imperial County officials to pump the brakes.

"We are working with count officials and advising them to pull back," Newsom said. "And once again reinstitute their stay-at-home orders."

Back in the Bay Area, San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday announced she is delaying the city's plan to reopen more businesses due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Newsom praised San Francisco for taking a pause and said local leaders making the decisions is how it is supposed to work.

The Bay Area and state have seen daily cases jump almost 74% this month compared to May, with over 200,000 cases total.

Newsom on Thursday unveiled a website,, that allows any expert to take a look at the state's data on the coronavirus and help find solutions to the recent spike.

"Citizen scientists, people who are doing coding every single day, we want to give them access through an open source platform to all the available data that we have, that I have that our health professionals have," Newsom said.

During this most recent surge, Newsom and medical experts are urging Californians to wear masks when appropriate and maintain social distance.

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