Governor Gavin Newsome is walking back his California reopening. The Democratic leader is concerned about surging COVID-19 cases in his state, as cases soar in much of the country.
California Rolls Back on Reopening
On Monday, Newsome addressed the need to roll back the state’s reopening in a press conference: “We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon until there is a vaccine or an effective therapy,”
Several large school districts also announced that they begin the semester with an online-only format. Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts want to open their schools to students sometime after the year begins. The districts added that this does not mean an extended vacation.
“Our leaders owe it to all of those impacted by the COVID-19 closures to increase the pace of their work,” the districts said. “No one should use the delay in the reopening of classrooms as a reason to relax.”
President Trump has criticized schools that seek to remain closed in the fall. Last week, he threatened to pull federal funding for public schools that do not open their physical locations to students.
Churches: A Controversial Closure
Californians took particular issue with Newsome’s decision to close places of worship. They were especially frustrated, given the continued operation of other businesses, such as liquor stores. Previously, Newsome had ordered that “no singing or chanting” could take place during worship services. Now, it appears that all indoor services will be put on hold until further notice.
The Liberty Council, which lobbies for evangelical interests, issued a statement in reaction to the controls on religious services.
“The state has no authority to direct the manner and form of worship,” said Mat Staver, the group’s founder. “The hypocrisy is most evident when you see the same governor banning singing and chanting in religious services while encouraging the same activity in mass protests.”
Several States Overwhelmed with Cases
In March and April, the northeastern states, such as Massachusetts and New York, suffered the most during the first wave of coronavirus cases. Those states are in a better place at this point. Daily new cases are now in the low triple digits in most of the northeastern region, down from peak numbers of 10,000 or more. New York recently celebrated its first day without a single coronavirus death.
Replacing the Northeastern states as the new epicenter are some of the nation’s largest ones. California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas are among the hardest-hit states in the country.
In Arizona, case counts have risen exponentially, with thousands of new cases each day. The state experienced low case numbers earlier in the year, but now ICU beds in some cities are approaching 90% capacity. In Texas, 25% of COVID-19 tests are coming back positive in some areas. Florida’s hardest-hit city is Miami, and also faces the prospect of its hospitals being overwhelmed.
As cases begin to surge in much of America, the economic reopening that brought so much relief may have been short-lived.
- Uber Expands Driver Feature to Set Own Fare to More Cities in California
- California’s Ban on Singing in Churches Causes Outrage
- Robert Kaplan Says U.S. Economy’s Recovery May Depend on Success in Limiting Spread of COVID-19