On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the pandemic. Newsom highlighted his announcement that Washington, Oregon and Nevada have joined California’s Scientific Safety Review Workgroup that was established to review COVID-19 vaccine safety, equity and transparency in an objective and scientific way. The Workgroup is monitoring the vaccine trials closely. He also announced the establishment of a new 16-member Drafting Guidelines Workgroup focused on ensuring an ethical and trustworthy approach for prioritizing and allocating vaccine supplies made up of experts in immunization, geriatrics, ethics, epidemiology, health equity and pharmacy practice. The Workgroup will look at prioritizing vaccine distribution for the most vulnerable.
The Governor also provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework. Recall, there are 4 colored tiers – widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange, and minimal is yellow. Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:
PURPLE: 12 counties
- RED: 23 counties
- ORANGE: 14 counties
- YELLOW: 9 counties
As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers. Specifically, he reported there were 3,188 new COVID-19 cases on October 26th, with a 0.4 percent case increase from the previous day. The positivity rate is at 2.9 percent in the most recent 14-day period and a slight increase to 3.2 percent over 7 days. Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients are beginning to trend upward slightly — 0.3 percent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions in the prior 24 hours and 5 percent increase in COVID-19 ICU admissions in the last 24 hours.
During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about the COVID-19 data and its reliability. The Governor aimed to assure Californians that the information is accurate and reliable, despite some glitches with recent data from Los Angeles County. Dr. Ghaly, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, noted that the Los Angeles County glitch was caught by the data system and corrected quickly as part of the rigorous quality assurance protocols put in to place earlier this year. They also spent a great deal of time with Los Angeles County to ensure accurate reporting and that all data points are properly accounted for and complete. The Governor also mentioned the official transition to a new data system outlined a few months ago that occurred over the weekend.
Newsom was also asked to further detail the California Vaccine Safety Workgroup’s charge and whether the effort will result in delays in vaccine availability in the state. The Governor assured Californians that they are focused on objective review and providing a safety stamp of approval, not merely taking others’ word for their safety. He does not anticipate any delays resulting from the Workgroup’s efforts.
He was also asked about the frustration and anger over the challenges facing theme parks and their inability to reopen under the state’s stringent reopening guidelines, particularly amid park reopenings in other states and countries. The Governor noted the trend of increasing case rates in the state and around the world as a basis for self-evident concerns for opening up such parks where people inevitably will mix and exacerbate the spread of COVID-19. While not calling the park out by name, he noted that the Anaheim-based park referenced by the reporter does not operate in the same manner as others and as such all have to be cognizant of their community’s case rates and trends, much less experts’ expectation of yet another wave of cases. California will be driven by data, science and public health.
As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.
The briefing concluded at 12:45 PM PDT.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. There is now a total of 904,198 (+0.4 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 17,400 (+0.2 percent) deaths in California. As of October 26th, there have been 18,127,049 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
Also please note that the https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.
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