Visiting a coronavirus vaccination clinic in San Francisco, Newsom urged people to wear masks and get COVID shots ahead of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. He pointed to at least 27 states that have seen at least a 10% increase in cases in the past week.
“Ask the governor of Michigan (or) Colorado how they are doing,” Newsom said. “States are struggling because people are taking down their guard or claiming ‘mission accomplished.’ ... I don’t want to see that happen here in California.”
Newsom has struck a more cautious tone compared to the spring when he lifted nearly all of California’s pandemic restrictions and told people who were vaccinated they could stop wearing masks and socially distancing in some places. But a summer surge prompted some of the state’s largest local governments to bring back mask mandates and other restrictions, creating a dizzying patchwork of policies across the state.
Last winter brought the deadliest surge of the pandemic to California and while a repeat isn’t expected because so many people are vaccinated the state still could see a lesser surge as people gather indoors for the holidays. That possibility prompted Santa Cruz County to reinstate its mask requirement on Sunday, just a few days after neighboring Monterey County lifted its mandate,
“Unfortunately, a potential winter surge appears to be a significant threat to the health and safety of our community,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said in a statement.
Santa Cruz County, located along the coast south of San Francisco, has a per capita infection rate only slightly above the state average. Of California’s 58 counties, the ones with the highest rates are nearly all rural and have lower vaccination rates.aside">