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After packed beaches, Newsom urges patience as CA is 'weeks away' from stay-at-home order changes

Posted at 1:37 PM, Apr 27, 2020

People lining California beaches was the first topic of Gov. Gavin Newsom's daily press briefing on Monday.

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts. The likelihood of having a virus-free world is not realistic in the next number of months. We’ll look forward to that day as herd immunity comes into effect and we have a vaccine that we can distribute and make available to hundreds of millions of people across this country and billions around the rest of the globe,” said Newsom. “Until then, we have to manage it. We have to manage risks. We have to manage and augment our behavior. And that’s why I cannot impress upon you more to those Californians watching that we can’t see the images like we saw, particularly on Saturday, in Newport Beach and elsewhere in the state of California.”

He scolded those who ignored the stay-at-home order and have abandoned social distancing guidelines, while thanking those who continue to maintain vigilance as the order has reached six weeks.

"The reality is, we are just a few weeks away, not months away, from making measurable and meaningful changes to our stay-at-home order," Newsom said. "That is a very optimistic point to emphasize. However, that's driven by data. That's driven by behavior. And as we change our behavior, we can impact the science, the health and the data."

Some officials at California beaches are now giving second thoughts to keeping them open next weekend. Newsom said he will provide more details on further reopening of businesses and schools during Tuesday's briefing.

During the press conference, Newsom provided an update on statewide numbers. California added 45 deaths to the total tally of COVID-19 deaths with 1,300 new positive cases in the past 24 hours. The state total is now 43,464 cases. Hospitalizations increased 1.4 percent, but ICU admissions saw only one additional person on Sunday.

Throughout the pandemic, California has conducted 553,000 tests, the governor said.

Newsom also announced Monday that Colorado and Nevada are joining a pact with California, Oregon and Washington to coordinate on planning reopening their states.

California has its own reopening plan but the three states agreed to key principles: safeguarding residents’ health, basing decisions on science and not politics and working collaboratively.

The announcement comes as officials from six rural Northern California counties and 14 small cities in them have urged Newsom to let them reopen their economies.

NBC station KCRA contributed to this report.