California is set to pass New York as the state with the most coronavirus cases within a few days. Johns Hopkins research data shows that the state is reporting about 9,000 new cases each day, with a total of 397,870 on June 20. New York has been reported about 700 new cases each day, with totals on Monday of 404,000.
California was the first state to impose a stay at home order on March 19, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Two months later the state began reopening after its’ numbers fell dramatically. California Governor Gavin Newsom told Californians, “You have bent the curve.” The state began reopening shortly after, on May 8. Then, Memorial Day.
Early June showed the numbers slowly creeping back up, July 11 the seven-day average for the state was 9,400 new cases a day. Newsom shut down all bars, indoor dining, and movie theaters on July 13. So what happened?
Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at the University of California Los Angeles, says people and the government became complacent. Some counties stopped mandating masks.
“You know, we opened up too soon. We didn’t have the virus totally under control,” Rimoin said. “People are not following the rules. They’re not wearing masks. They’re not social distancing. They’re not doing what it is that they need to do.” Newsom instituted a statewide mask mandate at the end of June.
The state health department said that people age 40 and under are responsible for more than 50% of new cases. Experts say that while masks are mandated, it’s clear that people aren’t following the rules. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said a city-wide shutdown is imminent. Rimoin said that choice is clear and that the state should shut down to “get this virus under control.”
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