California governor declares budget emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic

Grant Boone
June 26, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that a rise in coronavirus cases is worrying, and warned counties to heed statewide precautions and enforce them. Following a weekend that allowed California's broadest reopening yet, Newsom on Monday, June 15, 2020, defended the state's pace of easing coronavirus restrictions and said the economic harm they inflicted have negative health outcomes, too. As of Thursday, the positivity rate was up 5.1 percent over the past 14 days.

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Under a deal reached with lawmakers, the state would use about $16 billion from the rainy day fund over the next three years to help right its budget, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the governor's finance department.

The state once again saw the highest jump in new COVID-19 cases in a day since the state starting tracking case numbers in mid-March.

In Los Angeles County, the number has been slowly climbing for the past week, and as of Wednesday, the number stood at 1,556, up from 1,515 on Tuesday.

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Arizona, Texas and Florida have been reporting up to 3,000 to 5,000 new daily cases. That's over a quarter of the [then] total 195,000 cases identified so far. Long Beach announced one additional death Wednesday.

Newsom said a number of counties are struggling with the increase of cases.

The surging cases have prompted the state to put 11 counties, representing about half of California's population, on a watch list of places that might be required to roll back recent efforts to reopen their economies.

"Public Health will monitor the data closely to see how increases in cases and rates of positivity affect the number of daily hospitalizations over the next few weeks", according to a Tuesday statement from the county DPH.

Newsom went on to plead with residents to continue to practice good hygiene and wash their hands, wear facial coverings when around others, avoid large gatherings, and stay home when sick to halt the spread of COVID-19.

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