Health and Science

California endures 'deadliest day' yet due to coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom says

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Key Points
  • California reported 115 deaths due to Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, marking the "deadliest day" so far in the state's fight to contain the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.
  • "Yesterday was the deadliest day for this virus in this state. 115 human beings lost their lives, families torn apart," he said. "It's also a reminder we're not out of the woods yet."
  • That's an 8.5% increase compared to deaths from the day before, Newsom said, adding that there was a 5.6% increase in the number of people who tested positive.
Gavin Newsom, governor of California, speaks during a news conference in Sacramento, California, on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Rich Pedroncelli | AP | Bloomberg via Getty Images

California reported 115 deaths due to Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, marking the "deadliest day" so far in the state's fight to contain the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

"Yesterday was the deadliest day for this virus in this state. 115 human beings lost their lives, families torn apart," he said. "It's also a reminder we're not out of the woods yet."

That's an 8.5% increase compared to deaths from the day before, Newsom said, adding that there was a 5.6% increase in the number of people who tested positive. The number of hospitalizations and people in intensive care due to Covid-19 both dropped, he said.

The figures represent "some stabilization" of the outbreak in California, he said, "but with deaths and still positives going up, again, I caution people that we're not out of the woods."

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Newsom urged the public to continue to practice social distancing to keep drive those figures further down. He added that he will not be swayed to lift the statewide stay-at-home order by an "expression of frustration," but rather that the decision will be guided by data on the spread of the virus. 

"We're walking into a very warm weekend," he said. "People are prone to want to go to the beaches, parks, playgrounds and go on a hike and I anticipate there will be significant increase in volume but I also think if there is and people aren't practicing physical distancing, I'll be announcing again these numbers going back up."

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Newsom announced Wednesday plans to allow hospitals across the state to resume delayed medical procedures, which were previously deferred to increase hospital capacity for an expected surge in Covid-19 patients. He said in a statement the decision was based on progress the state has made in preparing its health systems for any potential increase in Covid-19 patients.

Last week, Newsom released a guide to how California will reopen society and the economy across the state. He has not offered a timeline on when the stay-at-home order order might be lifted. He told reporters last week that if the six requirements outlined in his plan are met by the first week of May, "ask me the question then."

California's relatively early and strict response to the outbreak appears to have paid off. While hundreds have died, it's managed to avoid the situation of New York state, which has more confirmed Covid-19 cases than any country outside of the U.S. 

However, the stringent measures have come with consequences for the state of nearly 40 million people. More than 3.3 million Californians have filed for unemployment since March 12, Newsom said Thursday.

Last week, Newsom along with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a regional partnership to coordinate the reopening of the West Coast. In the northeast, seven other states, including New York and New Jersey, the two hardest-hit states by the coronavirus, announced a similar plan to coordinate reopening. Another seven states in the Midwest have announced a similar partnership.

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