California Public Mask Mandate Support Rises As Covid Cases Make Biggest One Day Jump In 5 Months

Asked earlier this week if there is a Covid-19 data point that would push the state to implement restrictions, Newsom said, “We’re not looking at physical distancing or closing anything down.” He then emphasized, ““The answer to the Delta variant is vaccination,” said Newsom. “We don’t need masking. Just get vaccinated.”

California on Tuesday reported a 2,000 case jump in its daily Covid case numbers, from 5,577 on Thursday to 7,984 on Friday. That’s a 43% rise in new cases in one day.

That data is supported by the more accurate 7-day case rate per 100,000, which rose from 7.1 on Tuesday to 9.5 on Friday, putting the state on the verge of “Widespread” infections, according to Governor Newsom’s own Blueprint for a Safer Economy. That Blueprint, which mandated restrictions according to the level of virus in the state’s counties, was abandoned on June 15 when Newsom reopened the state. Some are now calling for a return to restrictions.

The California Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Los Angeles re-instituted a mask order for every resident — no matter vaccination status — on Saturday.

A new Inside California Politics/Emerson College poll found more Californians now support an indoor mask mandate than not. Forty-nine percent of Californians support a statewide indoor mask mandate, while 39% oppose one, according to the survey of more than 1,000 registered voters. Thirteen percent of residents are undecided or have no opinion. The poll had a margin of error of /-2.9% and was conducted this week.

Given that daily vaccinations are only about 62,000 a day and the state still has at least 4 million unvaccinated people, Newsom’s victory by vaccination strategy seems unrealistic. Another hurdle is that fact that 12% of adults say they will not get vaccinated, according to UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study. When one pairs that with the roughly 16% of the population under 13 years old who cannot get the vaccine and also those adults who are ineligible due to health issues, it seems about 25% of the state’s population may not get vaccinated any time soon.

Meanwhile, the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus is surging. A monthly report on positive tests sent for genomic sequencing — which IDs specific variants — revealed that fully 82.8% of the positive tests analyzed were due to Delta. That’s a 53% rise in one month. And it’s up from Delta’s tiny 5.9% share of all variants in the state in May.

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