California Wine Country Has Surge in COVID-19 Cases Following Memorial Day Weekend Socializing
Napa County had a record 31 new cases of the virus last week, which is more than twice the previously-reported weekly high. On Monday, 12 new cases were reported.
The county’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Karen Relucio, said the recent surge is partly due to the socializing that went on during the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Napa Valley Register.
“Two weeks ago was Memorial Day. People were out and about,” she said. “One case went to a graduation party with 40 people attending. Gatherings of that size are generally not allowed under the shelter-in-home order.”
“We had another case go to church while they were symptomatic,” she continued. “We had another case who had their friends over even though they were symptomatic.”
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Relucio added that “people are forgetting” about coronavirus risks as summer approaches and businesses slowly begin reopening.
“We don’t have community immunity to COVID-19. We don’t have a vaccine. It’s highly contagious,” she said. “Enjoy your summer, but keep your distance and wear face covering. The physical distancing is so important to keep following.”
California is still operating under a statewide stay-at-home order, though it has been slightly relaxed since it was first issued in March. Gov. Gavin Newsom began allowing certain businesses to reopen in May, but some health officials have warned that the state is reopening too quickly.
Dr. Sara Cody, the health officer for Santa Clara County in California, told the county’s Board of Supervisors that she was concerned with the pace at which the state is lifting restrictions. Cody has been credited with spearheading the shelter-in-place order in Northern California’s Bay Area.
“This announcement to authorize county health officers to allow religious, cultural, and political gatherings of 100 people poses a very serious risk of the spread of COVID-19,” Cody said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The state has shifted away from the stay-at-home model and has made significant modifications with increasing frequency,” she added. “The pace at which the state has made these modifications is concerning to me.”
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