The virus is spreading through private gatherings around homes, and more and more young people are being tested positively, government Gavin told News on Wednesday. Infection in some prisons is a cause for concern.
“California has a responsibility and obligation to enforce those laws legally and otherwise,” Newsom said, adding that he can use the “purse power” for that. “It’s going to be an exception and hopefully we’ll never have to run it.”
The state broke the record on Tuesday with an increase of more than 7,000 cases a day, wiping out a record hit a day earlier, when more than 5,000 new cases were recorded, officials reported on Wednesday.
The state’s positivity rate – how many people test positive versus how many are tested in total – is also on the rise in recent days, as are hospitalizations, which have risen by nearly 30% in nearly two weeks, the governor said.
The governor points to family gatherings
The news came from residents who host private events at their hosts, including family gatherings, children’s play dates and birthday parties.
“Many of us, understandably, have developed a small fever in the cabin. Some, I would argue, have developed a bit of amnesia. Others have sincerely taken off their protector,” the governor said Wednesday.
“People are interfering and this increases the spread of the virus,” he added.
The governor’s words echo from several parts of the state where health officials have attributed a number of new cases to family gatherings.
“Avoid home gatherings with individuals who do not live in the same household,” county officials wrote.
Cases in younger people
The governor also noted that the number of young people tested for the positive virus has increased.
“There’s a feeling that a lot of young people, even if you’re young so you feel a little more invincible, but, with respect, it can often be a selfish opinion,” Newsom said.
Even if younger people may not show as many symptoms, they are still spreaders of the virus.
“And I can spread it to people who just can’t deal with the virus like younger healthier people can,” he said.
The governor’s warning fits in with those made by city and state leaders in other parts of the U.S. – including the entire South – who said an increasing number of young people are testing positively.
Some officials across the country have pointed to parties, bars and other rallies as if the expansion is happening.
It is unclear whether the protest had an impact
Because of the large number of cases that arrived, officials were unable to “pinpoint whether the exact source of the exposure was a protest or not,” Los Angeles County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
“I want to say that it is very likely, given the increased number that we see that some of it is actually people who may have found themselves in a crowded situation at one of the protests where the spread took place,” Ferrer said.
CNN contacted the county health department for further details.
The state health department said there was not enough data late last week to “assess the impact of the recent protests.”
In San Francisco, officials said some testing sites that offer free testing do not ask test people if they have recently participated in any demonstrations.
And in Alameda district, spokesman Neetu Balram said in a statement that there was still “no clear link between protest activities and increases in testing or positive cases.”
“We are continuously monitoring our data to keep you informed of our guidelines and reopens. We encourage anyone who protested the testing,” the statement said.
Some prisons are concerned
After a press question at a press conference, Newsom also mentioned a number of prisons as concern for the state.
One of them – San Quentin State Prison – has more than 450 inmates who tested positive. About 42% of inmates at the facility are medically vulnerable, Newsom said.
And according to the state repair department, 433 new cases have arrived at the facility in the last two weeks.
The governor said the state had recently submitted a plan to the courts to release the number of prisoners, who are approaching the release date, earlier from prison, to help reduce the population in the institutions.
That process will begin on July 1 and will be expedited for facilities like San Quentin, Newsom said.
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg and Jon Passantino contributed to this report.