On Monday, in the middle of his virtual press briefing, Governor Gavin Newsom coughed.
He continued to speak and cough again. He stopped and smiled, apparently anticipating the question.
“It was tea that got into my throat,” he said. “Nothing more.”
Early in the morning, the governor’s office said Mr Newsom, along with his family, had entered quarantine after three of his children came into contact with a state highway patrol officer who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
The incident brought home – “literally,” Mr Newsom said, his head framed by old books as he spoke from a desk in his home – the realities of a coronavirus outbreak that has affected everyone. the corners of this vast state.
Although everyone in Mr. Newsom’s house – including his partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom; their four children; and someone the governor described as a housekeeper or caregiver residing “overseas” – tested negative for the virus on Sunday, he said they would all be quarantined for two weeks, according to the state and local councils.
[See coronavirus cases by California county.]
The Newsoms learned of the revelation on Friday evening, the governor’s office said. The whole family waited until Sunday to be tested to reduce the likelihood of a false negative result (the virus may take time to reach detectable levels after infection). The governor and his partner were not in direct contact with the officer.
One of Newsom’s children was already in quarantine after a classmate tested positive, Politico reported on Friday. The governor was criticized for returning his children to classrooms at their private schools when many public schools in the state remained closed. (And if you forgot, he also went to the French laundry with too many people – a misstep.)
With infections and hospitalizations each increasing at an alarming rate in the state, officials announced a curfew late last week for counties in the state’s reopening purple level – in other words, the curfew affects nearly all of the state’s nearly 40 million residents.
According to a New York Times database, the state reported an average of 12,694 new cases per day over the past week, a large increase from a month ago. That’s more than the state’s previous peak of just over 10,000 new cases per day at the end of July.
[Read more about the curfew.]
Officials implored Californians to take precautions and reconsider their movements even within the state.
Some local officials have also taken more aggressive steps to stem the tide and warn that further lockdowns may be possible.
San Francisco leaders have said the county, which has performed better than any other major city in the state, may be moved from the second most restrictive red level to the purple level this week, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
In Los Angeles County, where indoor dining has been closed for months and cases of the virus continue to rise, health officials took an extra step on Sunday to outdoor meals closed “To reduce the possibility of overcrowding and the potential for exposure.” This order takes effect Wednesday, just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
But as Eater Los Angeles reported, there was some reluctance over the measures, including from supervisor Kathryn Barger, who said closing restaurants whose owners have worked hard and invested heavily to operate safely. punishes the wrong people and will not stop the spread.
Mr Newsom also delivered encouraging news on Monday: The state could start immunizing some of the state’s 2.4 million healthcare workers as early as next month, and broader plans to distribute vaccines were underway. .
[If you missed it, here’s more about the state’s vaccine rollout.]
Hospital staff prepare for more stress across the state after the holidays: “Everyone’s just petrified.” [The Los Angeles Times]
Small gatherings can certainly spread the virus. But the data doesn’t actually show they are responsible for the surge Across the country. [The New York Times]
A San Diego Superior Court Judge refused to order officials to lift restrictions on restaurants and gyms inside, claiming that “the impact on public health of dismantling part of the state’s response to COVID-19 designed to reduce the spread of the community outweighs the economic harm.” [The San Diego Union-Tribune]
Starting Wednesday, travelers arriving in Los Angeles at Los Angeles International Airport, Van Nuys Airport, and Union Station from out-of-state should complete an online form recognizing the state-recommended 14-day quarantine. [CBS Los Angeles]
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Here’s what else to know today
In a signal that American companies are leaving President Trump, General Motors has said it will no longer support administration efforts to backtrack California Emissions Standards. [The New York Times]
If you missed it, in late September Mr Newsom said the state plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in 15 years, adding urgency to the state’s climate plans. [The New York Times]
Appointment of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. Alejandro N. Mayorkas will be the first Latino and the first immigrant to head the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Mayorkas is a former senior federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Loyola Law School. [The New York Times]
Senior California Senator, Dianne Feinstein, said she would relinquish the Democratic top spot on the Judiciary Committee next year, yielding to pressure from progressives. [The New York Times]
In a first in San Francisco, Chesa Boudin, the district attorney, announced that a former police officer had been charged with manslaughter after killing an unarmed carjacking suspect in 2017. [The New York Times]
Apple security chief accused of working with Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriff to redeem iPads for faster concealed weapon licenses. It’s part of a bigger corruption scandal engulfing Sheriff Laurie Smith’s office. [The Mercury News]
Due to Facebook’s algorithm, some accounts have acted as “super-diffusers” of disinformation, sow false electoral theories. [The New York Times]
Twenty years ago, last month, a show featuring a now iconic Burbank ensemble took the place of an eccentric Connecticut town debuts on the CW. Here’s a look at the reasons why “Gilmore Girls” survived. [The New York Times]
And finally …
One of the many weird things about this pandemic is the way it has slowed down time.
Fortunately, there are always more books to read. My colleagues at The Times Book Review put together this list of the top 10 that came out this year. (One of them is “Uncanny Valley,” a Silicon Valley memoir that doubles as a “quietly damning talk” of the Bay Area tech scene.)
California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.
Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.