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Gov. Newsom speaks in San Luis Obispo, touts improving local and state COVID-19 numbers

Gov. Gavin Newsom in SLO 2
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at Cuesta College Tuesday afternoon at a SLO County vaccination clinic. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom made a trip to San Luis Obispo County Tuesday afternoon to tour a vaccination site and speak with local government and health leaders.

During his appearance at Cuesta College, Newsom praised local and statewide efforts in the helping improve COVID-19 numbers recently.

"I'm encouraged by the reduction in case rates and positivity rates," said Newsom. "Let me just punctuate that. The positivity rate in the State of California is down to 2.3%. Just put this into perspective, one month ago today, it was 6.4%. One month ago today, we reported over 12,000 cases. 2,500 cases reported today. Hospitalizations in the last two weeks are down 41%. ICUs are down 43% in just the last two weeks, so we're in a position we haven't been in many, many months."

The governor said the battle against the virus is going so well, "There's not just light at the end of this tunnel, there's bright light at the end of this tunnel."

He touted how the state has administered 9.3 million doses of vaccine.

"That's more than all but six nations in the world," said Newsom. "No other state has come close to administering more doses of vaccine than the State of California. You are doing it at remarkable speed and efficiency."

He added the biggest restraint right now with vaccine distribution is manufacturer supply.

"The State doesn't have one dose of vaccine," said Newsom. "There's no cache. There's no refrigerator, freezer. There's no freezer. It all comes directly from the federal government, from the manufacturers. We're trying to get it out as quickly as possible.

He also pleaded with the public to stay vigilant in their efforts with safety measures, especially since several variants of the virus is a major cause for concern.

However, at the same time as San Luis Obispo County and several other counties move forward today in the states reopening plan, he is emphasized that California is moving forward at the right speed.

San Luis Obispo County was one of seven counties in California that advanced into the Red Tier of the State's Blueprint For a Safer Economy on Tuesday.

"We believe in a tiering strategy, which means we move deliberatively, but we don't over indulge in reverting back to the way things were until the data, until the science, until the transmission of this disease warrants that move," said Newsom. So we are moving deliberatively, but it's on the basis of the transmission rates and community spread, so I think we're doing it very thoughtfully."

Newsom urged everyone who has an opportunity to receive the vaccine to do so.

He also expressed full confidence in the new Johnson & Johnson version, which just become available this week.

"When it's your turn, just say yes to whatever dose you that are being offered," said Newsom. "I would take without a hesitation, without exception, I'll wait my turn, but when it's comes to my turn, and they say J&J, I say yes. They say Moderna, I say yes. They say Pfizer, I say yes, and we're looking forward to having the opportunity to have even more option in the coming months."

Speaking near the Cuesta College library, Newsom also spoke briefly on education.

He praised county leaders for prioritizing educators in vaccination efforts.

He also said he is committed to getting kids back into school.

"This is a top priority," said Newsom. "We back it up, not only by prioritizing vaccines, but $6.6 billion that we just announced yesterday that we hope will be voted on Thursday, signed on Friday to get those dollars out to school districts large and small, all up and down the state, to safety reopen our schools. To get the PPE. To get the ventilation, to deal with the distancing in our schools, and all of the related issues in our schools."

After leaving San Luis Obispo, Newsom headed south for a scheduled appearance at a vaccination site in Ventura County.

California / Health / Politics / Safe at Home / Safety / San Luis Obispo County
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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