It’s too soon to cancel regional stay-at-home orders

Media Contacts
Claudia Deeg

Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG

While COVID-19 is still spreading, governor’s premature action will risk lives


OAKLAND, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom cancelled the regional stay-at-home orders Monday, returning the state to its previous color-coded tiered system of restrictions based on county COVID-19 data.

An average of 500 Californians have died each day from COVID-19 in the past week, and ICUs in Southern California are full. According to a model from the Brown University School of Public Health, California is only conducting about one-third of the tests needed to suppress the virus, and vaccinating all Californians 65 and older could take until well into the summer.

Emily Rusch, CALPIRG Executive Director, issued the following statement in response:

“We are still in the thick of the worst surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in California to date. When the curve is exponential, flattening the curve still means thousands of new cases a day. Cancelling regional stay-at-home orders now while cases are still so high will undoubtedly lead to more cases and deaths. 

“Moving to reopen too quickly without suppressing the virus in the spring contributed to the summer surge, resulting in far more deaths than necessary. As we have learned over this past year, failing to control the virus also prolongs economic harm and keeps our schools closed. We should not risk a backslide in the recent gains we’ve made against this virus just to allow people to go out to eat at a restaurant or get a haircut again. 

“The reality is, a new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 has arrived in our state, vaccinations are rolling out painfully slowly, and many more people will die from this disease. Gov. Newsom should be extending, not cancelling, the stay-at-home order, and focusing on getting and distributing the tests and vaccines we need. Counties should commit to retaining stronger measures to protect their residents. This is an uncontrolled pandemic, and we need to treat it like one.”

staff | TPIN

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