California leaders monitor possible spring COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — California leaders are weighing in on the possibility of a spring surge of COVID-19.

This comes after the CDC director warned of impending doom with COVID-19 cases increasing across the country.

California is now tracking seven different strains of COVID-19. And while excitement grows over expanded vaccine eligibility in the state, the governor is urging caution.

“Now is not the time to announce mission accomplished,” Gov. Newsom said.

With one of the lowest COVID-19 positivity rates in the country and more than 18 million vaccine doses distributed, California leaders say they see a bright light up ahead.

But there is a lingering concern.

“These variants having an impact on states large and small.”

State leaders say California is seeing several cases of four concerning variants of COVID-19, including 854 cases of the U.K. variant, 35 Brazilian, 10 South African and about 9,300 West Coast.

After getting his vaccine in Los Angeles Thursday, Newsom pointed back to the variants when asked about the possibility of a spring surge.

“We’re very mindful, we’re very concerned about these mutations,” he said.

The governor’s warning comes as the majority of California further reopens for business, a move prompted by overall low COVID-19 case rates and increased vaccine distribution.

But if the variants become problematic for the state’s progress, Newsom noted California’s Blue Print for Reopening includes rules to rollback.

“We have the capacity — not on whim, not on political considerations — but on the basis of serosurveillance, transmission rates, case transmission rates and equity component to move in whatever direction is necessary,” he said.

California leaders are optimistic as they still expect larger shipments of the vaccine between this week and next with about 5 million more doses coming into the state.

The governor said the manufacturing issue that halted shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for now is not affecting California’s supply.

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