California now has most coronavirus cases in the country

Not surprising when you consider that California has about double the population of New York. Still, it’s a record the state would rather not hold.

A record one-day total of newly confirmed coronavirus cases gave California more than 409,000 since the pandemic began, sending it past New York for the most in the country, data from Wednesday showed.

California’s cases have climbed rapidly in the last month, punctuated by the 12,807 recorded Tuesday, while New York″s have fallen to less than 1,000 per day. California’s overall total is about 700 more than New York’s, according to a tally Johns Hopkins University…

Gov. Gavin Newsom and health officials have blamed the increase on people — many of them younger adults — gathering with friends and family and not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing…

New York still has by far the most coronavirus-related deaths in the country with more than 32,500 — four times more than California’s tally of about 7,900.

The state began reopening gradually in May after the first wave of the virus. Last Monday, Gov. Newsom rolled back some of that reopening when he announced gyms, bars and other businesses would need to shut down again. That announcement was broken into two parts, some closures which applied to everyone in the state and some which only applied to counties on the state’s Monitoring List for more than three days. At the time Newsom made the announcement last week, about 80% of California’s population lived in counties on the Monitoring List.

Last Friday, Gov. Newsom rolled out additional guidelines regarding the reopening of schools:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out strict criteria Friday for school reopenings that makes it unlikely the vast majority of districts will have classroom instruction in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic surges.

The rules include a mandate that students above second grade and all staff wear masks in school.

As many have said before, you can’t reopen the economy until you reopen the schools. There are too many parents who can’t go to work if their young children are at home. One group in California has already filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent Newsom’s school reopening guidelines from taking effect:

The Center for American Liberty is suing the governor over his new guidelines to determine which school districts would be allowed to reopen classrooms this fall.

“Indeed, California is the only state in the United States where there is a ban on the majority of children from being educated,” attorney Harmeet Dhillon told FOX40. “We intend to pursue an injunction in court to prevent the governor from destroying the academic year and beyond for these families and their kids.”…

“Even parents with the most motivated and academically successful children reported depression, anxiety, withdrawal, behavioral issues, a lack of motivation,” explained Dhillon.

We’ll have to wait and see how this goes. Meanwhile, some families are starting to form “micro-schools” in anticipation that distance learning will be the only option this fall. But with California now becoming the state with the most cases in the country the Gov. can make the case that the state is trending in the wrong direction right now and needs to play it safe. There’s a pretty good argument to be made that opening schools don’t present much of a threat to kids or to teachers but for obvious reasons, Newsom doesn’t want to take a risk that could wind up making his state look worse.