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Orange County Could See More State Coronavirus Restrictions, EnforcementVoice of OC

Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking to issue another series of statewide health orders and step up enforcement as coronavirus trends continue to worsen in Orange County, along with the state. 

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“Over a 14-day period, we have seen a 43% increase in total hospitalizations in the state — a 37% increase in a two week period in the total number of ICU cases,” Newsom said at a Tuesday news conference in Contra Costa County. 

Newsom said he’s going to announce Wednesday changes to state health orders and potentially increasing enforcement of the orders. 

“Tomorrow we will be making some additional announcements on that dimmer switch we refer to,” Newsom said. “We will be making announcements on enforcement tomorrow.” 

OC’s hospitalizations have also been steadily increasing, along with the number of people in intensive care units. 

Newsom mandated June 18 that all Californians wear masks, on the heels of a raging debate over masks in Orange County

Since the mask order came down, no OC official has publicly stated if the mandate will be enforced. 

In another prong to Newsom’s approach, OC could lose some of the $2.5 billion in state money this upcoming budget year for failing to enforce statewide guidelines, like masks.

“We have conditioned $2.5 billion in our state budget on applying the spirit and the letter of the law as it relates to health directives at the county level,” Newsom said. 

The money is typically used to fund much-needed programs, like food stamps and welfare programs through the OC Social Services Agency.  

Last month, OC Sheriff Don Barnes refused to enforce the local mask order from former health officer Dr. Nichole Quick. 

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