Then things turned for the worst.
The first week of November, Newsom said, saw a more than 51% increase in new cases. The previous highest rate of increase for the state was 39.2% in June, he added.
The governor said officials are now considering a curfew, but are still reviewing studies from several other countries – including France, Germany and Saudi Arabia – to better understand the effectiveness of the measures.
“We have a lot of questions about what it looks like, what it doesn’t look like,” the governor said.
California would not be alone. Local and state leaders have announced similar measures in recent weeks.
94% of the state’s population is at the most restrictive level
California’s stunning 40 counties also returned to the US state system this week, the governor said Monday, meaning they will now face more restrictions. A total of 41 counties are currently in California’s purple, most restrictive layer, showing a widespread level of risk – out of just 13 counties that were at last week’s level.
Just three weeks ago, only nine counties were on a purple level, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Galli told a news conference Monday.
“This move of a total of 41 districts in purple, tells us exactly, underscores what the governor shares, what is this rapid growth in cases, this significant change in transmission, not just in a few districts … but across the country, is absolutely it is important for us to take control and manage immediately, “Gally said.
“We need to keep transmission low,” he said. “And that’s to avoid flooding the healthcare system.”
The rising incidence is likely to lead to more hospitalized Covid-19 patients in just two to three weeks, Gally said.
The state has seen a 48% increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations in the past two weeks, according to the governor, who now makes up about 5% of patients in the public health system, he added.
For the same period of time, intensive care units reported more than 38%.
“We are preparing for this very moment,” the governor said, adding that there were 11 surges across the country that could be set up in 24 to 96 hours and have a total bed capacity around 1872.
The governor apologizes for attending the birthday party
But as Newsom outlined the individual actions that public health officials have urged residents to take in recent months – such as wearing masks, social distance and avoiding rallies – he apologized, saying he “very soberly” admits it contradicts your own advice.
A few weeks ago, the governor said he attended a friend’s birthday party, which was an outdoor dinner.
“As soon as I sat down at the larger table, I realized that this was a slightly larger group than I expected,” he said. “And I made a bad mistake.”
“Instead of sitting down, I had to get up and go back, get in my car and go back to my house. Instead, I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples who were out of the household.”
Newsum said the “spirit of what I preach all the time is contradictory” and apologized to residents “because I have to preach and practice.”
“I shouldn’t have been there, I should have looked back,” he added, vowing not to make that mistake again.
CNN’s Cherry Mosburg contributed to this report.