Mon, Nov 22, 2021 4:30 PM
By Madison Hirneisen | The Center Square, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – After repeatedly warning of the potential for a winter surge of COVID-19 in recent weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters Monday that California is starting to see some improvements in case rates and hospitalizations heading into the holiday season.
In recent weeks, the governor has repeatedly warned "winter is coming" to urge eligible Californians to get their vaccines and booster shots in anticipation of a rise in COVID-19 cases. But on Monday, the governor said that California has seen "good signs" in the last week and a half, noting that the state is tracking a decline in cases and hospitalizations.
"In the last 10 or 11 days, we've seen some stability, some good signs," Gov. Newsom said Monday. "That is good news. In fact, today, we lay claim to having the lowest positivity rate in the United States of America – 1.9% We're seeing a decline. That's encouraging."
The governor spoke from a vaccine clinic in the Bay Area to urge all eligible adults to get their booster shot as soon as possible. Earlier this month, the state announced that all adult residents could be eligible for a booster shot, expanding eligibility for adults who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine who were previously ineligible for a booster under guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eligibility for all adults has now expanded nationwide after the FDA announced Friday that all adult Americans who originally got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine series are eligible for a booster dose six months after full vaccination.
Under previous guidance, booster shots were only available for individuals 65 and older, those 18 and older at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and adults at risk for COVID-19 due to occupational hazards. All adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are also eligible for a booster at least two months after full vaccination.
As of Monday morning, about 4.96 million Californians have received a booster shot, Newsom said. In total, the state has administered over 57 million vaccine doses as of Sunday, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.