As states around the country struggle with rising case counts and tightening hospital capacity, confusion in California — home to the nation’s first stay-at-home order — has underscored the messiness and complexity of reopening.
On Monday, a day after the state said it was ordering bars to close in seven of the state’s 58 counties, Gov. Gavin Newsom again emphasized that public health officials expected transmission of the virus to increase as businesses were allowed to reopen.
And in fact, the number of cases has soared by 45 percent statewide over the past week.
In Imperial County, which is on the Mexican border east of San Diego, the number of people testing positive rose to 23 percent, prompting state officials to call for the county to reinstate a stay-at-home order. In the Bay Area, Alameda County, which includes Oakland, paused reopening plans. And in Riverside County, which extends east of Los Angeles, officials said that intensive care unit bed capacity had reached 98.7 percent.
“This shouldn’t surprise anybody watching,” Mr. Newsom said.
Still, he said, if allowing many types of businesses to reopen with modifications has been a kind of experiment, the results are less than encouraging.
With more than 106,000 Covid-19 tests conducted across the state on Sunday — a record — the state’s average positivity rate, or share of tests that come back positive, has increased to 5.5 percent. That’s up from 4.4 percent, Mr. Newsom said, just a couple of weeks ago.
“We don’t like that trend line,” he said. “So we’ve been using this ‘dimmer switch’ to pull back.”
Elsewhere around the United States:
At least 15 states have paused or reversed plans to reopen, including North Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Nevada.
Officials in Montana announced more than 50 new cases on Monday, a single-day record. Montana and Hawaii are the only states with fewer than 1,000 known cases.
Black people account for more than 22 percent of the cases in Maine, but make up 1.6 percent of the state’s population, Sara Gideon, the speaker of the state House, said in a video posted on Twitter. Ms. Gideon, a Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent Susan Collins, pointed to structural inequities and institutional racism in the health care system.
A Pennsylvania company that sold bottles of hand sanitizer at an extreme markup on Amazon must refund customers nearly $14,000 and pay a $1,900 fine for price gouging, the state attorney general said. The Scranton retailer Goods And More Inc. charged as much as $109.99 for 24-packs of two-ounce bottles of sanitizer and as much as $39 for 12-ounce bottles of Purell, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
With Tennessee on the verge of 40,000 cases, Gov. Bill Lee extended a state of emergency until Aug. 29 — it had been set to expire June 30. Several other states, including New Jersey and Michigan, have taken similar steps, which give governors the power to impose certain restrictions and the flexibility to seek federal aid.
After weeks of donating the antiviral drug remdesivir to hospitals with severely ill patients, the drug’s maker, Gilead Sciences, announced today that it has settled on a price — $390 per vial, which works out to $2,340 per treatment course.