Newsom defends California reopening rules even as coronavirus cases rise

Gov. Gavin Newsom. <span class="copyright">(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)</span>
Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

As COVID-19 cases in California continue to climb, and the death toll tops 5,000, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday defended his administration’s decision to allow counties to ease the stay-at-home order and other restrictions.

Newsom said COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state remain stable weeks after restrictions started to be modified, during a period that included the busy Memorial Day weekend, and maintained that the safeguards in place continue to effectively slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The governor said requiring residents to remain isolated would threaten their overall well-being, including physical and mental health and finances. More than 5.5 million Californians have applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

“When you have people that are struggling and suffering with severe mental health and brain health issues, when people are not attending to their physical and emotional needs, those social determinants of

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