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Churchgoer potentially exposed 180 others to COVID-19

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Many people are itching to get outside and socialize especially as the weather gets warmer around the country but there's a fight to contain the virus corona virus still very much in full force and parts of southern California for instance the number of infections and deaths are relatively flat but as people gather health officials are saying new hot spots and spikes in the number of cases for more on California's efforts to contain the virus we have doctor George Rutherford via Skype he's an epidemiologist at the university of California San Francisco welcome Dr thank you so much well Dr let's start with the numbers a new deaths in California he stayed basically flat at about seventy a day up from a glance at the chart it looks like we're not seeing a steep decline in infections a California took a proactive approach in shutting down cities and implementing social distancing measures very early on why aren't we seeing better results well it's because transmissions on going and these deaths are occurring among people who are infected probably two to three weeks before and you know it's as long as there's ongoing transmission will continue to see deaths now it is black it's not going up and that's heartening but we would really like to see it coming down why is there on going transmission there's ongoing transmission I think first and foremost among people who live in large households and sold large multi generational families work passes from one person to another to another to another and it just keeps going also people get it when they go outside and especially if they're not wearing masks and if they're going into places where people are too close together and then finally we see a few cases among essential workers still and all of all of this in many ways is interconnected because when you talk about essential workers many of them may live in homes with lots of family members are intergenerational family members as you mentioned at the beginning as one of the complications to the stay at home order yes absolutely and and so these things do like together but to the extent that we can disentangle them and limit transmission outside of the home that's what's gonna take to get us down to a handful of cases this summer and moving from the governor stage two to the governor stage three re opening I mentioned southern California the state is not homogeneous and southern California seems to be doing worse than northern California why is that well to start with it's bigger I think the other thing probably that's going on is that at least compared to the bay area the rest of the state which include southern California went to a shelter in place orders about four days later and in southern California it really didn't seem like it sunk in until the following Monday so was almost six days later which represents at least one if not two generations of transmission of the virus of the chains of transmission or longer they're more cases by the time we went to a shelter in place order I think the other thing is are probably more introductions into southern California than there were in northern California you mean people coming into the state correct both from Asia but in Los Angeles print particular from Europe we know several chains of transmission that were tied to people coming from areas in Europe where there had been transmission that was a real big problem in New York with hundreds of new introductions from overseas I also want to ask you about something else their concerns that some of the rule counties are now moving further and to re opening and that they just don't have enough testing so some of those counties re opening are doing five to ten tests per one thousand people that's according to the LA times is that enough no I don't think so I think you know the governor's goal is to be able to have two hundred test per ten thousand people per day a lot of these cars are very small you know that they're gonna be able to get away with with fewer tests but on a per capita basis it should be about the same level and so I think that's something that needs to be worked on going forward now the chan Zuckerberg bio hub at university of California San Francisco is testing specimens for any local health department from anywhere in California so there is capacity for testing if they want to get the specimens down to San Francisco you know I mentioned earlier that we are saying some spikes and in southern California in particular we're hearing about these events where a single person can infect many others in Pasadena for instance officials traced a cluster of cases to a woman coughing at a birthday party what do you take away from that I mean there's also mother's day services in northern California Butte county that may have exposed a hundred and eighty people is it just impossible to have gatherings until we have a vaccine I think that's a fair way of thinking about it yes it's impossible to have gatherings unless people have masks on and they're outside and they're socially distance which seems like none of those conditions and get them back by either of the events you're citing you know it's just too dangerous you know you hope that they're no mortality from either of these events but it's playing with fire and you know we understand that people want to be able to get back to the life they used to leave you just can't happen quite yet I think that there's a really great example from Hong Kong which has had you know several thousand cases but only four deaths what they're doing is everybody wears masks and I think that the whole idea of wearing masks is what's going to get us out of this lease out out of it until we get to a

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