California accused of keeping coronavirus data secret

Gov.Gavin Newsom

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The state of California is refusing to disclose how exactly it calculates whether or not to lift Gov. Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home orders. [ABC News]

Newsom allows regions to emerge from stay-at-home orders when it is projected that in four weeks their ICU capacity will rise above 15%. 

When questioned about how they make the projections, state health officials said they rely on a complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public if disclosed.

The refusal to disclose how the projections are made contradicts what Newsom has said from the start, that his coronavirus policy decisions would be driven by data shared with the public to provide maximum transparency. 

Presently, particular confusion exists over the state’s decision to lift the stay-at-home order for the Greater Sacramento Region, where Newsom resides. 

Health officials projected the region’s ICU capacity would rise above 15%, even though at the time of the projection, it was below 10%. On Thursday, the ICU capacity for the Greater Sacramento Region was approximately 8% , about the same as when the order was lifted.

In comparison, San Luis Obispo County’s ICU capacity is at 50%. However, because the state placed SLO County in the Southern California Region, which has 0% ICU capacity, SLO County remains under Newsom’s stay-at-home order.

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