Gov. Gavin Newsom has advised Imperial County’s health officials to reinstate its stay-at-home order, he announced in a news conference.
Imperial County has a coronavirus positivity rate of 23%, with a case rate of 680 in the past week. The population of Imperial County is approximately 181,000.
These rates are well above state thresholds, said Sonia Angell, the state's health director. The state guidelines are a case rate of 100 and a positivity rate of 10%.
More than 500 patients have been transferred out of Imperial County in the past five weeks, the governor said, and reinforcements from the state, including 44 National Guard members, have been sent in to assist.
More details: Imperial County lies just east of San Diego along the borders of Arizona and Mexico.
Some drivers of the uptick include US citizens returning to the states to seek health care, the California Department of Public Health said earlier this week.
The governor said “it’s too early to tell” if the high number of cases in Arizona are a contributing factor to increases in Imperial County, but a "deep dive" study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is underway to look at that data.
Imperial is one of 15 counties under what Newsom calls a "watch list" as concerns mount in the state.