SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions were trending downward in California.

Though far from taking a victory lap, the governor announced that the numbers are starting to move in the right direction – Cases in the last two weeks are down 21-percent, and the percentage of those testing positive has dropped from 7.5-percent to 7-percent.

“Not where it needs to be but better to see number trending down than trending up,” Newsom said.

Newsom said in his coronavirus briefing that the state’s Central Valley is still being hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic.

He added that the state will implement a similar approach in the Central Valley that was used in Imperial County to “fight the rapid rise of infections.”

The governor also announced hospitalizations are down statewide by 10-percent over the last two weeks and ICU admissions are down just 5-percent.

“But encouraging signs but one week does not make a trend that gives us confidence to generate headlines. We are looking forward to that but we need to see another few weeks of this kinds of data to come in to feel confident in where we are as a state,” Newsom said.

He credited changes in personal behavior coupled with the shutdown of certain businesses for the improved numbers but he says more distancing, mask wearing and hand washing is needed.

He also called on those exposed to do the right thing.

“We are seeing lots of spread in backyards, front yards and living rooms, important if living with someone who is positive, or exposed, stay home, don’t share items, disinfect to mitigate the spread,” Newsom said.

In the meantime, he has stern words for school districts throughout the state that are forcing teachers to come into the classrooms for distance learning.

“I expect and demand respectfully that spirit of cooperation manifest at the local level and people not be put in harm’s way as caregivers, teachers, support staff janitors bus drivers secretaries maintenance works as our children,” Newsom said.

There are currently a total of 38 counties on the state’s COVID-19 watch list.

All Bay Area counties are on the list.

On Sunday, California added over 9,000 new cases compared to May 8, when it was just over 2,000.

That makes the Golden State first in the US to top half a million cases.

Last week, Newsom announced more support for Central Valley counties amid the pandemic as well as new virus protections for essential workers.

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