During a routine update Monday on COVID-19's impact throughout the state, Newsom stressed the importance for individuals to "mitigate the likelihood and need" to reverse course by being mindful of their actions as more aspects of the economy are reopened.
"We don't intend to do that, we don't want to do that, but I want to make this clear - we are prepared to do that if we must," Newsom said. "Clearly we have the capacity, individual and collective capacity, not to have to go in that direction by just being a little bit more thoughtful about how we go about our day-to-day lives."
Although individual counties have the authority to enforce certain health requirements, the governor said the more important tool for enforcing those protocols lies with the "moral persuasion each and everyone one of us has as individuals to be good examples."
Newsom's statements came days after issuing a statewide order that requires Californians to wear a mask in high-risk settings.
California reported more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases in its daily update Tuesday, the highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic began, according to The Associated Press. The state reported a total of 183,073 confirmed cases to date. There have been almost 3.5 million tests conducted in California.
The increase is coming as the state continues to allow more businesses to reopen.
State officials note that the more critical numbers reflecting hospitalization rates are showing only a "slight uptick" in the 14-day average. There are 3,868 hospitalizations involving confirmed cases with 1,225 in the ICU. There are another 1,197 hospitalizations that are suspected, but not confirmed cases, with 196 in the ICU.
Overall there have been 5,550 fatalities in the state, a one-day increase of 65 deaths.
WATCH: Here's a breakdown of Newsom's four stage plan to reopening California