On Monday, July 27th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing at a Diamond Almonds facility in Stockton to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic.
The Governor opened by discussing the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 in the Central Valley. In response, he announced $52 million in federal grant funding for eight Central Valley counties. The monies will be aimed at “improving isolation, quarantine and testing protocols”, as well as “enhancing health care workers by providing more support and personnel.” Notably, the Legislature has to approve distribution of these funds. The Newsom Administration is also deploying three strike teams in the Central Valley, just like the state did in Imperial County.
As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. There are 6,912 positive COVID-19 hospital patients. Of those patients, 1,993 patients are in the ICU. Further, he said, the positivity rate is important to consider. The 14-day positivity average is 7.5 percent statewide. However, test positivity rates vary from county to county. As an example, in the Central Valley, Newsom reported Fresno is over 10 percent and Tulare is over 17 percent.
Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly was present at the briefing and offered some additional remarks regarding transmission rates in the Central Valley. Some hospitals in the region are overwhelmed, with nearly two-thirds of some ICUs filled with COVID-19 patients, he said.
Dr. Gil Chavez, a recently retired state epidemiologist who will serve as one of two co-chairs for state’s testing task force, also spoke at the briefing. He offered his presentation in Spanish and noted that Latinos and essential workers have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
Currently, there are 37 counties on the state’s monitoring list. The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.
During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about whether he is considering calling a special session. In response, he said, "As needed, we'll consider it." At this time, he has not decided that's necessary. He was also asked about the newly unveiled legislative Economic Stimulus Package, but said he is still reviewing the latest details. The plan can be found here.
Regarding testing— California is no longer encouraging everyone who wants a test to get one because of testing shortages and delays, Dr. Chavez said.
The briefing concluded approximately at 1:00 PM PDT.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. There are now a total of 453,659 (+1.9 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 8,416 (+0.9percent) deaths in California. As of July 26th, there have been 7,168,139 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 120,784 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
On July 24th, Newsom announced a host of new safeguards for California workers who face the greatest risk of COVID-19. He also committed to working with the Legislature and key stakeholders to expand critical protections like paid sick leave. For a copy of the Governor’s Office press release, please see here.
The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously. A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.
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