Friday, April 10th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held his roughly hour-long daily briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, Newsom opened by addressing California’s COVID-19 modeling, as well as mobility data that is being collected.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HSS), provided additional details by using visual slides complete with charts. See the example included in this email. His and Newsom’s messaging is clear – the stay-at-home orders and physical distancing efforts are working. However, both continue to repeat that the positive trends could change if California loses focus. In terms of when these orders may be lifted, Newsom said, "We have some detailed plans that we are very close to making public.”
Newsom also provided an update on efforts for seniors with a focus on skilled nursing facilities, said that the state is now monitoring 191 of the 1,224 skilled nursing facilities in California due to COVID-19 cases or concerns. Guidelines on this issue are forthcoming. Additionally, Newsom announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will step in to help provide meals to seniors at home who need help. "We are able now to partner with restaurants and begin to procure 3 meals a day of nutritious food," he said of the new effort.
Consistent with past briefings, Newsom provided the latest COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. The number of coronavirus hospitalizations is now 2,897. The number of coronavirus patients in ICU beds is 1,145, a 1.1 percent increase from the previous day. There was a decrease yesterday of 1.9 percent.
During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about plans if a natural disaster happens that requires a power shutoff. In response, he said, "We have the best and the brightest at Office of Emergency Services. All of that planning continues. We have National Guard focusing on vegetation management in anticipation of the fire season." On this question, he continued, "All this work we did on PG&E and the bankruptcy was predicated on a safety-first culture to substantially increase their public safety efforts and do so before June 30th, if indeed they are going to emerge from bankruptcy. We're monitoring..."
Yesterday, following Newsom’s daily briefing, the Governor’s office issued a press release with the details of the state’s new program to provide doctors, nurses and other critical front-line health care workers access to no-cost or low-cost hotel rooms. The press release mentioned a partnership with United Airlines, which will provide free, round-trip flights for volunteer medical professionals from across California and the country who join the state’s health care workforce. A copy of the Governor’s press release can be found here.
Also, on April 9th, Newsom announced that starting this Sunday, California workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will begin receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount, as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC) initiated by the CARES Act. In the last four weeks, California has processed about 2.3 million unemployment insurance claims, which is more than the total number of claims filed in 2019. A copy of the Governor’s Press release can be found here.
Newsom also signed an executive order (EO) to address upcoming local elections. Three local special elections that have been scheduled for May and June will be held as all-mail ballot elections. A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and the text of the order can be found here. A copy of the Governor’s press release can be found here.
Additionally, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has urged insurance companies to extend auto insurance coverage for drivers who are using their personal vehicles to fulfill deliveries for California’s essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under today’s Notice, insurance companies should not deny a claim under a personal auto policy solely because the driver was providing delivery service on behalf of a California essential business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Notice applies to 16 categories of “essential critical infrastructure workers” identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 19th, including those who deliver food, medication, and other essential goods. A copy of the Notice can be found here. A copy of the Department of Insurance (DOI) press release can be found here.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) also issued a press release offering guidance on lobbying filing deadlines in wake of COVID-19. The release stated, “If circumstances caused by COVID-19 inhibit the filing of a lobbying report or statement, the filer should communicate these issues to the Secretary of State’s Office and document all attempts to file and the issues faced. While quarterly lobbying reports are filed electronically, the law requires certain other statements be filed on paper with an original signature. Restrictions imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19 may make the logistics of filing documents on paper with original signatures difficult or even impossible. To the extent that is the case, people required to file lobbying forms on paper with original signatures are encouraged to make use of digital and electronic options for filing reports to ensure timely filing (e.g. email and fax filing, scanned and/or photocopied signatures, electronic signatures, etc.). Paper statements with originals would need to be filed when feasible.” A copy of the FPPC press release can be found here.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19 – there are a total of 18,309 confirmed positive cases and 492 deaths in California. As of April 8th, local health departments have reported 1,803 confirmed positive cases in health care workers: this includes on-the-job exposures, and other exposures, such as travel and close family contact. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.
The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.
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