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  • Wednesday, July 08, 2020 11:22 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

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    SPECIAL ALERT

    As with all things COVID-19 related, we once again see an unprecedented move with the passing of a temporary "right to reemployment" ordinance that did not require the mayor's signature. On June 23, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted in favor of legislature requiring San Francisco employers with 100 or more employees to "offer a right to reemployment" to certain workers who were laid off due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    The ordinance was enacted on July 3, 2020 and obligates covered businesses to comply within 30 days (by August 2, 2020). It will remain in effect through September 1, 2020 unless the Board votes to extend it.

    Employers in San Francisco should be aware of the following criteria:

    • Who is covered? Applies to any for-profit or non-profit business operating in San Francisco on or after February 25, 2020 with 100 or more employees. Many healthcare businesses are exempt.
    • How is layoff defined? For purposes of this ordinance, a layoff is considered a separation of employment affecting 10 or more employees within a 30 day period, including business closures. The layoff must have occurred because of the San Francisco's emergency health declaration and/or due to orders to shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Who is an eligible worker? An "eligible worker" is an individual who had been employed for at least 90 days at or before the time of layoff.
    • What notice(s) are required? While the ordinance is in effect, employers must provide notice to all "eligible workers" in a language the individual understands which includes the effective date, rehire rights, and the Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) hotline number. Employers must inform the OEWD within 30 days of the layoff the total number of employees affected with job classifications, original hire dates, and separation dates.
    • Are there record retention requirements? Employers must keep records of each layoff for 2 years including the worker's legal name, job classification, hire date, last known address, email, phone number, and copy of the layoff notice.

    READ MORE DETAILS >>

    Please continue to check our Additional Resources page for updated information.

    CEA is here to support you during the COVID-19 Crisis.

     

    Call 800.399.5331 or email us at CEAinfo@employers.org

    California Employers Association
    1451 River Park Drive, #116
    Sacramento, California 95815
    (800) 399-5331   employers.org

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  • Monday, July 06, 2020 4:08 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, July 6th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Newsom’s opening remarks were focused the County Monitoring list.  There are now 23 counties on the list (see below), up from 19 last week.  A county gets put on the list if the state decides their COVID-19 numbers are trending in the wrong direction for three days in a row.  He also reiterated that California is monitoring COVID-19 closely in each local community.  Current local data can be found here


    Additionally, he addressed workplace safety guidelines and enforcement efforts.  Over the holiday weekend, Newsom said there was a "significant increase in enforcement,'' including 5,986 in-person visits to bars and restaurants by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.  Additionally, the Department of Industrial Relations & Division of Occupational Safety and Health contacted 441,755 businesses with in-person visits ,emails and calls – and a majority of businesses corrected deficiencies on the spot.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 5,669 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,711 are in the ICU.  COVID-19 patients represent 15 percent of ICU bed population.  Ventilators continue to be plentiful at the moment in the aggregate, but there are areas of local concern.

    Further, Newsom said, the positivity rate is important to consider.  The 14-day positivity average is over 6.8 percent, it was less than 5 percent two weeks ago.  California tested 127,000 people on Saturday, a record number.  The state is averaging 104,000 tests a day over the last week.

    In closing, Newsom implored Californians once more to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, and wash their hands. 

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about contact tracing.  In response, he stated, "We now have over 10,600 people who have been trained as contact tracers.  Many more are being trained on a weekly basis and we want to see more contact tracing."

    Regarding San Quentin State Prison – Newsom said the state is continuing to work on the COVID-19 issues within the prison system and San Quentin is a top concern. Further, he seemed to place responsibility on the  federal court appointed prison health receiver for why prisoners were transferred this spring out of Chino prison, subsequently spreading virus to places like San Quentin. "We shouldn't have done that transfer," Newsom said.  The Governor also knowledge that issues at San Quentin have put a strain on Marin General Hospital but the state is monitoring/working to address this.

    The briefing concluded approximately at 12:45 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 260,155 (+2.1 percent) confirmed positive cases and 6,331 (+0.3 percent) deaths in California.  As of July 3rd, there have been 4,553,031 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 104,855 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    Also, on July 4th, the California Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, issued a statement urging laboratories in California to prioritize testing turnaround for individuals who are most at risk of spreading the virus to others.  A copy of the CDPH news release can be found here.

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Thursday, July 02, 2020 2:48 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Thursday, July 2nd, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Just prior to the start of the briefing, the California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell issued a statement warning Californians not to gather with family, friends and loved ones this Fourth of July weekend to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  “Any public or private events this weekend that include people who do not live together in the same household should not happen. This includes family get-togethers.”  A copy of the statement can be found here.

    Newsom’s opening remarks were focused on the importance of wearing a mask. Recall, on June 18th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings in California when in public or common spaces. 

    As depicted below, Newsom said, “When you cough, droplets go about six feet.  If you take a big exhale, it's 4.5 feet.  But if you sneeze, it's 26 feet.  Masks mitigate the spread of droplets and keep us all healthier.”


    Newsom then announced a new public awareness campaign, that he said is much more comprehensive and dynamic to encourage people to wear masks and mitigate the spread of the virus.  The public service announcements (PSAs) will be in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Spanish.   Additionally, the campaign will utilize radio, television, billboards and social media.  Thus far, $10.75 million has been raised for the campaign and over $20 million in in-kind contributions. 

    Newsom offered a preview of the campaign by playing an unsettling ad with a person struggling to breathe on a ventilator while text warns "People can die. People like your mom. People like your grandpa."  The entire ad was also posted on Twitter (@CAgovernor) and can be found here.

    Additionally, the Governor reported that several jurisdictions are issuing local orders to follow state guidelines ahead of the holiday weekend.  “We expect all 19 counties to come into compliance, and if not, our hand will be forced in the spirit this moment requires.  We've also seen great actions from Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura County to close beaches over the weekend and making other local decisions.”

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 5,196 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,416 are in the ICU.  Hospitalizations have increased 56 percent over two weeks.  The ICU figure represents a 49 percent increase in the last 14 days.  Further, Newsom noted that as testing increases, the positivity rate is becoming more important.  The 14-day positivity average is over 6.3 percent. The data shows the state’s healthcare system has available capacity—COVID-19 patients are filling 16 percent of the state’s ICU capacity.   California has 11,480 available ventilators. 

    In closing, Newsom implored Californians once more to avoid crowds over the Fourth of July weekend.  Further, he said, "Counties with mandatory closures should consider canceling firework shows.  Many cities have already done this, or are requiring people to watch them from their cars.  And Californians shouldn't gather with people they don't live with."  He also urged everyone to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands. 

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked why the onus has been put on businesses, rather than individuals, to enforce COVID-19 restrictions.  In response, he said that the onus is not entirely on businesses – "We are making $2.5 billion for local governments contingent on whether they enforce.  By definition, that transcends just the business sector.  We have enforcement teams going out in six different regions.”  In fact, Newsom was repeatedly asked about enforcement or rather lack thereof.  

    Newsom was also asked why places such as fitness centers and churches are still allowed to be open in counties that are on the county monitoring list.   He said that while these sectors are allowed to stay open, the guidelines for those establishments have been updated.  As it related to casinos, Newsom said his administration has spoken with sovereign tribal nations. 

    Regarding the California Highway Patrol (CHP) issuing permits this weekend for a 300-person demonstration and some weddings and whether that causes mixed messaging – the Governor said he is not familiar with the specific permits.  He turned to California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci, who stated:  “We have been trying to provide the opportunity for people to protest.  CHP is looking at how it can be done safely, taking into account the Governor's order, and physical distancing.  We're trying to balance it with safety and security.”

    The briefing concluded approximately at 12:55 PM PDT.

    Yesterday, July 1st, Newsom and the CDPH released guidance directing counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days or more to close indoor operations for certain sectors which promote the mixing of populations beyond households and make adherence to physical distancing and wearing face coverings difficult. The guidance applies for a minimum of three weeks and is subject to an extension based on epidemiologic indicators.  The sectors include: indoor dine-in restaurants; indoor wineries and tasting rooms; indoor family entertainment centers; indoor movie theaters; indoor zoos and museums; and indoor cardrooms.  A copy of the CDPH news release can be found here.

    The CDPH has also announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 232,657 confirmed positive cases and 6,090 deaths in California.  As of June 30th, there have been 4,254,176 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 87,037 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  Also, as of June 30th, local health departments have reported 15,145 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 91 deaths statewide.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 30th, Newsom visited a Project Roomkey motel in Pittsburg, Contra Costa County to highlight the progress that the state and counties have made in providing isolation capacity to protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 and to launch Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s effort to protect vulnerable homeless Californians from the pandemic.  A copy of the Governor’s office news release can be found here.

    In addition, Newsom issued an executive order extending authorization for local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30th.  The order also addresses a variety of other issues in response to the pandemic.  The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.  The Governor’s office news release can be found here.

    On June 28th, the CDPH and California Governor Gavin Newsom released guidance on the closure of bars for counties on the County Monitoring List.  The Department recommends that counties on the list for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, close bars through local health officer order (or do not allow for the opening if bars have not yet been allowed to open in the county).  Counties which have been on the list for 14 days or more are required to immediately close bars.  A copy of the CDPH press release can be found here.

    On June 25th, Newsom released tools, technology, and data that will allow scientists, researchers, technologists, and all Californians to better understand the impact of COVID-19.  This includes the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, a “model of models” that contains assessments of the spread of COVID-19, short-term forecasts of disease trends, and scenarios of the course of the disease from modeling groups across the country.  More information about the California COVID Assessment Tool can be found here.  A copy of the Governor’s news release can be found here.

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Wednesday, July 01, 2020 4:34 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, July 1st, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update tomorrow on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Today, Newsom opened by stating that COVID-19 continues to spread across California at an alarming rate and further action is required to stop the spread of the virus. 

    As depicted below, effective immediately, the state is instructing certain sectors (including restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms; movie theaters; family entertainment centers; cardrooms; and zoos and museums) to close indoor operations.  This guidance will remain in place for three weeks.  This applies to all counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days.  At present, this will apply to 19 counties.


    Newsom also ordered beach parking facility closures for the Fourth of July weekend.  In counties that close local beaches, the state will follow suit and close state beaches.  Other state parks will remain open, with measures in place to reduce visitation and limit overcrowding.

    Additionally, for the Fourth of July weekend, counties with mandatory closures should consider canceling firework shows.  Many localities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have already taken this step.  Newsom also said Californians should not gather with people they do not live with and avoid crowds.

    As it pertains to enforcement, California will enforce public health orders with Multi-Agency Strike Teams.  These teams will target non-compliant workplaces.  Strike Teams will be composed of representatives from several state agencies including Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC); CalOSHA; Department of Business Oversight; Department of Consumer Affairs; and California Highway Patrol (CHP).   Teams will build partnerships with local public health departments and businesses. 

    Mark Ghilarducci, Director at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) was present at the briefing and offered some additional details regarding the strike teams.  “The primary effort is coordinating these strike teams.  As we see non-compliance, we will have these agencies and departments leverage their regulatory authority to enforce the public health orders in place throughout the state,” he said.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. He reported that there are 5,077 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  This figure represents a 6.3 percent increase over the previous day.   Of those patients, 1,528 are in the ICU.  The ICU figure represents a 4.3 percent increase.  Further, Newsom noted that as testing increases, the positivity rate is becoming more important.  The 14-day positivity average is over 6 percent.   In the last week, California’s positivity rate has gotten higher.  Currently, the data shows the state’s healthcare system has available capacity.   California has 11,430 available ventilators. 

    In closing, Newsom urged everyone to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands.  "Wearing a face covering is a sign of toughness. It's a sign of resolve. It's a sign of someone who gives a damn."

    Today, there was no Q&A portion because of technical difficulties.

    The briefing concluded approximately at 12:45 PM PDT.

    Yesterday, June 30th, Newsom visited a Project Roomkey motel in Pittsburg, Contra Costa County to highlight the progress that the state and counties have made in providing isolation capacity to protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 and to launch Homekey, the next phase in the state’s effort to protect vulnerable homeless Californians from the pandemic.  A copy of the Governor’s office news release can be found here.

    In addition, Newsom issued an executive order extending authorization for local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through September 30th.  The order also addresses a variety of other issues in response to the pandemic.  The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.  The Governor’s office news release can be found here.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 222,917 (+2.9 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 5,980 deaths (+0.7 percent increase) in California.  As of June 29th, there have been 4,167,139 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 105,447 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  Also, as of June 29th, local health departments have reported 14,942 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 89 deaths statewide.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 28th, the CDPH and California Governor Gavin Newsom released guidance on the closure of bars for counties on the County Monitoring List.  The Department recommends that counties on the list for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, close bars through local health officer order (or do not allow for the opening if bars have not yet been allowed to open in the county).  Counties which have been on the list for 14 days or more are required to immediately close bars.  A copy of the CDPH press release can be found here.

    On June 25th, Newsom released tools, technology, and data that will allow scientists, researchers, technologists, and all Californians to better understand the impact of COVID-19.  This includes the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, a “model of models” that contains assessments of the spread of COVID-19, short-term forecasts of disease trends, and scenarios of the course of the disease from modeling groups across the country.  More information about the California COVID Assessment Tool can be found here.  A copy of the Governor’s news release can be found here.

    On June 18th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings in California when in public or common spaces. 

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 1:10 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, June 30th at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing in the City of Pittsburg to provide an update on Project Roomkey, the state’s initiative to provide safe isolation capacity for Californians experiencing homelessness in order to protect them and the state from COVID-19.

    "We have not taken our eye off the ball," Newsom said of homelessness at the start of his remarks. Homelessness has always been top of mind for his Administration.

    Newsom reiterated that California was the first state in the nation to secure FEMA approval to provide safe isolation capacity for tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness.  The program, Project Roomkey, had set an initial goal of securing up to 15,000 rooms for this purpose.  Today, Newsom reported that significant progress has been made on this effort.  “We have 15,679 rooms in our Project Roomkey portfolio for homeless Californians.  We estimate 14,200 individuals have been brought off the streets and out of encampments and into units.”  To anchor this progress, Project Roomkey will now be called “Project Homekey” with the aim of making the housing permanent.

    The Governor also said that the state’s budget continues to include funding to address homelessness.  "The budget I signed yesterday provided an additional $1.3 billion to cities and counties to support programs like this … $900 million comes from state and additional funding from the CARES Act.” 

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. He reported that there are 4,776 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  This figure represents a 4.3 percent increase over the previous day.   Of those patients, 1,465 are in the ICU.  The ICU figure represents a 5.8 percent increase.  Further, Newsom noted that as testing increases, the positivity rate is becoming more important.  The 14-day positivity average is 5.5 percent.  Additionally, nineteen counties are on the watch list, but another four are expected to be added in the next day.

    In closing, Newsom said tomorrow he will make new announcements ahead of the July 4th weekend related to enforcement, and that it's time to "toggle back on the stay-at-home order and tighten things up" as cases continue to rise.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was again asked about state prisons and San Quentin in particular.  In response, he said the state is working on providing increased support to these facilities as they are becoming a hotbed for infections.

    Notably, the briefing was shorter than normal because of protesters and it concluded approximately at 12:36 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 216,550 (+2.5 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 5,936 deaths (+0.5 percent increase) in California.  As of June 28th, 4,061,692 tests have been conducted in California and reported to the CDPH.  This represents an increase of 105,740 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  Also, as of June 28th, local health departments have reported 14,837 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 88 deaths statewide.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 28th, the CDPH and California Governor Gavin Newsom released guidance on the closure of bars for counties on the County Monitoring List.  The Department recommends that counties on the list for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, close bars through local health officer order (or do not allow for the opening if bars have not yet been allowed to open in the county).  Counties which have been on the list for 14 days or more are required to immediately close bars.  A copy of the CDPH press release can be found here.

    On June 25th, Newsom released tools, technology, and data that will allow scientists, researchers, technologists, and all Californians to better understand the impact of COVID-19.  This includes the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, a “model of models” that contains assessments of the spread of COVID-19, short-term forecasts of disease trends, and scenarios of the course of the disease from modeling groups across the country.  More information about the California COVID Assessment Tool can be found here.  A copy of the Governor’s news release can be found here.

    On June 18th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings in California when in public or common spaces. 

    Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Monday, June 29, 2020 4:00 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, June 29th at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Today, Newsom began by recounting the state actions taken to address this crisis.  As part of his recap, he mentioned California working with the federal government; issuing a statewide Stay-at-Home order; allowing for local attestations; and developing a four-phase approach to reopening. 

    Additionally, Newsom noted that the state is also requiring counties to use a "dimmer switch" to dial back reopening plans as conditions change.  He offered some examples of recent state actions including: requiring seven counties to close bars to slow the spread of the virus; recommending another eight counties to their close bars; directing Imperial County to maintain Stay-at-Home order due to community transmission. "We are doing this because we have seen an increase in the spread of this virus," Newsom said.

    More specifically, on June 28th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the governor released guidance on the closure of bars for counties on the County Monitoring List.  The Department recommends that counties on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, close bars through local health officer order (or do not allow for the opening if bars have not yet been allowed to open in the county). Counties which have been on the list for 14 days or more are required to immediately close bars.  Impacted counties for mandatory bar closure include: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, and Tulare.   The counties recommended for bar closure include:  Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, and Ventura.   Also, CDPH noted, the following counties do not have bars open currently and are recommended to keep them closed (Contra Costa and Santa Clara) or required to keep them closed (Imperial and San Joaquin) based upon their duration on the county monitoring list.  The CDPH press release can be found here.

    Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services, offered additional information regarding the state’s County Monitoring List using the slide below.  As shown, 19 counties are now receiving “targeted technical assistance”.  Four counties – Solano, Merced, Orange, Glenn –  were added today.  In total, the counties on the list represent about 72 percent of the state’s population.

    Dr. Ghaly said that the state is watching for several local conditions including elevated disease transmission, increasing hospitalizations and limited hospital capacity.  Finally, using the slide below, Dr. Ghaly noted that the state is taking a tiered approach to local circumstances.

    Newsom also addressed state enforcement.  “I will be signing a budget later today that ties $2.5 billion to certification from counties that they are adhering to and enforcing these orders,” he said.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. He reported that there are 4,577 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  This figure represents a 1.8 percent increase over the previous day.   Of those patients, 1,385 are in the ICU.  The ICU figure represents a 0.4 percent increase.   For context, hospitalizations are up 43 percent in last two weeks.  But there is still plenty of overall hospital capacity, Newsom said.

    Specific to California's COVID-19 test positivity rate, Newsom reported that on Sunday, California had 5,307 people test positive, which was a 45 percent increase over a 7- day period.  The state is now at a 5.5 percent positivity rate over the last 14 days.  The positivity rate over seven days is even higher, at 5.9 percent.  Two weeks ago, it was 4.4 percent. "We don't like the trend line," Newsom said.

    Towards the end of the briefing, Newsom spoke about COVID-19 in state prisons.  He reported that 2,589 inmates have tested positive for the virus.  At San Quentin, there are 1,011 cases as of this morning.  “That is our deep area of focus and concern right now."  About 42 percent of the inmates at San Quentin are deemed medically vulnerable, which has been a factor in looking at who can be released early.  He said many of the people under review have nowhere to go once they get out, so that has posed a challenge.  However, Newsom did take a moment to address the past efforts made to “decompress” the prison system including capping intakes, changing transfers processes, and releasing some 3,500 inmates close to completing sentences.  He also referenced that the Legislature will be holding an oversight hearing on this issue later this week.

    During the Q&A portion of the press briefing, Newsom was asked about why he did not require the closing of bars statewide.  In response, he reiterated local conditions drive the state’s response.   Additionally, Newsom hinted that additional orders could be forthcoming to build on the bar closures he mandated over the weekend, but offered no details.  “We are considering a number of other things to advance, and we will be making those public as conditions change.”

    The press briefing concluded approximately at 1:15 PM PDT.

    The CDPH announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 211,243 (+2.3 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 5,905 deaths (+0.6 percent increase) in California. More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom released tools, technology, and data that will allow scientists, researchers, technologists, and all Californians to better understand the impact of COVID-19.  This includes the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, a “model of models” that contains assessments of the spread of COVID-19, short-term forecasts of disease trends, and scenarios of the course of the disease from modeling groups across the country.  More information about the California COVID Assessment Tool can be found here.  A copy of the Governor’s news release can be found here.

    Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Friday, June 26, 2020 9:00 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Covid-19 liability protection for small businesses emerges in Legislature

    By Katy Murphy - POLITICO 

    06/26/2020 08:58 PM EDT

    SACRAMENTO — A nationwide push for Covid-19 liability protection has suddenly gained a foothold in California with a new bill to give legal immunity to small businesses.

    CA AB1035 (19R) — which emerged Friday morning as a gut-and-amend proposal — would shield from Covid-19 lawsuits businesses with 25 or fewer employees that have followed state public health laws and protocols.

    The urgency legislation sets up a fight between business groups and consumer and labor interests during an economic reopening fraught with a troubling uptick in positive cases and hospitalizations. If it passes with the two-thirds vote its authors are seeking for it to take effect immediately, it could push Gov. Gavin Newsom into rocky political terrain, forcing him to pick sides.

    The Democratic governor has so far held off on a June 5 bipartisan request from two dozen lawmakers — including the bill's co-authors, Assemblymembers James Ramos (D-Highland) and Chad Mayes, a Republican-turned-Independent from Yucca Valley — to issue an executive order shielding small businesses from lawsuits from employees or customers who contract the disease.

    Ramos pointed to the state's soaring unemployment rate and the many minority-owned small businesses that are on the verge of permanent closure amid the pandemic. The threat of legal exposure, he argues, could further complicate their reopening.

    "California’s four million small businesses are struggling and need assistance," Ramos said in a statement on Friday. "We need to help them reopen so that employees and the state get back to work."

    The details of the new proposal are so thin, however, that two groups that have been pushing generally for liability provisions, the California Chamber of Commerce and the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, had yet to take a position Friday.

    The proposal has "great promise," said John Kabateck, NFIB's California state director. "We have grave concern that a number of scheming plaintiffs attorneys will seize the moment to prey upon vulnerable, unprepared small business owners during this chaotic time," he said.

    In its current form, the bill would not protect other types of organizations, such as colleges, which — at least nationally — have pushed for a liability shield. Another point of contention could be a provision that limits the bill's application only to establishments that follow "all applicable state and local health laws, regulations, and protocols."

    But one prominent employment attorney describes this and other Covid-19 liability-shield proposals as worrisome and unnecessary. An employee would have no case against a business that followed state and federal public safety guidelines, even if the business was not shielded from such lawsuits, argued Wendy Musell, an attorney based in San Francisco.

    Policymakers should be focused on increasing public health and safety compliance, she said, not eroding standards by expanding legal immunity.

    "This is part of an incredibly troubling trend," Musell said. "It will not assist us to get back on our feet economically and it will cause much more damage. We rely on these basic workplace protections to keep us all safe."

    AB 1035 is slated to be heard next by the Senate Judiciary Committee, likely after the Senate reconvenes next month from summer recess.

    To view online:
    https://subscriber.politicopro.com/states/california/story/2020/06/26/covid-19-liability-protection-for-small-businesses-emerges-in-legislature-1295347


  • Friday, June 26, 2020 3:59 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Friday, June 26th at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Today, Newsom was at Tri-Tool, a manufacturing facility in Rancho Cordova.   He kicked off his remarks by noting that California is the largest manufacturing state in the nation.  He then announced a partnership with the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) to advance the "Safely Making California” Marketplace.  This online tool aims to connect CMTA member manufacturers and other manufacturers to employers who have the need to purchase non-medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Further, through this partnership, the state can help ensure California-based manufacturers are procuring products for Californians.  Finally, to help manufacturers stay operational, Newsom said the state is also making protective gear available at no cost to trade associations in need. 

    Lance Hastings, President of CMTA, was present at the briefing and also offered some remarks.  “This pandemic has spurred great innovation and this system will unleash the great power and resiliency of California manufacturing in this crisis,” he stated. 

    The website can be found here: http://SafelyMakingCA.org.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. He reported that there are 4,380 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  This figure represents a 3.3 percent increase over the previous day.   Of those patients, 1,364 are in the ICU.  The ICU figure represents a 4.4 percent increase.  Further, Newsom noted that as testing increases, the positivity rate is becoming more important.  The 2-week positivity average is 5.3 percent.  Over the last week, it is 5.7 percent. 

    On testing – Newsom said the California Testing Task Force is wrapping up its work, as the state is averaging over 88,000 tests a day.  Nevertheless, he stressed the need to test more people.

    On regional variance – Newsom said the state is monitoring all 58 counties but has focused its technical assistance on 15 counties that were on the state's “watch list” for “more targeted support".  Newsom specifically spoke about Imperial County.   Imperial County’s conditions need a unique set of supports, he said.  The hospitals are being overwhelmed and its testing positivity rate is alarmingly high.  The state has been sending additional resources there, but the state is advising the county to reinstitute more strict stay-at-home orders.  Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer, offered additional details.  She reported that Imperial County has seen 680 new cases over last week, far more than the threshold to allow reopening.

    During the Q&A portion of the press briefing, Newsom was asked about whether he would pull back reopening efforts amid increasing COVID-19 cases.  In response, he reiterated that local health officers make these decisions based on the conditions in their communities.  Newsom added that the system is working and he made reference to actions taken in San Francisco to slow down.  "What San Francisco did is exactly what the system was designed to do…California is not one size fits all.”

    The press briefing concluded approximately at 1:06 PM PDT.

    On June 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom released tools, technology, and data that will allow scientists, researchers, technologists, and all Californians to better understand the impact of COVID-19.  This includes the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, a “model of models” that contains assessments of the spread of COVID-19, short-term forecasts of disease trends, and scenarios of the course of the disease from modeling groups across the country.  More information about the California COVID Assessment Tool can be found here.  A copy of the Governor’s news release can be found here.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 195,571 (+2.8 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 5,733 deaths (+1.8 percent increase) in California.  As of June 23rd, 3,592,899 tests have been conducted in California and reported to the CDPH.  This represents an increase of 95,970 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  Also, as of June 23rd, local health departments have reported 13,737 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 85 deaths statewide.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 18th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings in California when in public or common spaces. 

    Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Thursday, June 25, 2020 2:44 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Thursday, June 25th at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    At the top of his remarks, Newsom reinforced that California is still in the first wave of the pandemic.  Today, he again addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers using a slide deck presentation.  Specifically, Newsom stated: “California’s positivity rate has increased to 5.1 percent over the last 14 days and 5.6 percent in the last 7 days.  Yesterday, we had a record high of 7,149 people who tested positive.  That number dropped today to 5,349, but still higher than we would like it to be.”  Also yesterday, over 101,000 people were tested for COVID-19 in California.  Although testing has been increasing, the state still is not testing enough, Newsom said.

    As he does regularly, Newsom provided the latest COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  He reported that there are 4,095 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  This figure represents a 5.9 percent increase over the previous day.   Of those patients, 1,268 are in the ICU.  The ICU figure represents a 3.5 percent increase.  For additional context, Newsom said 8 percent of our hospital surge capacity has been absorbed and roughly 34 percent of the state’s available ICU beds are being used. 

    Newsom also announced CalCAT –California’s COVID-19 modeling tool to inform state and local response.  Newsom said the modeling enables the state to gain additional insights into the actions that can be taken collectively to reduce the spread of the virus.  He also wants people with expertise in coding/math/AI to have access to this data and help improve the modeling.  The website can be found here: https://calcat.covid19.ca.gov/cacovidmodels/.

    Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly was also present at the briefing and offered additional details regarding the modeling.

    In closing, Newsom applauded Disney for making data-informed decisions.  Disney recently announced postponing its planned reopening of California theme parks.  He also reminded folks, “We reserve the right to slow down before entering into the next phase and the right to toggle back in terms of the statewide stay-at-home order and the guidance that we've put out.” Finally, he stressed the importance of wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing, washing your hands, and staying home if you are older or having underlying medical conditions.

    During the Q&A portion of the press briefing, Newsom was asked for an explicit benchmark for when the state will begin pulling back on reopening.  In response, he said the healthcare system is critical: “When our system ca not absorb or when there's a capacity limitation that sets off alarm bells.”

    Regarding masks in schools— Newsom candidly said conversations are ongoing on this issue.  “It is a more complicated question than you can imagine based on the thousand-plus school districts and the myriad of opinions that are coming back.”

    On the state budget and the protected family leave proposal – Newsom defended the idea and stated people should not be concerned about being fired if they are sick.

    The press briefing concluded approximately at 1:05 PM PDT.

    This morning, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation of a budget emergency to make additional resources available to fund the state’s ongoing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures as necessary to support a potential hospital surge and provide necessary services to vulnerable populations.  Today’s proclamation clears the way for the Legislature to pass legislation allowing the state to draw from the state’s rainy day fund to help California continue to meet the COVID-19 crisis.  The text of the Governor’s proclamation can be found here and a copy can be found here.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 190,222 (+3.9 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 5,632 deaths (+0.9 percent increase) in California.  As of June 23rd, 3,592,899 tests have been conducted in California and reported to the CDPH.  This represents an increase of 95,970 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  Also, as of June 23rd, local health departments have reported 13,737 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 85 deaths statewide.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 18th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings in California when in public or common spaces. 

    Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here.  The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020 12:47 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, June 24th at 11:00 AM PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    At the top of his remarks, Newsom addressed California’s COVID-19 numbers using a slide deck.  He acknowledged that the state is seeing a record number of new coronavirus cases.  Part of the case number increase is because of increased testing.  However, Newsom said the additional testing is not the only reason for an uptake in infections.  The positivity rate is also ticking up.  In early June, the positivity rate was 4.6 percent, now it is 5.1 percent.

    As he does regularly, Newsom provided the latest COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  He reported that there are 3,868 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  This figure represents a 4.5 percent increase over the previous day.   Of those patients, 1,225 are in the ICU.  The ICU figure represents a 2.2  percent increase.  For additional context, Newsom said COVID-19 patients are taking up 8 percent of California's hospital capacity.  Further, about 30 percent of intensive care unit capacity is being used for COVID-19 patients.  Over 11,500 ventilators are available throughout the system. 

    With the data provided, Newsom’s message can be summarized as follows: California has been seen recent increases in COVID-19 cases, but the state remains in good place to address the situation. 

    However, Newsom warned that if we simply to go back to “normal” the virus will continue to spread.  He implored everyone to wear a mask.  He also said the spread of the virus can be mitigated by wearing masks and touted that "we now have an abundance of face masks in California."  Additionally, Newsom reminded folks to wash their hands; practice physical distancing; and stay home if you are 65 or older or have underlying health conditions.

    In closing, Newsom said accountability is key to slowing the spread of the virus.  He said that the state has given a vast amount deference to county health officers in terms of deciding when to reopen.  “Localism is determinative,” Newsom said once again.  But he now has an enforcement mechanism.  In the state budget, there is $2.5 billion that could be withheld from counties  that do not follow the state's stay-at-home order and other health directives/guidelines.

    During the Q&A portion of the press briefing, Newsom was asked about President Trump's dismissal of masks and his messaging on COVID-19.  In response, he said pointedly, "I would encourage those watching to look to the example of Dr. Fauci”.

    Regarding the spread of coronavirus in prisons and specifically San Quentin— Newsom said "San Quentin is a concern," when asked about the alarming spike of almost 500 cases in a week at the prison.  He also noted that his Administration has halted inmate transfers, and that they will be taking additional steps throughout the prison system.  Beginning July 1st, there will be a process for inmates serving time for nonviolent crimes, and who have 6 months or less left on their sentence, to become eligible for early release.

    The press briefing concluded approximately at 12:10 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 183,073 (+2.8 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 5,580 deaths (+1.3 percent increase) in California.  As of June 22nd, 3,496,929 tests have been conducted in California and reported to the CDPH.  This represents an increase of 85,243 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  Also, as of June 22nd, local health departments have reported 13,546 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 85 deaths statewide.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On June 22nd, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order (EO) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order extends a waiver that allows retailers to temporarily pause in-store redemption of beverage containers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.   The order also temporarily suspends the requirement for recycling centers to hold a minimum number of hours of operation.  The text of the EO can be found here and a copy can be found here.

    On June 18th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, which broadly requires the use of face coverings in California when in public or common spaces. 

    Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here.

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



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