Tuesday, March 31st, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference to announce the launch of an initiative aimed at helping “older Californians stay connected while they stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak.” He said California has created a statewide hotline -- 833-544-2374 -- in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. A copy of the news release can be found here.
Additionally, during the press conference, Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the pandemic. The press conference concluded at approximately 12:50 PM.
Newsom opened his remarks by stating that in the last 24 hours over 25,000 healthcare professionals have already signed up for the California Health Corps, which was announced yesterday, to aid with the coronavirus surge. Given this response, Newsom does not expect California will need to bring in healthcare professionals from other states.
Additionally, he said California will likely announce new guidelines soon on whether the general public should wear masks.
Consistent with the last several days, Newsom offered the latest COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures. The number of coronavirus hospitalizations is now 1,617. The number of coronavirus patients in ICU beds is 657.
During the Q&A portion of the press conference, Newsom was asked about unemployment numbers. Newsom said that more than 150,000 Californians filed for unemployment insurance yesterday, which is a record. There are now more 1.6 million people who have applied in total during the crisis.
When asked about the legislative calendar going forward, Newsom stressed how “fluid” the situation is but did not provide a concrete update – saying "there is no time certain to come back into session.” He said he spoke to Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon this morning. Newsom said reconvening is ultimately the call of legislative leadership, not his, but he said the Legislature is listening to health officials.
Newsom also said his office is working on doing more with the eviction moratorium he signed last week, saying small businesses are top of mind for him. That EO temporarily suspended evictions for those who cannot pay rent because of COVID-19, however, the order did not apply to commercial renters.
His office is also working with grocery stores and unions to give workers more protection, including breaks to wash their hands and protective equipment.
As an update to yesterday’s call with school superintendents, Newsom said "we are working together" to come up with "a robust framework" on what will happen next. He also said he expects an official announcement from the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction within the next couple of days.
As a reminder, beginning this week, Newsom will hold his daily briefings at noon PDT. The updates will be streamed at the @CAgovernor Twitter page and California Governor Facebook page.
On Monday, March 30th, Newsom signed an “omnibus” executive order (EO) that will provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for businesses. Among several other things, the executive order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Another declaration makes it easier for companies to hold remote shareholder meetings prior to June 30, 2020. The EO also says that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin accepting license renewals through the mail under the order. Additionally, the EO pushes back the deadline for the transfer of Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to the California Health and Human Services Agency. Please note that this EO is six pages long and wide-ranging. A copy of the EO can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here. A copy of the Governor’s Office press release can be found here.
As of March 29th, 2 PM Pacific Daylight Time, there are a total of 5,763 positive cases and 135 deaths in California (including one non-California resident). More information can be found here.
Also, the https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously. A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here and below:
- The Governor issued an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. (3/27/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order enabling the Chief Justice to take emergency actions for the state’s courts to be able to conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemic. (3/27/2020)
- Governor Newsom secured a major financial relief package – financial institutions will provide a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments and will not negatively impact credit reports for Californians accessing payment relief. (3/25/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order directing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to temporarily halt intake of inmates and youth into the state’s 35 prisons and four youth correctional facilities. (3/24/2020)
- The state is moving to videoconferencing of all scheduled parole suitability hearings starting next month. (3/24/2020)
- California awarded $100 million to cities, counties and continuums of care to help people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. (3/23/2020)
- California State Parks is working closely with local county and public health officials to modify park operations by closing vehicular traffic at some park units to reduce the density of visitors. (3/23/2020)
- The state secured a presidential Major Disaster Declaration, which makes federal funding available to state, tribal and local governments for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, and makes funding available for crisis counseling for impacted individuals. (3/22/2020)
- California requested and received Personal Protective Equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile. (3/21/2020)
- The state is leasing two hospitals to increase availability of beds for COVID-19 patients. (3/21/2020)
- California is directing more than $42 million in emergency funding to expand California’s health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to support California’s response to COVID-19. (3/21/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order giving the state the ability to increase the health care capacity in clinics, mobile health care units and adult day health care facilities. (3/21/2020)
- California launched a partnership Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign with com and California Volunteers to safely deploy volunteers to help the most vulnerable Californians. (3/20/2020)
- The Governor activated close to 500 members of the California National Guard to help distribute food at food banks and protect California’s most vulnerable residents. (3/20/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order to permit vote-by-mail procedures to be used in three upcoming special elections, protecting public health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. (3/20/2020)
- The California Department of Human Resources issued directives to departments on how to manage the state workforce to keep employees safe while continuing to provide Californians critical support and services. (3/19/2020)
- The Department of Food and Agriculture published a resource page for the agricultural sector. (3/19/2020)
- The Governor requested immediate deployment of the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles to decompress the state’s health care delivery system in Los Angeles. (3/19/2020)
- The state requested federal assistance to supplement California’s efforts to prepare for a COVID-19 surge. (3/19/2020)
- The Governor issued a stay-at-home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and slow the spread of COVID-19. (3/19/2020)
- The Department of Motor Vehicles cancelled behind-the-wheel drive tests, suspended extended office hours and moved to appointment-only service for transactions requiring an in-person visit. (3/18/2020)
- California launched a consumer-friendly website and public service announcements to boost COVID-19 awareness. (3/18/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order providing flexibility to local governments to spend their emergency homelessness funding on immediate solutions tailored to combatting COVID-19 and its impacts on the homeless population. (3/18/2020)
- The Governor directed the first allocation of the $500 million in emergency funding recently authorized by the Legislature for COVID-19 related activities – $150 million for local emergency homelessness actions. (3/18/2020)
- California is securing1,309 travel trailers and hundreds of hotels rooms to provide immediate housing options for those most at risk. (3/18/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order to ensure Californians who rely on Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWORKS, Cash Assistance for immigrants and in-home supportive services will not lose access due to COVID-19. (3/18/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order to suspend standardized testing to focus on the mental and socioemotional well-being of students. (3/18/2020)
- The Governor placed the National Guard on alert to support COVID-19 community readiness. (3/17/2020)
- The state secured SBA disaster assistance for California small businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. (3/17/2020)
- The state removed barriers to make it easier for California to quickly and effectively provide care to about 13 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries and expand telehealth options. (3/17/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order to ensure vital goods can be delivered to California retailers in a timely manner during the COVID-19 outbreak. (3/17/2020)
- The Governor requested and signed emergency legislation providing up to $1 billion in funding to help California fight COVID-19. (3/17/2020)
- California released guidance and resources for schools to plan and implement distance learning and school meal delivery. (3/17/2020)
- State health and emergency officials directed bars and clubs to close and restaurants to open only for drive-through or pick-up/delivery. (3/17/2020)
- The state issued guidance for vulnerable Californians– older residents (65+) and those with underlying health conditions – to isolate at home. (3/16/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order to protect the health and safety of Californians most vulnerable to COVID-19 residing at health care, residential and non-residential facilities licensed by the state. (3/16/2020)
- California Volunteers created a resource page on how Californians can safely help their communities during COVID-19. (3/16/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19. (3/16/2020)
- The Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing customers to avoid coming into the DMV office for 60 days so that at-risk populations can avoid required visits and practice social distancing. (3/16/2020)
- EDD is encouraging employers who are experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the outbreak’s impact on the economy to apply for an Unemployment Insurance work sharing program. (3/13/2020)
- In partnership with federal and local government, California managed the safe disembarkation and treatment of passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship. (3/13/2020)
- Californians unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member can file a Paid Family Leave (3/13/2020)
- The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is encouraging individuals who are unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 to file a Disability Insurance claim. (3/13/2020)
- The Franchise Tax Board is providing a 90-day extension to file California tax returns for taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (3/13/2020)
- Caltrans launched a statewide educational campaign on more than 700 electronic highway signs, urging all Californians to be more diligent about containing the spread of the virus. (3/13/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order to ensure schools retain state funding even in the event of a COVID-19 physical closure. (3/13/2020)
- The Governor issued an executive order removing the waiting period for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and readying the state to commandeer hotels and medical facilities. (3/12/2020)
- The state is allowing local and state legislative bodies to hold meetings via conference calls while still meeting state transparency requirements. (3/12/2020)
- The state directed mass gatherings be postponed or cancelled to slow the spread of the virus. (3/11/2020)
- The California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency released guidance for homeless assistance providers in the state. (3/10/2020)
- California obtained approval to provide meal service during school closures to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19. (3/7/2020)
- California activated the State Operations Center and the Medical and Health Coordination Center to coordinate response efforts across the state. (3/6/2020)
- 24 million more Californians were made eligible for free medically necessary COVID-19 testing. (3/5/2020)
- The Governor declared a State of Emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19. (3/4/2020)
- California made available some of its emergency planning reserves of 21 million N95 filtering facepiece masks for use in certain health care settings to ease shortages of personal protective equipment. (3/3/2020)
- The state secured COVID-19 test kits from the CDC to help get results sooner, identify and treat cases and trace potential exposure. (2/28/2020)
- The California Department of Public Health is coordinating with federal authorities and local health departments that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases, quarantine of returning travelers. (Ongoing)
- The California Department of Public Health’s state laboratory in Richmond and 21 other public health department laboratories are testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. (Ongoing)
- The state’s public health experts are providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, elder care and congregate living facilities, childcare facilities and homeless shelters across California. (Ongoing)
- The state is piloting Community Based Testing Sites for high-risk individuals in partnership with Verily. (Ongoing)
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