Coronavirus: California schools closed through end of academic year, Gov. Newsom says

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed California's response to COVID-19 in a press conference Wednesday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom discussed the state's ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak in California.

The governor confirmed there are 8,155 positive cases of coronavirus in California with 774 of those patients occupying ICU beds.

Newsom reiterated the importance of social distancing and adhering to the guidelines outlined by state officials in recent weeks.

The governor also confirmed California schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year.

To help California students, the governor said Google is stepping up in a "big way" and is creating a 100,000 points of access to provide internet and broadband capacity to Californians.

The tech company will also provide three months of free broadband access in California, Newsom said.

Google will also be giving "thousands" of Chromebook laptops to assist in home education.

On a personal note, Newsom addressed the "deep respect and empathy" he has for mothers and caregivers during this time.

He acknowledged the hard work and effort that goes into caring for and teaching children at home during this time in California.

"I know how stressful this is," the governor said.

In terms of the best defenses against the coronavirus - state health officer Sonia Y. Angell also spoke during the briefing.

She says hand washing, physical distancing and staying home are vital in protecting yourself from the virus.

Angell also addressed the effectiveness of face masks.

She said though there are some added benefits, they need to be used along with social distancing.

State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond also spoke Wednesday, confirming schools will not reopen this school year.

He reiterated that just because campuses are closed, schools are still in session.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California is suspending the SAT exam as a requirement for admission.

This "unprecedented" move applies to students looking to enroll in the fall of 2020.

Thurmond will be holding a press conference at 3 p.m. on the status of California schools.

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