Coronavirus California: Updates on the state's response to COVID-19

The latest updates as California businesses move into phase two of opening and the state's response to COVID-19.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California's Gov. Gavin Newsom will hold daily briefings on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Tracking Central California COVID-19 cases

We are tracking the latest updates here:

May 26, 2020



Gov. Newsom: Barbershops, hair salons can reopen in 47 CA counties starting today

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says barbershops and hair salons can open immediately in the 47 counties that have received approval to fully enter Phase 2, often called "Phase 2.5" of reopening.

RELATED: Barbershops, hair salons can reopen in 47 CA counties starting today, Newsom says

The governor made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday. As with other businesses that have been allowed to reopen, hair salons will have to follow health and safety guidelines.

Read more about the guidelines here.

Newsom said that while California is making progress in opening, he encouraged residents to continue wearing face masks while they're out. He said the state still has vulnerable communities to protect.

As of Tuesday, 3,800 Californians have died from COVID-19.

May 25, 2020



California state officials released new guidelines on Monday for churches and other places of worship to open after weeks of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: California releases guidelines for churches, synagogues, mosques to open for in-person worship

The guidelines for churches, mosques, and synagogues were broken down into sections about how to resume modified in-person services.

Read more about the guidelines here.

May 22, 2020



California will release guidelines for churches to open Monday, Newsom says

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state would release guidelines for churches and other places of faith to open by Monday at the latest in his daily briefing.

Newsom announcement came after President Donald Trump called churches essential, saying he would "overrule" governors if they didn't open them.

Gov. Newsom said that state officials have been working with faith leaders to form California guidelines, and in addition, will review the guidelines set by the CDC on Friday afternoon.

"We look forward to churches reopening in a safe manner," Newsom said.

He said those guidelines, much like restaurants, would vary based on the size of the building.

The governor said that more counties across the state have qualified to open more businesses. So far, 43 of California's 58 counties are in Phase 2.5, and he expected more to move forward in the next few days.

He said that more responsibility is being placed onto the counties as the state continues to move into further stages of reopening. That includes being able to handle surges in cases that could occur.

The governor said California is days away from making significant modifications to the stay-at-home order to allow for more businesses, including hair salons, to reopen.

California received more than 86 million surgical masks, and Newsom said those masks will be distributed to businesses as they begin to reopen -- including hair salons.

Newsom said the state is also prepared to deploy PPE to counties that see outbreaks as they open.

He added that counties must be willing to retract their openings if they see outbreaks.

California's curve has seen a steady decline, and hospitalizations and ICU admissions have decreased over the last 14 days, but Newsom warned there could be a resurgence, as there was during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Newsom didn't give a clear answer when asked about whether the state would take action against counties, like Tulare County, which say they are moving further ahead in opening than allowed in the governor's stage plan.

"Breaks my heart, should break your heart," Newsom said.

The governor said that he understood the frustration among businesses to open, but he hoped the counties, like Tulare County, would embrace "the spirit of collaboration" moving forward.

Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, Newsom said he hoped people would stay close to home for the holiday as California continues to make progress in opening.

May 18, 2020



California Gov. Gavin Newsom is relaxing reopening criteria, a move he said will allow most of the state's 58 counties to begin allowing dining in restaurants and other services.

In a news conference Monday, Newsom said that the changes come as California's hospitalization rates for coronavirus patients has steadily declined.

Twenty-four counties, including Mariposa County, have already won approval under the old guidance.

RELATED: New CA guidelines to allow most counties to relax stay at home orders, open restaurant dining rooms

The new criteria eliminates requirements that a county have zero deaths and no more than than one case per 10,000 residents over a two-week period. Instead, counties must have no more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents or no higher than an 8% positive rate among people testing for the coronavirus. They also must have no higher than a 5% increase in hospitalizations over a 7-day period or fewer than 20 hospitalizations total over 14 days. The latter will ensure small counties don't get penalized for just one or two extra hospitalizations.

He said in order of counties to become eligible for regional variance, they must now also work to have preparations plans for surges in nursing facilities to protect the residents and employees.

Newsom said ultimately it will be up to local governments to determine whether they open or not.

Click here to read more.

May 14, 2020



Gov. Newsom unveils budget proposal as state faces $54.3 billion deficit

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to cut $6.1 billion from a variety of programs as part of next year's budget.



Governor Gavin Newsom's revised state budget proposal revealed a significant cut in spending to cope with a $54.3 billion shortfall and the millions of Californians left without work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the May Revision included a proposed cut to pay for government employees, a focus on continued funding for at-risk populations and a call on the federal government to aide the state in avoiding the cuts.

You can read the full budget proposal here.

May 13, 2020



Newsom: Battling wildfires in California takes on 'new reality' amid COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Gavin Newsom discussed steps California is taking to battle "a new reality" of wildfires during the coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom said there had been a 60% increase in California wildfires compared to last year at this time due to below-average precipitation and low snowpack.

He proposed a $127 million increase to the state budget for the Office of Emergency Services to help mitigate wildfires and other major disasters, including earthquakes.

An additional $85.7 million would also be allocated to CAL FIRE to help hire new personnel ahead of the peak of the fire season.

CAL FIRE officials said the goal is to keep wildfires small at the beginning of the season to help avoid the need for mass congregations of firefighters battling larger fires and to ensure the safety of first responders.

RELATED: Coronavirus in the US: Report predicts broad risk of COVID-19 at wildfire camps

Fire officials said they're also looking at different ways to evacuate people during wildfires while still reducing the spread of COVID-19. They say they've discussed looking into hotels, or spreading the evacuations camps out, but had not come up with a definite plan.
The governor said his administration's budget proposal would be released in detail on Thursday at noon.

Newsom said the Public Utilities Commission has also formed a Wildfire Safety Division committee to oversee the investor-owned utility companies within the state, like Pacific Gas and Electric.

The committee will monitor the companies' efforts to reducing wildfire risks such as power shutoffs, vegetation control or weather stations.

Newsom said utility companies will be held accountable in ways they haven't been in the past.

The governor said more than 1,065,000 people in the state have been tested for the coronavirus, and California continues to see an increase in daily testing.

More than 1,700 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours and 87 people died.

May 12, 2020



Guidelines for restaurants revealed, testing capabilities updated

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced guidelines for dine-in restaurants to reopen in California and gave an update on the state's testing capabilities so far.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom reveals guidelines for CA restaurants to open dine-in services

Newsom said the state surpassed one million tests, equating to a little more than 40,000 each day. Their goal is to get to between 60,000 and 80,000 by the end of the month.

The governor also said the state is making great testing progress in the rural and inner urban areas of California, with 76 of 80 sites and up and running and six more sites coming soon.

He added that the state is going to implement "roaming testing sites," with more information expected in the future. Sites on COVID19.ca.gov are providing free testing for those who do not want insurance charged by private clinics.

Newsom also said that pharmacies that are certified can now test for COVID-19, but added that they are not forced to and that it would depend on location.

For more on the governor's announcement about dine-in restaurant guidelines, click here.

May 11, 2020



Western states ask for $1 trillion from federal government

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Gov. Newsom's remarks come after a weekend where much of the state moved into Stage 2 of reopening businesses and manufacturing.



Western states have sent a request to the federal government asking for $1 trillion to help offset shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday.

Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado joined California for the pact, Gov. Newsom said. The request comes as the state faces tens of billions of dollars of budget deficits directly related to the COVID-19 crisis and would help preserve services like public health, public safety and public education, according to the governor.

He also said that the state has distributed close to $13.1 billion in unemployment claims so far.

May 8, 2020



Newsom signs executive order to provide mail-in ballots to voters during pandemic

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Newsom said California is looking ahead to the 2020 general election and how to execute it safely for voters.



As some California businesses opened on Friday as part of the second phase of reopening the economy, Governor Gavin Newsom said he and other state officials are continuing to look forward amid the coronavirus crisis.

For his daily news conference on Friday, Newsom spoke from a storefront in Sacramento. The governor said more face masks have been deployed to essential businesses and other low-risk companies that opened.

Two million masks were sent for farmworkers and at least a million were distributed to smaller grocery stores. Newsom said the state now has an inventory of 31.7 million masks and continues to send them out to businesses that are open.

The governor said state health officials continue to look at the percentage of people who've contracted the virus compared to the number of people who were tested to determine which local governments can move further with reopening modifications.

He said more guidelines will be released on Tuesday.

Newsom said California is looking ahead to the 2020 general election and how to execute it safely for voters. He signed an executive order requiring all registered voters in the state to receive a mail-in ballot to help reduce physical contact.

He said election officials are also working on detailed plans for keeping voters safe if they choose to cast a ballot at in-person voting centers.

Gov. Newsom said the pandemic is not yet behind us, but is encouraged by the progress the state is making with testing and tracing.

More than 100,000 people have gone to California's new website to locate testing centers and 500 people signed up to become tracers through UCLA and UCSF's new training programs.

Nearly 1,900 people testing positive for the virus and 81 people died overnight.

May 7, 2020



Newsom details opening plan for some California businesses

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Retailers such as bookstores, toy stores and sporting good stores will be able to reopen, and their associated manufacturers can resume production.



Governor Gavin Newsom and state health officials revealed a set of guidelines for some businesses to reopen in California on Thursday.

Retailers such as bookstores, toy stores and sporting good stores will be able to reopen, and their associated manufacturers can resume production.

We've outlined the guidelines based on business sector here.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom details rules for businesses opening in California tomorrow

Gov. Newsom also discussed the state's budget, saying that California is facing significant financial shortfalls due to the COVID-19 crisis.

RELATED: Newsom: CA faces "billions of dollars" of budget shortfalls due to COVID-19

The governor said 92 people died overnight in California from the coronavirus. He sure also said the state saw declines in ICU and hospitalizations since the previous day.

May 6, 2020



California launches website to locate nearby coronavirus testing sites; Newsom signs 2 executive orders

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several executive orders to provide economic relief for property taxes and additional relief in workers' compensation for frontline workers.

The first executive order expands workers' compensation for all frontline workers, including first responders, healthcare workers, farmworkers, grocery workers, janitors, among others.

Those within this group who contract COVID-19 or are exposed to it from March 16 to July 5, now qualify for additional healthcare benefits and sick leave with pay.

The governor said the state is trying to mitigate the number of employees who go to work while sick out of fear of losing wages.

Newsom said the state has launched a new website to help Californians located coronavirus testing sites near them.

People can go to COVID19.ca.gov to type in their zipcodes to find the nearest testing facility and make an appointment to get tested. The testing sites listed do not include hospital-based testing sites.

Approximately 25,000 people are getting tested per day, the governor said, and the state is working to reach more rural and inner-city areas.

Ninety-five people died from the coronavirus overnight.

Newsom also signed a second executive order to extend the penalty waiver for personal property taxes through May 2021. Property owners going through hardships can get on payment plans without penalty charges.

Business property taxes will also have an extended penalty waver through May 31, 2020, the governor said.

Gov. Newsom said the state will be distributing more than 19 million surgical masks over the next few days as some California businesses prepare for a partial reopening.

The governor will outline the modifications necessary for some business sectors to reopen on Thursday at 12 p.m. -- Action News will stream that update on our website.

May 5, 2020



PPE secured for businesses as California preps for partial reopening; more loans being distributed to small businesses

Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his daily briefing from a small business in Sacramento on Tuesday, where he said the state is working to provide more PPE for companies that are able to reopen at the end of the week.

The governor said the state has continuously received shipments of surgical masks throughout the last few weeks, mostly for hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Within the last couple of days, California secured 19.3 million masks that will now be distributed to businesses in the state to keep their employees and customers safe.

Newsom said California has flattened its curve and continues to increase coronavirus tracing, but things will not return to normal until there is immunity or a vaccine. He asked everyone to prepare to adjust to the new normal of doing business.

He said while several businesses moved to online sales during the stay-at-home order, it's not enough to sustain them or to provide enough wages for the millions of people who lost work.

Since March 12, the governor said more than 4.1 million people have filed for unemployment.

Newsom said that 60% of the second round of the federal aid for small businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program, had been distributed totaling to roughly 33.2 billion. He said it's critical that large companies that receive assistance when they don't need it do not take it.

The governor also said the state had reached an agreement with several Southern California beaches in Orange County to reopen with social distancing modifications.

RELATED: 3 additional SoCal beaches reopen with modifications after approval from Gov. Newsom

More than 1,200 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, and 63 people died from the virus.

Many in the state anxiously await Thursday's briefing, where the governor will outline the modifications needed in order for the low-risk non-essential businesses to reopen as soon as Friday.

While some cities can go further into the second stage of the governor's plan for economic reopening, Newsom said cities could not go into stage three.

May 4, 2020



California partners with UCSF, UCLA to increase COVID-19 tracing

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California businesses considered low-risk for spreading COVID-19 could begin opening across the state as early as Friday.

Newsom said the state will provide a list of business sectors and guidelines for them to reopen on Thursday during his daily briefing.

He said if businesses are able to implement those guidelines quickly, they could open by the end of the week.

The first part of phase two does not include seated dining at restaurants, office buildings or shopping malls reopening. Those will come further into phase two, officials said.

RELATED: Newsom: California could reach phase two of economic reopening as early as Friday

Newsom said that California has partnered with UC San Francisco and UCLA to train more tracers for the state.

The virtual course is 20 hours -- 12 hours online and 8 hours in-person.

The governor said that increasing tracing will help the state continue to move through phase two of the economic recovery plan.

There are currently 3,000 tracers across the state. Newsom said California wants to add 20,000 into that workforce.

The course goes online on Wednesday.

More than 30,000 people are being tested for coronavirus in the state every day. Newsom said more than 700,000 had been tested so far.

May 1, 2020



California is 'days away' from reopening some businesses, modifying stay-at-home order, Newsom says

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During his daily briefing on Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the data has started to give state officials more confidence in moving toward the second phase of reopening.



Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is "many days away" from making "meaningful changes" to the stay-at-home order, and moving into the second phase of reopening the economy.

"If we can hold the line and continue to do good work... we'll get there much sooner than people think," the governor said in his daily briefing.

Newsom said the data has started to give state officials more confidence in moving toward the second phase of reopening. In the outline released earlier this week, businesses in the second phase include retail, restaurants and hospitality.

The governor said that when these businesses will need to make serious modifications in order to reopen.

As the governor gave his briefing, protests ignited in several large cities across the state over the stay-at-home order.

Essential workers, like some at Amazon, Whole Foods, and Target, are also holding strikes to demand safer working conditions and hazard pay for May Day.

Newsom said he "appreciated" the protestors expressing their frustrations, but maintained that the state is driven by data when modifying the order.

As of Friday, 3.9 million people have applied for unemployment. Newsom said the state had distributed $7.5 billion in economic aid and is working to provide more funding.

The governor said thousands had applied to join the California Health Corps, and mentioned many had been deployed to nursing home facilities, mainly in northern and southern California.

Newsom said California continues to build up its PPE supply and had received 5.2 million surgical masks overnight.

More than 50,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, and 2,000 have died from the virus.

April 30, 2020



Gov. Newsom issues hard closure on Orange County beaches, announces childcare resource for parents

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During his daily briefing on Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will be issuing a hard close on beaches in the Orange County area.

Gov. Newsom made the announcement after a weekend that showed a number of beaches in Orange County packed with people. The governor did not provide a length for the closure, but said he's hoping it will be "short term."

RELATED: Gov. Newsom issues hard closure on Orange County beaches in response to busy weekend on CA beaches

Gov. Newsom also announced a new innovative portal for childcare that was put together by the Department of Social Services that will help parents find childcare.

He said 63% of licensed childcare facilities have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The portal will allow parents to type in their zip code and find childcare facilities in their area while breaking down the quality and size of those facilities.

To access the portal, click here.

April 29, 2020



CA farmers to support food banks; SNAP recipients can shop for groceries online

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Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new program to help California food banks provide boxes of fresh food to those in need during the pandemic.



Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new program to help California food banks provide boxes of fresh food to those in need during the pandemic.

Newsom said farmers across the state have seen an increase in their supply, while many food banks have run low on perishable items due to a rise in demand.

Several farmers are partnering with food banks across all 58 counties in the state to supply them with produce, meat, milk, and more.

Newsom said the new program will reduce food waste and farmers will receive a 15% tax credit. So far, 128 farmers have joined the effort.

The governor said the program will last through the end of the year, with the goal of providing 21 million pounds of fresh produce to food banks every month.

California has also received two new wavers from the federal government to help residents who receive CalFresh, the state SNAP benefits, and EBT benefits.

Starting Wednesday, more than 4 million people on CalFresh can now purchase groceries online from Walmart and Amazon. The governor said he hopes to extend the partnership to other grocers.

The second waver allows for recipients of EBT with children who qualify for free-and-reduced lunches, who are now learning from home, to receive an additional $365 for the missed meals from the schools.

Newsom said more than 3.7 million Californians have filed for unemployment since March 15, and the state has provided $6 billion in economic aid.

The number of hospitalizations and ICU patients in the state increased overnight, prompting the governor to encourage continued social distancing so that the stay-at-home order can move into stage two of his outline for reopening the economy.

Newsom said the state has tested more than 600,000 people for coronavirus. Seventy-eight people died from the virus overnight in California.

April 28, 2020



Newsom: California school year could start in late July, early August

During his briefing on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the next California school year could begin earlier than normal, potentially as early as late July or early August.

The idea is being discussed by state officials as a way to bridge learning gaps that have been created by weeks of at-home learning.

"There has been a learning loss," Gov. Newsom said. "If we can start the school year earlier, we might be able to close that gap." He added that the school year discussion is ongoing and no decisions have been made.

Officials added that the state is focused on making the school environment safe for students and teachers before reopening. A decision date on the start of the next school year was not discussed.

Governor Gavin Newsom and state officials outlined their plan for reopening businesses in California on Tuesday.

The plan was broken down into four stages, wherein the reopening of non-essential business would gradually occur in response to data provided by health officials.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom outlines four-step plan for gradual reopening of California businesses

Newsom also provided an update on the state's latest COVID-19 numbers.


April 27, 2020



Newsom: California is weeks away from modifying stay-at-home order if social distancing continues

During his daily briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the large crowds at some Southern California beaches, including Newport Beach.

The governor said that he's seen those cities working to mitigate the large crowds and praised those who continued social distancing guidelines at other beaches and parks.

Newsom said California is weeks away from making significant changes to its stay-at-home order, but those changes will be delayed if people stop social distancing and increase the risk of spreading the virus.

Nevada and Colorado announced Monday they'd be joining the Western States Pact by California, Oregon and Washington to reopen their economies. The states will share and compare data while continuing to develop their recovery plans.

RELATED: Reopening after coronavirus: 2 more states join Western states' coalition on reopening

Newsom said the state has sent out $4.4 billion in unemployment benefits since March 15, but recognized the process was frustrating many Californians. He said the EDD call center and the state has deployed 600 staffers to work the center.

The EDD has also implemented a new texting service, where people can ask questions over text to help decrease the backlog of calls.

The governor also announced he would hold virtual roundtable meetings over the next few weeks where business leaders, state officials and customers can discuss the best ways to reopen specific industries.

Forty-five people died from COVID-19 complications overnight and there were more than 1,300 new cases. So far, 553,000 people in the state have been tested for the virus.

The governor said he would provide an update to the state's strategy of of reopening businesses and modifications to California's stay-at-home order over the next few weeks during Tuesday's briefing.

April 24, 2020



Gov. Gavin Newsom introduces plan to deliver food to seniors

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During his Friday briefing, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new initiative that's aimed at delivering nutritional food to at-risk seniors during the COVID-19 crisis.



During his Friday briefing, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new initiative that's aimed at delivering nutritional food to at-risk seniors during the COVID-19 crisis.

The announcement came as a result of a partnership between the state, FEMA and local governments up and down California. The goal of the program is to get seniors in need three meals a day and use local restaurants to do it, aiding both the seniors and the restaurants themselves.

Newsom said local governments will be able to decide which restaurants are eligible for the initiative and said that those restaurants will be reimbursed for providing three nutritious meals per day to seniors, seven days per week. The reimbursement will largely come from the state and FEMA, with a small portion coming from local governments.

The move will allow restaurants to rehire staff members who have been let go during the health crisis, Newsom said. He also emphasized the need to get local farms connected and get independent restaurants up and running again.

The governor added that 1.2 million seniors live alone, with many of them facing isolation and an inability to cook for themselves. Even as an eventual rollback of stay-at-home orders is to come, Newsom said seniors will remain a priority.

To be eligible for the program, seniors must have a high risk of exposure, be in an economic position that puts them below the federal poverty line, or must have been exposed to COVID-19 or have a compromised immune system.

The initiative goes into effect immediately. If you're a senior and think you're eligible, call 211 or go to covid19.ca.gov. The state will also be doing outreach for anyone who cannot access a phone or the internet.

April 23, 2020



Newsom: Wednesday marks deadliest day for California with 115 COVID-19 deaths

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Gov. Newsom announced 21 out of the 24 major state student loan providers have placed a moratorium on payments for the next 90 days to help those with debt during the coronavirus p



During his daily briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday marked the deadliest day in California for COVID-19 deaths. He said 115 people died from the virus.

With the weather expected to warm up this weekend, he urged Californians to continue to practice social distance, warning an increase in cases could occur.

Newsom also announced 21 out of the 24 major student loan providers in California have placed a moratorium on payments for the next 90 days to help those with debt during the coronavirus pandemic.

The forbearance will support more than 1.1 million Californians with student loan debt without affecting their credit or late fees.

RELATED: Coronavirus California: Governor halts student loan payments for many for 90 days
The governor signed an executive order to stop loan services from collecting debtors' economic relief checks provided by the federal CARES Act.

The executive order does not protect those who owe child or spousal care or own money to a victim's account.

April 22, 2020



California Gov. Newsom lifts COVID-19 restrictions on surgeries

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On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced hospitals will be able to lift limitations on surgeries previously halted by the coronavirus pandemic.



On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced hospitals will be able to lift limitations on surgeries previously halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We will be thoughtful and judicious on how we do that so we don't overload the system. These aren't just scheduled surgeries - tumors, heart valves, the need for people to get the care they deserve," he said.

The announcement comes a month after restrictions were put in place at the height of the pandemic.

The governor, however, wasn't able to give a firm answer to the anticipated question of when all restrictions will be lifted.

The state is expanding efforts to increase testing....as Newsom also announced new sites aimed at helping testing deserts.

With the hopes of increasing testing capacity, the federal government is stepping in, as they plan to send more than 300,000 swabs over the next two weeks to increase testing throughout the state.

April 21, 2020



12:00 pm

California launches new volunteer initiative to support state non-profits

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials launched a new initiative called Californians For All to encourage Californians who are healthy and able to volunteer and support different non-profit organizations across the state.

Newsom said the state has partnered with a new coalition made up of non-profits across California, including the California Food Banks Association, the Red Cross and others.

Volunteers who join Californians For All will be emailed weekly with opportunities to help local and state non-profits in need based on their interests.

The governor said the list of opportunities includes virtual tutoring, food delivery, checking in on neighbors, volunteering at food banks and donating blood.

Newsom said there are also opportunities for those who want to volunteer from home, such as calling people along at home.

Those who are interested in volunteering can sign up at californiavolunteers.ca.gov.

On Wednesday, Gov. Newsom said he and state officials will discuss updates to the state's six-part plan that will determine when California could reopen.

April 20, 2020



12:00 pm

During the governor's daily briefing, Californians heard from the task force working to close the "digital divide" among students as they continue distance learning.

California's First Partner Jennifer Siebel shared state data, which suggests one in five students are unable to participate in distance learning. While 50% of low-income families and 42% of families of color reported feeling anxious about distance learning, fearing they lack resources.

RELATED: New state task force aims to help students who lack internet and computer access

The task force announced partnerships with several companies, including T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and Zoom, who are providing thousands of laptops, chrome books, iPads and tablets for 70,000 students across the state.

Google will distribute 100,000 chrome books to rural areas by the first week of May. The governor said other distribution efforts would occur in the following weeks.

Newsom also announced a pilot program in Sacramento where officials are converting school buses into mobile WiFi hotspots to give students web access.

The governor said he and his team will give an update to the state's six-part plan that will determine when California could reopen.

State health officials reported 42 deaths overnight in California, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,208.

April 18, 2020



12:00 pm

Newsom says more than 4,000 homeless people now have shelter with Project Roomkey

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Gov. Gavin Newsom held Saturday's briefing from a Motel 6 location in Santa Clara County to provide an update on Project Roomkey, a plan to provide housing and safe environment for



Gov. Gavin Newsom held Saturday's briefing from a Motel 6 location in Santa Clara County to provide an update on Project Roomkey, a plan to provide housing and safe environment for California's homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom said there are currently 47 Motel 6's in 19 counties throughout the state taking part in this initiative, including Merced County.

The governor said there are currently over 4,000 homeless people who have been provided with these rooms and three meals a day courtesy of World Central Kitchen.

During his briefing, Newsom also mentioned areas that have been struck hard by COVID-19, including Tulare County. The county currently has almost 400 cases, with nearly half of them coming from the Redwood Springs nursing home in Visalia.

If you would like to contribute to California's response to COVID-19, you can click here.

April 17, 2020



12:00 pm

Newsom announces economic recovery task force; CA sees largest jump in COVID-19 deaths

Gov. Gavin Newsom has assembled an advisory task force to develop an economic recovery plan for California after it has fallen into a recession-induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor said the committee is a response to the more than three million Californians who filed for unemployment.

The task force is made up of 80 people, including former California governors, Pete Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis and Jerry Brown, as well as business leaders from across the state, such as Bob Iger, Executive Chairman of Disney and businessman Tom Steyer.

The committee will look at economic recovery in the short-term and the long-term.

The governor reiterated the state would use science to guide the six-part plan it laid out earlier this week to assess when California could reopen its economy.

Newsom said the state is still not ready to ease up on the social distancing and stay at home orders.

California reported 95 deaths, marking the largest jump in COVID-19 deaths within 24 hours. In total, 985 people have died from complications with the virus as of Friday.

Newsom said hospitalizations also increased overnight, adding outbreaks are still being seen at nursing homes across the state, including in Tulare County.

April 16, 2020



12:00 pm

Gov. Newsom signs executive order providing paid leave for food industry employees

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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order providing two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for essential workers in the food sector who are not supported by federal funding.



Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order providing two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for essential workers in the food sector who are not supported by federal funding.

The order will provide leave for workers who are required to miss work for quarantine because they've contracted or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Farmworkers, grocery store employees, fast food workers and employees in food processing plants are eligible for the leave.

The governor said grocery stores and other food sector operations are part of the front lines of the pandemic, and the state is working to strengthen the sanitation of those businesses.

Newsom said the state's serve.ca.gov website had seen an abundance of volunteers in the last few weeks.

April 15, 2020



12:00 pm

Gov. Newsom signs executive order, announces initiative to help California's workforce

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to extend the business hours and increase the staffing for the state's Employment Development Department call center in response to the increase in unemployment filings.

Newsom said 2.7 million Californians filed for unemployment in the past few weeks -- an unprecedented number for the state.

The EDD will now be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and aims to get checks out within 24-48 hours.

The governor also announced a program formed by the federal government, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, will be available in California.

The PUA program is for unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed or others who are not usually eligible for unemployment benefits. The program starts April 28.

Newsom also mentioned the effort to advance California's employment insurance program.

The governor said an estimated 10% of California's workforce is undocumented and unprotected by government safety nets. He announced the state's new direct disaster assistance program to provide $125 million in aid for these workers.

Officials say undocumented adults in California will receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household.

As of Wednesday, 24,424 people have tested positive for California in the state, and 821 people have died.

April 14, 2020



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Gov. Gavin Newsom says there are six key indicators that the state will be using to decide when and how to modify the current stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Newsom made the announcement during his Tuesday press conference and went on to lay out a "roadmap" for what needs to be considered as the state plans for an eventual rollback of stay-at-home orders.

"While Californians have stepped up in a big way to flatten the curve and buy us time to prepare to fight the virus, at some point in the future we will need to modify our stay-at-home order," Gov. Newsom said. "As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before."

The state listed these six key indicators:

  • The state's ability to test, trace, and isolate infected individuals
  • The ability to support those who are infected or exposed
  • The ability to prevent infection in at-risk communities
  • The hospital system's ability to handle surges
  • The capacity to develop therapeutics to meet demand
  • The ability for schools and business to support practical social distancing practices


  • RELATED: Gov. Newsom lays framework for state to follow before stay-at-home order is modified

    April 13, 2020



    On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a collaboration between the states of California, Washington and Oregon that features a "shared approach" for reopening their respective economies in the future.

    Newsom said each state will have their own specific plan on how they'll incrementally roll back parts of stay-at-home orders, with California's tentative plan expected to be announced Tuesday.

    During Monday's press conference, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at supporting social services, saying $42 million will be invested in "building supports" for children in vulnerable populations such as the foster care system.

    The money will go towards resource referrals, more support and an increased focus on the state's 211 system. Newsom also said the state is working to make sure all foster children have needed digital resources, like laptops, to participate in distance learning.

    April 10, 2020



    12:00 pm

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    Governor Gavin Newsom shared data Friday that shows how, in each county across the state, people in California are remaining in place drastically reducing their movement and travel



    California leaders believe the state's pandemic response plan is working

    Governor Gavin Newsom shared data Friday that shows how, in each county across the state, people in California are remaining in place drastically reducing their movement and travel.

    RELATED: Valley residents traveling farther than most Californians, cell phone data shows

    So far, state leaders believe the state's pandemic response plan is keeping the state away from some of the worst-case scenarios experts had identified a few weeks ago. State officials cautioned, however, it's very important that we maintain our efforts with social distancing and sheltering in place saying, relaxing the policies right now would have serious consequences.

    Governor Newsom also talked about nursing homes in the state. He said of the approximately 1,200 registered nursing homes in the state, 191 facilities are under watch right now because of a confirmed coronavirus exposure. He said there are also more smaller and independent care facilities that are under watch as well. Newsom said the state has put out new guidelines and protocols for nursing homes to follow.

    The governor also said the naval hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, will begin focusing on helping assist seniors in need of medical care.

    RELATED: Navy hospital ship Mercy arrives in Los Angeles to help ease burden on area hospitals as cases surge

    In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be distributed to the staff at skilled nursing facilities.

    The governor also said the state will provide the health care workers a $500 stipend for their work on the front lines.

    Newsom also announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is going to deliver a greater amount of meals for isolated seniors affected by the virus. This will be a partnership with restaurants in California to provide nutritious meals for seniors in California.

    April 9, 2020



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    California to provide hotel vouchers, arrange free flights for health care workers, Newsom says

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced more than 150 hotels are offering hotel vouchers for health care providers across California.

    The Hotels for Health Care Workers program starts Friday, April 10. Health care professionals can find additional information at catravelstore.com.

    Newsom said the new program does not compete with Project Room Key, which provides hotel rooms for homeless who are at risk of contracting COVID-19. He said more than 8,000 people have been placed into rooms.

    The governor said United Airlines is offering free airfares to health care professionals traveling to help the state through the California Health Corps. He said Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines committed to the same agreement.

    April 8, 2020



    12:00 pm

    California to get more than 200 million masks a month, governor says

    California Governor Gavin Newsom says he's put together a deal to buy hundreds of millions of N95 masks.

    "In the last 48 hours we have secured through a consortia of non-profits and a manufacturer here in the state of California upwards of 200 million masks on a monthly basis," said Gov. Newsom.

    The announcement comes a day after Newsom said he expects California to see its peak in coronavirus patients in May. Meanwhile, other experts say the peak may come sooner.

    RELATED: Coronavirus pandemic: Is California's 'peak' coming next week? Here's what experts say

    During his daily briefing, Newsom also gave an update on the total number of Caliornia COVID-19 cases. There are now 16,957 positive cases in the state, 1,154 people in intensive care units, 2,714 hospitalized and 442 dead. The governor said 68 people died in the state since his Tuesday briefing.

    April 7, 2020



    12:00 pm

    California providing programs for residents deal with stress during pandemic

    During his daily briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new resources for Californians dealing with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Newsom and California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris both emphasized the importance of people taking care of themselves physically and emotionally as the state continues to shelter in place. The state has multiple guidelines available to aid people and caregivers, including "playbooks" for people to deal with stress. Those playbooks can be viewed here.

    Newsom added that there are 16 hotlines being provided by the state to address the needs of Californians, ranging from domestic violence resources to teen stress resources to LGBTQ resources. Those hotlines can be found here.

    The governor also updated the state's total COVID-19 numbers, saying that as of Tuesday at noon there are 15,865 cases (a 10.7% increase since Monday), 2,611 hospitalized patients, 1,108 in intensive care units and 374 dead.

    The state of California is also sending ventilators to New York, New Jersey and Illinois, with plans to provide them to other states in the future.



    April 6, 2020



    12:00 pm

    Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has secured 4,613 additional beds for alternate care sites as California braces for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, with more currently being negotiated.

    Newsom provided the update during his daily press conference on Monday. The governor said phase one of the state's response involves securing 50,000 additional beds beyond what's currently available in the hospital system.

    The state has asked for an additional 30,000 beds to come from the hospital system, leaving 20,000 to be found outside the system. To this point, Newsom says they've secured 4,613.

    "California has been working closely with hospitals to aggressively expand our state's ability to treat the coming surge in COVID-19 patients," said Governor Gavin Newsom. "As a result, California is adding tens of thousands more hospital beds, sourcing and distributing lifesaving medical supplies and ventilators, and significantly expanding our health care workforce."

    The governor made the announcement from inside Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, one of the alternate care sites secured by the state. Newsom mentioned Porterville Developmental Center and 246 beds there as part of the group of sites the state has locked in.

    Newsom also provided an update on California's COVID-19 numbers, saying there are now 14,336 positive cases, 343 dead, 2,509 hospitalized and 1,085 in intensive care units in the state.

    April 4, 2020



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    California's Gov. Gavin Newsom will hold daily briefings on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



    During his Saturday briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new tests from Abbott Labs will be provided in California.

    The tests will be available at 75 different sites across the state through a 13-hospital system. The new test from Abbott Labs can give COVID-19 results in five to 15 minutes.

    Gov. Newsom also announced a new website for people to contribute in California's efforts against COVID-19. They can be provided through either donation or purchase.

    April 3, 2020



    12:00 pm

    During his Friday briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a partnership with FEMA and counties up and down California that will provide 15,000 hotel rooms for homeless who are at risk of contracting COVID-19.

    Newsom said the state has secured just under 7,000 hotel rooms with occupancy agreements where homeless people can go, with FEMA set to provide 75% reimbursement of costs as long as the state stays within guidelines.

    Homeless who have been exposed to the virus and are deemed high-risk, such as seniors living on the street, would fit the guideline set forth by FEMA, Newsom said.

    The governor also said that they hope to secure a total of 15,000 rooms in phase one of the program, adding that hundreds of homeless are off the street already.

    April 2, 2020



    12:00 pm

    During his daily briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom praised an aggregated job listing website called the OnwardCA Coalition started by several businesses, including Bitwise Industries in Fresno.

    The website helps link workers who were displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic to find essential services and jobs available in the state.

    The site helps matches workers with jobs based on their locations and skills, and also lists available training opportunities.

    On Thursday, Newsom also said the small businesses could apply for up to $10,000 in grant money through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to help keep their employees on during the outbreak.

    Newsom said businesses could also apply for debt relief up to $25,000 to help pay for loan payments for six months.

    RELATED: City of Fresno: No evictions during COVID-19 local emergency

    April 1, 2020



    12:00 pm

    Gov. Newsom supports school campuses remaining closed for rest of school year

    As the state prepares for a surge of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Newsom stressed the importance of social distancing.

    The governor said he strongly supports schools remaining closed for the duration of the school year, and announced a partnership with Google to increase internet access to students to continue distance learning for at least the next three months.

    March 31, 2020



    12:00 pm

    On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a statewide initiative to increase connectivity to senior citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Newsom said the initiative was a partnership with AARP and a multitude of other companies and agencies to help the 5.3 million Californians who are age 65 and up. It focuses on wellness checks to ensure seniors have food and medicine and on emotional checks as seniors deal with anxiety and loneliness during the state's shelter-in-place order.

    "It's incumbent on us to check in on the world's greatest generation," Newsom said.

    With the initiative comes a hotline that allows people to get answers and get connected to the resources they need: 833-544-2374. Newsom says the state's 211 system is also being used and can be utilized to connect seniors to services.

    RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces campaign to get seniors connected

    During Tuesday's update, Newsom also mentioned an executive order protecting small businesses, giving them a 90-day extension on their due state taxes. Newsom also updated the state's COVID-19 numbers.



    March 30, 2020



    12:00 pm
    Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new initiative to help expand the state's healthcare workforce to meet the expected surge of patients testing positive for COVID-19.

    The California Health Corps will recruit healthcare professionals who have recently retired or are near the end of their medical schooling to help on the front lines of the outbreak through June 30.
    Those with a medical background can sign-up at healthcorps.ca.gov

    "If you just retired in the last few years, we need you," Newsom said. "If you are looking to expand your scope of practice and have particular expertise in any particular capacity, we need you."

    RELATED: Coronavirus: Governor Gavin Newsom aiming to recruit medical professionals

    March 29, 2020



    California State Parks closes traffic to all 280 parks after surge in visits

    The California Department of Parks and Recreation announced Sunday they are temporarily closing parking lots in all state parks. Facilities within the parks will also remain closes as well as campgrounds across the state.

    RELATED: Parking lots in all state parks closed due to COVID-19

    March 28, 2020



    Gov. Newsom issues executive order halting evictions statewide

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    Gov. Gavin Newsom has assembled an advisory task force to develop an economic recovery plan for California after it has fallen into a recession-induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.



    Gov. Newsom issued an executive order banning the eviction of renters who are affected by COVID-19. The order will last through May 31, 2020.

    In addition to prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants for missing rent payment, it also requires tenants to declare in writing within seven days of rent being due that they cannot pay because of COVID-19.

    Under Newsom's order, the tenant would be required to have documentation of their payment struggles and would still be obligated to repay full rent when possible. Renters could still face eviction after the enforcement is lifted.

    RELATED: City of Fresno: No evictions during COVID-19 local emergency

    March 25, 2020



    Newsom says many banks agree to 90-day grace period for mortgages

    Gov. Gavin Newsom said many banks have agreed to a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments for Californians impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
    The governor said more than 200 banks, including Wells Fargo, Citi Bank, JPMorgan Chase and US Bank, agreed to the moratorium for homeowners. An additional 200 state charter banks and credit unions made similar commitments, Newsom said.

    March 23, 2020



    California closing state parking lots

    Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a press conference that the State of California would shut down it's parking lots in hopes of cutting off access to state beaches and parks. The decision comes after the areas saw a surge in visitors during the state's first weekend of the stay-at-home order.

    Newsom announces $100M in emergency grants, additional hospital beds

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California is dispersing $100 million in emergency grants to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus and help treat existing cases. Part of this plan includes adding 50,000 more hospital beds throughout the state to accommodate the influx of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. He acknowledged this will require additional medical staffing. To address this, the governor says the state will be fast-tracking fourth-year medical students into the field and recruiting retirees.

    For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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