Governor’s Press Conference on 3/31

Governor Gavin Newsom

  • Should the average person wear a face mask or covering?
    • Science is a bit incomplete on this;
    • The state is having issues procuring masks and they need to have masks for medical professionals;
    • Wearing a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing;
    • Will be putting out guidance on this shortly, in the next 24 hours or so.
  • Announcing to do more and do better with California’s seniors;
    • Wellness checks;
    • Need to step things up significantly on helping seniors;
    • Launching new campaign to check-in on our seniors;
      • Make sure seniors have medicine, food and supplies, and feel they are connected to the outside world.
    • Asking everyone to make 5 calls to senior friends, family, and neighbors;
      • Don’t just want someone to check in, but make sure they get what they need; and
      • Don’t just call people you know, but people you don’t know as well.
    • Created a new hot line number for individuals can get their questions answered on how they can help seniors;
      • Hotline number: 833-544-2374.
  • Partnered with our 211 system to connect folks to resources at the local level;
    • 211 is a three digit dial service to connect individuals with local resources;
    • Staffed 24/7, 365 days a year by trained professionals; and
    • 211 are operated by 211 non-profits.
  • Facebook gave a $25 million donation to recently announced California Health Corps initiative, thanked them for that;
  • Ventilators;
    • 4,252 ventilators in the state;
    • 2,000 being purchased from overseas;
    • Goal is a total of 10,000 ventilators;
    • Pleased to hear from Virgin Orbit – they are prototyping ventilators that will be more simplistic and will be more easily made; and
    • Bloom energy converted the 150+ ventilators from the stockpile and sent them back to LA County.
  • Recent Executive Order;
    • Grants a 90 day extension on paying sales tax to the state if you are a small business.

Questions and Answers

  • How is California coordinating its procurement asks with other states?

Coordinating with other state governors and working with California’s FEMA regional director.Want to make sure that no one is being greedy and we aren’t operating in a zero sum game.

  • Hospitalization rate is only doubling every 5 days, rather than every day. Are things moving in the right direction?

Number of positive COVID-19 cases today is 17% higher than yesterday. We are not out of the woods yet. Continuing to procure personal protective equipment (PPEs) and meet the surge capacity. Have sited and are building all 8 FEMA field medical tents that will add an additional 2,000 hospital beds. California has bought some time to prepare thanks to physical distancing. Only regret that he will have is if people stop too soon or too early.

  • When will the peak be for hospitalizations in California?

Could be in mid-May, but nothing is certain and things are changing every day. For example, in 24 hours of announcing the Health Corps initiative, 25,000 licensed medical professionals signed up to help. Very grateful for the overwhelming response to their call for medical professionals.

  • Are changes to the legislative calendar necessary? Should the Legislature legislate remotely?

No time certain on when the Legislature will come back. Legislative branch is independent and the Governor give the two houses deference on what they want to do. Right now they are listening to the advice of public health officials and he commends them for that. He is confident he and the Legislature will meet all the constitutional deadlines, including the June 15 budget deadline.

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