Latest California Healthline Stories
California Leaders Carefully Watch New York In Hopes Of Avoiding Becoming Next Epicenter: New York state has nearly 40,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. That’s roughly half of the country’s total, and 10 times as many as in California. About 385 people in New York have died, or more than a third of the U.S. total and five times California’s death toll. California leaders hope the state will get through its coronavirus outbreak with a far less tragic toll, due to more aggressive moves to shut down social interactions and enact stay-home orders on the West Coast. But they’re still closely following events in New York, where cases are mounting so fast that very ill patients are beginning to overwhelm hospitals. The most important lesson from New York may also be the most difficult, said Shannon Bennett, chief of science at the California Academy of Sciences: Sheltering in place works, and Californians need to stick with it to avoid the East Coast fate. Read more from Erin Allday of the San Francisco Chronicle and Brian Melley of The Associated Press.
California Doubles Number Of Tests, But Newsom Says It’s Still Not Good Enough: The number of coronavirus tests conducted in California more than doubled, to nearly 67,000, up from 27,000 on Monday, as dozens of new testing sites reported numbers to the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. But California has done far fewer tests than New York, which had conducted nearly 104,000 tests as of Wednesday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a database of state testing data compiled by journalists at the Atlantic. One explanation is that New York state started testing more people sooner than California because the state requested and received emergency-use authorization from the FDA to start using its own lab-developed test on Feb. 29. Read more from Catherine Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Ana B. Ibarra of CalMatters.
Newsom Warns That Social Distancing Measures Will Likely Last At Least Through April If Not Longer: Californians should expect social distancing measures to last at least through April as the state fights coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. “We’re trying to bend that curve, but we haven’t bent it,” Newsom said. “April for California would be sooner than any of the experts I talked to would believe is possible.” Newsom’s comments come a day after President Donald Trump said “America will again and soon be open for business” as the dramatic measures taken to fight the disease have ground much of the country’s economy to a halt. Read more from Sophia Bollag of the Sacramento Bee, and Joe Garofoli and Alexei Koseff of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Steep Rise In Hospitalizations In L.A. Signal Oncoming Surge Of Critical Cases: As of March 6, five people in Los Angeles county had been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19. Two weeks later, on Friday, that figure had jumped to 48. By Monday, the total had climbed to 90. Though the raw numbers remain relatively low, the rate of increase has set many doctors and nurses on edge after watching the disease’s alarming trajectory in China, Italy and now New York City. Meanwhile, Sacramento County saw its biggest jump of cases yet on Monday, with 88 reported cases and a fourth death. That represents an increase of 35 cases since the previous report during the weekend, mirroring increased cases statewide and nationally. “We don’t have much time,” said ER physician Dr. Marc Futernick, who works at a downtown L.A. hospital. “These are decisions that we need to make really soon before we are in the throes of the tsunami.”
Newsom Announces New Plans To Deal With Expected Surge Of Cases As Californians Are Scolded For Not Staying Home: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans over the weekend to open two new hospitals, and President Donald Trump said the federal government will ship a number of mobile hospital units to the state, pay for National Guard deployments and deploy the San Diego-based naval hospital ship Mercy to Los Angeles. At Newsom’s request, Trump on Sunday declared a “major disaster” in California. The formal declaration will let California — which as of this weekend had 1,468 positive cases and 27 deaths from the coronavirus — offer more emergency aid, unemployment assistance and disaster legal services. Among other provisions, the declaration will allow people like business owners who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance to apply for disaster unemployment insurance.
Newsom Orders 40 Million Californians To Stay At Home As State's Outbreak Escalates: Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians on Thursday to stay home and leave only for essential trips, escalating efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which state officials estimate could infect more than half the population if drastic steps are not taken. The order is similar to the shelter-in-place rules that Bay Area residents have been living under since Monday, allowing people to visit the grocery store, seek medical care, walk outside and exercise if they maintain social distance from others. It will force countless businesses in the state deemed nonessential to close their doors temporarily. The order exempts workers in 16 federal critical infrastructure sectors, including food and agriculture, healthcare, transportation, energy, financial services, emergency response and others.
As Cases And Death Totals Climb, Newsom Asks Defense Department To Deploy Hospital Ships To Help: Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday evening said the state has asked the Department of Defense to deploy the Navy’s Mercy hospital ship and two mobile hospitals to California to help care for the expected surge in hospitalizations of residents stricken by the novel coronavirus.
'This Is Really About Saving Lives': California's Stringent Measures To Protect State Might Set Example For Other States: The most ambitious experiment in America to stop the spread of the coronavirus — shelter-in-place orders for almost every resident — was underway for seven million people living around the San Francisco Bay on Tuesday. Another two million people were being asked to stay home under similar directives in the Sacramento and Monterey areas on Wednesday. As other parts of the country contemplate similar measures, the shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area is testing the willingness of a go-it-alone society to curb personal behavior for the greater good of the community, especially older people and those vulnerable to severe disease because of medical conditions.
As Cases Climb In California, Bay Area's Nearly 7M Residents Directed To Shelter In Place: Six Bay Area counties announced “shelter in place” orders for all residents on Monday — the strictest measure of its kind yet in the continental United States — directing everyone to stay inside their homes and away from others as much as possible for the next three weeks in a desperate move to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus across the region. The directive was set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and involves San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties — a combined population of more than 6.7 million. It is to stay in place until at least April 7. The three other Bay Area counties — Sonoma, Solano and Napa — did not issue similar mandates. Vital businesses like grocery stores, banks and pharmacies will remain open, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, and indispensable government services will continue. While bars were slated to close at midnight, restaurants will still fill takeout orders. Read more from Erin Allday of the San Francisco Chronicle, Erica Hellerstein of CalMatters, and Victoria Colliver and Jeremy B. White of Politico. Also see below for more stories about the shutdown.
‘We Need To Meet This Moment Aggressively’: Newsom Calls On Public To Take Drastic Actions To Help Slow Spread Of Coronavirus: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new state measures to combat the coronavirus Sunday, urging that bars close and restaurants reduce capacity, and setting in motion plans to help protect the most vulnerable: senior citizens, anyone with a chronic illness and the homeless. Newsom asked all Californians 65 and older to isolate themselves at home, as well as anyone with chronic health conditions. To keep the virus from spreading through the state’s surging homeless population, Newsom said teams are focused on getting people out of encampments.