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Daily Edition for Monday, June 22, 2020

Californians To Be Required To Wear Masks As Cases Continue To Spike In State: After weeks of mixed messaging and leaving the decision of implementing mask mandates up to counties, Gov. Gavin Newsom said face coverings will be required in spaces where people can’t maintain 6 feet of distance from one another. Masks may help people who are asymptomatic and don’t realize they have COVID-19 from spreading the disease when they go out. Face coverings don’t replace social distancing and other measures, but work alongside them to slow the spread. The CDC sums it up: “Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you.” Read more from Alexei Koseff of the San Francisco Chronicle; Ana B. Ibarra of CalMatters; Vincent Moleski of the Sacramento Bee; and Fiona Kelliher of the Bay Area News Group.

Daily Edition for Wednesday, April 29, 2020

California ‘Weeks Not Months’ Away From Making Meaningful Strides Toward Reopening: California businesses seen as presenting less risk of spreading the coronavirus could open in the near future under a plan Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled Tuesday, the first of what he suggested were several slow steps toward easing the statewide shutdown order. “We believe we are weeks, not months, away from making meaningful modifications” in the current restrictions, Newsom said. But Newsom’s announcement of a four-phase plan did not come with a guaranteed timetable. He said while current public health indicators such as hospitalizations and testing capacity look promising, additional progress needs to be made toward slowing the spread of the virus. Read more from John Myers, Taryn Luna and Phil Willon of the Los Angeles Times.

Daily Edition for Thursday, April 16, 2020

California To Give Aid To Immigrants Living In Country Illegally Who Have Been Hurt By Coronavirus: Gov. Gavin Newsom said today the state is partnering with philanthropic groups to provide disaster relief to undocumented immigrants affected by the coronavirus who have been left out of other pandemic assistance programs. Ten percent of California’s workforce is undocumented, Newsom said, and they are not eligible for unemployment insurance or aid through the federal stimulus package. The new $125 million Disaster Relief Fund will include $75 million in taxpayer funds and $50 million in philanthropic contributions to help undocumented workers affected by coronavirus secure a one-time payment of up to $500 per person or $1,000 per household. “We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people who are in fear of deportation but are still addressing the essential needs of tens of millions of Californians,” Newsom said, pointing out that many work in essential sectors like health care, agriculture, food, manufacturing and construction. Read more from Ana B. Ibarra of CalMatters and Taryn Luna, Patrick McGreevy and John Myers of the Los Angeles Times.

Daily Edition for Monday, March 30, 2020

Newsom Confident California Can Produce Number Of Ventilators Needed To Handle Escalating Number Of Cases: Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday that California has the capacity to produce enough ventilators to meet its projected needs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But during a tour of a San Jose energy company that is refurbishing outdated ones, he cautioned that the state’s need could expand significantly if the public doesn’t maintain social distancing and the crisis worsens. Newsom said the state needs 10,000 ventilators quickly to treat a surge in COVID-19 patients who need assistance breathing. He said the state has identified 4,250 machines and is working to find more. Overnight, the number of people in California intensive care units jumped from 200 to 410.

Daily Edition for Thursday, March 26, 2020

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.

Daily Edition for Friday, March 13, 2020

Newsom Expands State’s Power To Address Coronavirus Outbreak As Confirmed Cases Nears 200: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Thursday that readied the state to potentially commandeer hotels or medical facilities to quarantine patients and allowed city councils and other local and state government bodies to move their public meetings to teleconferencing. It also aimed to ease some impacts of the outbreak by waiving a requirement that applicants for unemployment wait a week before receiving benefits and giving people up to 60 additional days to file their state tax returns if the virus prevents them from doing so in a timely manner.

Daily Edition for Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The ‘Cat Is Out Of The Bag’: California Shifts Focus From Containment To Slowing Down Spread:  Coronavirus cases have blown up across Northern California in the past week, and counties increasingly are refocusing from aggressive containment of the disease to acceptance that it’s in the community and their limited resources are better spent on slowing down its spread. Effective immediately, people in Sacramento County should not quarantine themselves if they've been exposed to the COVID-19. Instead, they should go into isolation only if they begin to show symptoms of the respiratory virus, the county's health department says.

Daily Edition for Friday, February 28, 2020

California Coronavirus Case With No Travel Link Shines Light On Deep Flaws In CDC's Early Testing Strategy: A woman in Solano County, California, who hadn’t traveled abroad or had contact with another known patient with the illness was diagnosed with the virus Wednesday, raising concerns that cases are going undetected because of the federal government’s narrow testing protocols. Eventually, more than 10 days after she went into hospital, the CDC agreed she could be tested. Dozens of health workers who may have come into contact with her at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, in Vacaville, Calif., are now being monitored. Even before the announcement on Wednesday, frustration had been mounting among health providers and medical experts that the agency was testing too few Americans, which may slow preparations for an outbreak and may obscure the scope of infections.

Daily Edition for Thursday, February 27, 2020

New California Coronavirus Case Could Be First In U.S. Not Linked To Travel Abroad: A person in California who was not exposed to anyone known to be infected with the coronavirus, and had not traveled to countries in which the virus is circulating, has tested positive for the infection. It may be the first case of community spread in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. The patient arrived at UC Davis Medical Center from another hospital on Feb. 19. The staff requested COVID-19 testing by the CDC, but because the patient didn’t fit the CDC’s existing criteria for the virus, a test wasn’t immediately administered. “We have been anticipating the potential for such a case in the U.S., and given our close familial, social and business relationships with China, it is not unexpected that the first case in the U.S. would be in California," said Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health.

Congressional Candidates Go Head-To-Head On Health Care — Again

The California Democratic members of Congress who flipped seven Republican seats two years ago made health care a major campaign issue, criticizing their opponents for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As the Democrats defend their seats in this year’s elections, they are coming back to health care — but the issues are different.