CALIFORNIA STATUS UPDATE
The California Department of Public Health reports:
- Confirmed cases: 60,614 (As of May 6).
- 2,504 deaths
- 25 state and county labs processing tests for COVID-19
- Click here for complete information on coronavirus, unemployment, and more from the state of California.
- California governor warns 3 counties could lose disaster aid: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning three counties that they could lose disaster funding if they continue to defy his stay-at-home order. Officials in Yuba, Sutter and Modoc counties have all allowed businesses to reopen because they have fewer coronavirus cases than other parts of the state. The director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services sent a letter to the three counties on Thursday warning they might lose their eligibility for the funding. A spokesman for Yuba and Sutter counties said local leaders are working to do what is best for the overall health of their communities.
- Focus on nursing home workers amid continued virus outbreaks: Since March, many nursing homes nationwide have been on virtual lockdown. Families of residents are not allowed inside, vendors have to drop deliveries outside and the only people coming in and out are health care workers and assistants. Despite all that, the outbreaks continue _ possibly being spread by the same brave nursing home workers who are risking their lives to tend to tend to some of society’s most vulnerable. In response, many workers are significantly increasing their own vigilance, nursing homes are adding safety measures, and testing of residents and workers is steadily increasing, though experts say much more is needed.
- As California reopening begins, Newsom says expect more soon: California Gov. Gavin Newsom says tens of thousands of businesses were cleared for limited reopening on Friday as the state began its most significant easing of restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. He expressed optimism it might not take long for the state to reach the next level, which includes eating in restaurants and shopping in stores. Nearly two dozen counties have already contacted the state about wanting to allow more reopenings. The state will allow it if they can meet strict criteria on the number of deaths, cases and testing. Newsom gave his daily briefing from a Sacramento flower shop that reopened in time for Mother's Day.
- There are now 1,160 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Sacramento County and 50 deaths attributed to the disease, according to the public health department. Friday’s numbers show an increase of just seven new cases, but include one new death, according to the latest health department figures. All seven new cases were in the 18-49 age group. That group accounts for the majority (513) of all COVID-19 cases in the county.
- Masks to become part of life in California, but rules vary: For Californians venturing outside, donning a mask will be as common as putting on a cap or sunglasses when the state begins gradually easing stay-at-home orders. But rules about face coverings vary, and it’s unclear what enforcement might look like. Masks have been ubiquitous at essential businesses like grocery stores and medical clinics since the early days of the pandemic. Now they will be required for customers and employees at certain retailers reopening under new guidelines that also include contact-free transactions. Authorities hope people will be amenable to the rules, because they don't want to issue citations during a public health crisis.
- Is this allowed? Confusing rules, enforcement in California: California has seen an on-again, off-again patchwork of enforcement of Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. It’s fallen to local officials to both interpret and enforce rapidly evolving rules, with state and local orders often at odds. Newsom outlined more guidelines Thursday on how local governments can gradually allow businesses to reopen. But enforcement has been spotty at best and often confusing as local governments layer rules on top of statewide mandates. Some restaurants have reopened, only to be shuttered the following day. Most law enforcement agencies say they're using a light touch.
- California lets retailers reopen, dining in may come soon: California retailers and manufacturers can reopen as soon as Friday under a new plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom aimed at easing the state's stay-at-home coronavirus order. His plan released Thursday allows some counties to go further by opening restaurants for dining, but only if the counties can meet strict thresholds. They include recording zero virus deaths over a 14-day period and just one case per 10,000 residents over the same time period. Retailers that do reopen are expected to take precautions such as only allowing curbside pickup, checking employees for virus symptoms and providing them with face masks.
OUR MISSION: FACTS NOT FEAR
According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine; however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
WHY HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SO CONCERNED
Some people have compared the low overall death toll to the flu's high annual death toll in the United States as a reason not to be concerned about COVID-19, however, doctors and health officials are concerned for three main reasons:
- Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus.
- Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread by droplets, but COVID-19 might be spread in the air. Scientists are researching exactly how COVID-19 spreads.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public where social distancing measures would be difficult to maintain, like at a grocery store or pharmacy.
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