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197 health care workers in California contract coronavirus | Local coronavirus updates

The California Department of Health reports an increase of over 1,400 new cases across the state.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Here are the latest updates on coronavirus and how local governments are responding to the illness, with a focus on California for Saturday, April 4.

CALIFORNIA STATUS UPDATE

The California Department of Public Health reports:

  • Confirmed cases: 13,438 (11.7% increase) positive cases (As of April 4).
    • 1,040 patients are in ICU care 
  • Click here for complete information on coronavirus, unemployment, and more from the state of California.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS 

  • 71 coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County: Stanislaus County officials have confirmed 71 cases of coronavirus in the county. 1,620 tests have come back negative. The county has not reported any deaths so far.
  • California Department of Public Health reported 1,412 new coronavirus cases have been identified as of April 4. The total of people in California who have contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19) is at 13,438 and 319 people have died from the coronavirus. CDPH reports 197 of the positive cases are health care workers.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will expand access to childcare for "essential critical infrastructure workers." The order will allow the California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services the ability to waive specific requirements. The waiver will prioritize child care for essential workers, including health care professionals, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, and grocery workers. The Department of Education and the Department of Social Services will work together to develop and issue guidance on how the essential worker prioritization will roll out. The order also allows for the California Department of Social Services and the California Department of Education to share data and information to identify students who may be eligible for the pandemic SNAP benefit. This effort is aimed to reduce food insecurity and ensure children receive nutritious meals at little to no cost.
  • Stanislaus County officials release the latest numbers. As of Saturday, April 4, Stanislaus County has 65 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and 1,541 negative tests.
  • Governor Newsom responds to the deaths of two Riverside deputies. Gov. Newsom released a statement Saturday after two Riverside deputies died from COVID-19 complications. 52-year-old Deputy Young passed away Thursday morning, and 51-year-old Deputy Werksman died Thursday night after battling the virus for nearly three weeks. "The deaths of these two heroes are a very real and painful reminder of the risk these women and men face every single day protecting the people of California," Gov. Newsom said in a statement. "Jennifer and I send our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Deputy Young and Deputy Werksman as they grapple with this tremendous loss."
  • Testing update: California has cut its COVID-19 testing backlog by more than two-thirds. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday the state has 13,000 pending tests as of Friday, down from more than 59,000 pending tests a day earlier. Still, California has tested just 126,000 of the state's nearly 40 million residents. Newsom says he has a responsibility as governor to do better. He announced partnerships with two research university campuses to set up between five and seven testing hubs throughout the state. And he said Stanford University was close to getting approval for an antibody test, which would determine who is immune to the virus.
  • A Kaiser Permanente employee who worked at a Stockton hospital has died from coronavirus (COVID-19) complications, according to Kaiser officials. Jeffrey Baumbach was an employee at St. Joseph Medical Center. "We share the grief and extend our condolences to his family and friends on the loss of their loved one, who dedicated his professional life to helping patients and families manage their medical needs," said Corwin Harper, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente Central Valley.     
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new website for organizations to donate medical supplies to assist with the state's coronavirus response efforts. "We're looking for N-95 masks, face shields, goggles, hand sanitizer, wipes, gloves," Newsom said during a press conference Saturday afternoon. The site, www.covid19supplies.ca.gov, went live Saturday, according to Newsom. He said 126,000 Californians had been tested for COVID-19. He said there are 76 testing sites throughout California.
  • Grand Princess quarantine ends: Nearly 650 crew members of the Grand Princess had completed their 14-day quarantine, ending a month-long period of self-isolation that began when the cruise ship was struck with the coronavirus. The cruise line said the crew members can now leave their staterooms and roam around the ship as long as they wear personal protective equipment and stay at least 6 feet from each other. The ship will leave San Francisco Bay and sail out to sea for several days of routine marine operations. Two passengers and a crew member on board the ship have died from COVID-19, while at least 103 have tested positive for the coronavirus. 
  • Inmates making masks:  The Placer County Sheriff's office said Saturday that it's inmates have made more than 1,200 cloth masks for the public.  See their video.   The inmates are part of the South Placer Jail's laundry and sewing program.
  • Nursing rules: It took California nearly a month after declaring a state of emergency to change rules allowing thousands of nursing students to graduate so they can help fight the coronavirus. Nursing schools for weeks pleaded with the state to enable students in their final semester to use simulated training rather than clinical work in hospitals to complete their degrees. Late on Friday, state officials announced a waiver changing the rules. Other states moved much more quickly to change their rules. Critics say the delayed response in California wasted precious time needed to build staffing for the expected surge of virus cases.
  • Friday's updates HERE

OUR MISSION: FACTS NOT FEAR

Coronavirus Background

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:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Stay home when you are sick.
  4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  6. 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:

  1. Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to the COVID-19 version of coronavirus
  2. 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.

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