CALIFORNIA STATUS UPDATE
The California Department of Public Health reports:
- Confirmed cases: 39,254
- 1,562 deaths
- 22 state and county labs processing tests for COVID-19.
- Click here for complete information on coronavirus, unemployment, and more from the state of California.
- Solano County shelter at home order extended: Solano County Public Health Department has extended their shelter at home order to May 17.
- 166 California inmates test positive for coronavirus: In the latest update from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, they've confirmed 166 total inmates and 113 CDCR/CCHCS staff employees tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Taxpayers will pay restaurants to feed seniors in California: California is partnering with the federal government to provide meals for seniors during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday a qualifying senior could get up to $66 per day for three taxpayer-funded meals at local restaurants that meet certain criteria. To qualify an individual can make up to $75,000 a year and must have either been exposed to the virus, have a high risk for exposure or a compromised immune system. The program will be paid mainly by the federal government. Newsom said he expect millions will qualify. If 2 million people sign up and get all three meals a day, the price tag would be $4 billion per month.
- Stanislaus County Fair postponed: With restrictions on mass gatherings unlikely to be eased in June, July, and August, the Stanislaus County Fair has announced the cancellation of their fair. It's only the third time in the fair's history, joining postponements in World War 1 and World War 2. “It is with heavy heart that we must postpone the fair,” said Matt Cranford, chief operating officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. “Our priority is our community’s health and safety as well as our staff.”
- Some restrictions eased with new San Joaquin County Stay at Home order: Golf courses, drive-in church gatherings, real estate restrictions were eased with a revised San Joaquin County Stay at Home order. The new order details new protocols for golf courses to reopen and for faith-based gatherings. For golf courses, the new order is allowing limited operations. Meanwhile, faith-based gatherings still won't be meeting indoors, but outdoors could be a different story. Drive-in setting for faith-based gatherings are approved under the new order, provided vehicles maintain social distancing and people remain in their cars. Real Estate agents will also be allowed to do in-person showings, however, that will be limited to only "serious" potential buyers. There have been 488 confirmed coronavirus cases in the county and 23 deaths.
- Virus deaths continue to hit California nursing homes hard: The coronavirus continues to take a deadly toll among residents of California nursing homes, with some facilities being particularly hard hit. In Tulare County, there have been 20 deaths among residents of Redwood Springs Healthcare in Visalia as of Friday. The Los Angeles Times reports 18 deaths among residents of Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation in San Bernardino County. Help has been brought in to some facilities. Southern California News Group reports medical teams from the California National Guard were sent to four Los Angeles-area nursing homes, and LA County public health says it is increasing support for nursing homes with help from the CDC and the state.
- Hotel rooms for caregivers: So far 56,000 room nights have been 100% reimbursed to health care and medical workers in a program designed to east stress on nurses, doctors and all other caregivers. As of today, 19,000 applications have been filled out for the program, which launched in early April. Reimbursement fees depend on income. Learn more about how to apply, here.
- Do you know a senior who needs to talk? If the answer is yes, give them this phone number: 888-670-1360. The "Friendship Line" has long been used by the Alzheimer's Association and for people with dementia to help them talk through their emotions or ask for help, Gov. Newsom said Friday. They state is now expanding the program to include all seniors in need of assistance or suffering emotionally due to isolation.
- Starting April 24, seniors and the a portion of the state's restaurant industry will go hand-in-hand. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that in a partnership with FEMA he hopes to stimulate the food industry by including those employees in meal prep and delivery for the state's senior population. The state, FEMA and local governments will foot the bill, which Newsom said will also generate tax dollars.
- The California State Fair has been canceled. Cal Expo’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 California State Fair, which was slated for July 17 to Aug. 2. The state fair has showcased the wide range of California’s industries with events, live performances, and a variety of food, wine and beer options.
- More than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Sacramento County. According to the latest numbers from the public health department, 1,019 residents in the county have COVID-19. The total number of deaths from the disease held steady at 41, according to the health department. Friday’s figures show an increase of 32 cases in the county – double Thursday’s increase. The majority of the cases in the county (446) are people between the ages of 18 and 49. Eighteen of the 32 new cases are from this age group.
- Yolo County officials issued new guidelines on the use of face coverings and say they plan to extend the shelter-in-place order beyond May 1. It’s part of the county’s “Roadmap to Recovery” strategy to “chart a path forward through COVID-19 that is fluid and gradual, continues to protect public health, and allows the County and cities to begin reopening.” Beginning immediately, but not enforceable until April 27, face coverings will be required while out in public, county officials said. Some exceptions include children 2 and under and riding in a car alone. Click the link above to learn more.
- California's ambitious virus test goals face short supplies: California is grappling with significant hurdles in its ambitious efforts to ramp up coronavirus testing. Gov. Gavin Newsom's goal to reach 60,000 tests per day before he'll consider easing stay-at-home orders face challenges that have existed since the early days of pandemic. There are bottlenecks in the supply chain and delays in getting test results. Even as Newsom announced that he had secured a promise Wednesday from President Donald Trump for ample swab supplies, he said other shortages remain.
- California cities: Virus could mean $6.7 billion in losses: California's 482 cities say they will collectively lose $6.7 billion over the next two years because of the coronavirus. The League of Califonria Cities says most cities will have to layoff workers and cut basic services. The city of Yountville is located in California's wine country and gets 74% of its money from sales and hotel taxes. Mayor John Dunbar says the city expects to lose 60% of its revenue in its upcoming budget. Grass Valley Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle said the city will likely have to cut public safety spending if the coronavirus restrictions continue much longer.
- California suspends 10-cent grocery bag charge amid virus: Californians won't be charged 10 cents per bag at the grocery store and retailers can again hand out thinner, single-use plastic bags under an executive order signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. It's a change that major retailers have wanted for weeks. Many grocery stores have stopped letting customers bring in reusable bags over fears of spreading the new coronavirus. Newsom's executive order also lifts the ban on stores handing out single-use plastic bags for 60 days. State law requires stores that do hand out plastic bags to give ones that can be reused.
- Conservative group sues to stop California aid to immigrants: A conservative organization is asking the California Supreme Court to block the state's first-in-the-nation plan to give money to immigrants living in the country illegally who are hurt by the coronavirus. The Center for American Liberty argued on behalf of two long-shot Republican legislative candidates that the $75 million plan is barred by state and federal law. The money is to be distributed through nonprofit groups, to protect recipients from providing personal information that might increase their danger of being deported. The legal challenge argues that the plan is barred by the state Constitution's prohibition on giving gifts to organizations outside of the state's exclusive control.
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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