During Governor Gavin Newsom’s daily coronavirus briefing he addressed three main points: the new testing locator, the expansion of workers comp benefits, and tax relief.
The new testing locator, which Newsom described yesterday, shows individuals where and how they can get tested. The interactive map can be found under “Get testing and treatment” at covid19.ca.gov.
Today is the first day of virtual training for tracers with UCSF and UCLA. The first cohort of “disease detectives” as Newsom calls them, will include 10,000 people. Tracing works in real time as the “virtual academy and data management system” will share data and information to counties all across the state. California is now testing 25,000 people a day creating a total of 800,000 people tested so far, but Newsom says we need to test many more individuals.
As he announced he will be, “Reopening parts of California..with modifications,” a priority is to protect workers. Newsom initially expanded paid sick leave for workers in the food industry in April, but acknowledged that first responders and health care workers were not included in the state order.
“If you’ve tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a physician, you are eligible for this workers’ comp benefit. It can only be rebutted by your employer, but under strict criteria,” said Newsom.
“This is a way of providing support to our critical workers that are essential in our capacity, not only to meet the needs of people today but as we begin to enter into this new phase and start to reopen our economy, ” he continued.
To our front line workers who test positive for #COVID19: we have your back.
CA is now streamlining the process and making it easier for you to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits — retroactive from March 19th and through the next 60 days.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 6, 2020
Newsom said this new order is necessary to be in place because, “The worst thing we could do is have a worker that has tested positive but doesn’t want to tell anybody and can spread the disease because he or she can’t afford not to work.”
He has put a hold on the “penalty waiver for fees and related fines associated with that 10% tax code requirement” for property tax to allow people with proven hardships due to COVID-19 time to get on payment plans.
For small businesses the state is extending the personal property associated with taxes from May 7th to May 31st.
In regards to providing help to citizens, Newsom emphasized, “We can’t do this without the federal government”
California has distributed over 15 million masks, and currently has an inventory of 19.9 million masks, which are in the process of being distributed. There has been a delay of N-95 respirator masks due to a certification needed.
To inform viewers on numbers, Newsom said that since yesterday hospitalizations and ICU went down, but, 95 people have died in last 24 hours due to coronavirus.
After working with local officials, he reopened Newport Beach and is modeling the reopen to match Huntington Beach and Dana Point.
Newsom also expressed that since we are in depression numbers people should be, “Preparing themselves not just for the clarity around the numbers, but preparing for the effort that we all need to engage together to undertake, to unwind that, to get back on our feet.”
He said he has no doubt in mind California will be stronger and more resilient after this is over but, “We have our work cut out for us as does the rest of the county and nations large and small all around the globe.”