Jul 13, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom July 13 Press Conference Transcript: Closes Bars, Indoor Restaurants, Movie Theaters & More

California Governor Gavin Newsom Press Conference
RevBlogTranscriptsCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom TranscriptsCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom July 13 Press Conference Transcript: Closes Bars, Indoor Restaurants, Movie Theaters & More

Governor of California Gavin Newsom’s July 13 coronavirus press conference. Newsom ordered the statewide closure of indoor activities, including bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, salons, malls, churches, and more. Read the full news briefing speech transcript here with all COVID-19 updates for CA.


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Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:43)
Good afternoon, everybody. I wanted to update you on where we are in terms of California’s COVID-19 response, as we’ve been doing on a weekly basis. Let me begin the week by just stating upfront some of the trendlines that continue to create caution and concern here in the state of California. We’re continuing to see hospitalizations rise in the state. We’re continuing to see a modest increase in ICUs and number of beds represented by ICU patients throughout the state of California, and we continue to experience an increase in the rate of positivity here in the state of California. I’ll go through those very detailed terms in a moment, but just to remind you our approach to addressing this issue, going back many, many months, we’ve made this point on multiple occasions. And that is, we’re moving back into a modification mode of our original stay at home order, but doing so utilizing what commonly is referred to as a dimmer switch, not an on and off switch.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:51)
The point of a dimmer switch was to make the point that as data, trendlines, as the experience of reopening in different parts of the state and people beginning to mix in different parts of the state begin to manifest, different conditions would present themselves, and as a consequence, we wanted to be prepared for those conditions based on the trendlines, based on the data, based on the science, to modify our stay at home order subsequently, meaning not on, open economy, or off, shut down, but a dimmer switch, looking at conditions throughout the nation’s most populous state as they present themselves, as those trendlines become points of concern, before they invariably become headlines. It’s a consequence of increase in positivity rate, increase in hospitalizations, in ICUs, based upon the predicate, this foundation that we laid on utilizing a dimmer switch, today we are announcing additional statewide actions as it relates to our stay at home order here in the state of California.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:01)
We are now effectively, rather, effective today, requiring all counties to close their indoor activities, their indoor operations in the following sectors, restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, card rooms, and the shuttering of all bars. This is in every county in the state of California, not just the counties that were on the monitoring list that we announced on July 1st. So this is a new statewide action, effective today. Every county in the state of California impacted by a requirement now to modify indoor operations and to expand opportunities for outdoor operations in these specific categories you see on the screen.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:55)
We’re also announcing, effective immediately, all the counties on our county monitoring lists, and I’ll show you that list, an updated list, in just a moment. All the counties on the updated monitoring list, we are directing they close indoor operations in additional sectors. So the sectors that we’re closing statewide, again, restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums, card rooms, and bars, to outdoor activities to the extent possible. Now, with counties on the monitoring list, we have this list, fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services. That includes hair salons, barbershops, and indoor malls. So again, these are sectors to close indoor operations in the counties that are on the monitoring list, to include these additional sectors that you see on the list we provided.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (10:01)
I’ll remind you that that monitoring list is one that we hold very closely. We monitor every county in the state of California, but we provide additional technical assistance to the counties that you see on this list. The counties now you see on this list, total 30, we are today announcing four additional counties have come onto our list, Placer County, Sonoma, Sutter, and Yuba County. These 30 counties in total represent about 80% of the population in the state of California. I made this point very clear a number of many, many weeks ago when we introduced the monitoring list to all of you, that it’s a dynamic list. Counties come on, in some cases counties come off, depending on the criteria that, again, was established on the front end and their ability to mitigate trendlines, to mitigate spread, to mitigate hospitalizations, ICUs, and the like.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:02)
We anticipate over the next few days, a number of other counties look like, based upon the trends, to be entering onto this list. Last Monday, just to put it in perspective, just to contextualize, if you tuned in last Monday, we had 23 counties on this list. Today, again, 30 counties on this list, four additional counties that were placed over the weekend, and I anticipate at least two counties likely in the next day or two to be included in this list. So in these counties, we have added, I’ll toggle back, a requirement that we close indoor operations, indoor operations for the sectors you see on the list, again, personal care services, indoor malls, worship services, fitness centers, and the like.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:57)
As it relates to the total number of cases we’re experiencing here in the state of California, yesterday, the latest reporting period, we had 8,358 cases. Again, I’m now tending to disproportionately encourage you to focus on the seven day trends and average, as these numbers can go up and down, they can mislead. They generate a headline, but don’t necessarily tell you what the trendlines are. Those seven day averages, 14 days even better, but give you a more contemporary seven day average. You’ll see that seven day, about 8,211, are actually at 8,211. So yesterday a little above the seven day average. Last week at this time, again, put it in perspective, again, 23 counties on the monitored list, now 30. Last week’s seven day average was 7,876. 7,876. So you see that seven day average trending upwards. What has trended down since the beginning of our reporting back in early April is the total positivity rates. I’ll remind you, again, total number of tests performed and the percentage of people that test positive, the positivity rate, was originally very, very high, as symptomatic people were going out and getting their tests. Now that we’re providing an average of over 107,000 tests on a daily basis, not just the 2000 tests that we were providing on a daily basis in April, you’re seeing a positivity number increase, but the positivity rate has now settled in around 7.4%. In fact, specifically over a 14 day period, 7.4%. Over a seven day period, that number is at 7.7%. So 14 day positivity rate in the state of California, 7.4%, a seven day average number of tests conducted over 107,000…

Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:03)
A seven day average number of tests conducted over 107,000. For what it’s worth, yesterday we tested over 137,000 people. Actually, if you round up more appropriately, 138,000 people were tested yesterday. As it relates to the test positivity rate, we constantly want to take a closer look. You’ll see where we were just a few weeks ago at 6.1%. Now, again, it’s 7.4%. This represents a 21% increase in the test positivity rate over a two week period. Accordingly, as we see positivity rates increase, as I say often, you will see the lagging indicator of hospitalizations begin to increase. You’re seeing hospitalization numbers increased 28% over a two week period. That’s a little bit better than the 50% that we presented to you a week or so ago. For two week period last week, we saw a 50% increase. We’re seeing modest reduction in the rate of growth in hospitalizations, and that’s why the 28% two week period is represented in this slide of increase in total number of people hospitalized.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:26)
I’ll remind you as always, our hospital care system is not just licensed beds, also alternative care sites, but for the purposes, just clarity and constancy or rather consistency, you’ll see this slide, some you may be very familiar with, which is total number of licensed beds, total number of patients that are hospitalized with COVID-19 here in the state of California. That number again, 6,48. It represents 8.7% of the total number of individuals that are hospitalized utilizing licensed hospital beds in our healthcare system. We round up to 9%. Las week at this time it was a little above 8%, turned it up to about 8.7% in today’s reporting period. Hospitalizations go up, variably we’ll start to see ICU admissions begin to increase. You’ll see, in this slide 1,833 individuals now admitted in our ICU. That represents a 20% increase over a two week period. Last week, it was 39%.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (16:39)
Again, hospitals, when I reported last week over a two week period up 50%, ICU is up over two week period at 39%. today hospitals over two week period, 28% and as it relates to ICU’s up 20%. Similar trend in terms of growth rates for hospitalizations as well as number of ICU’s. Total capacity and our critical care system for ICU it’s at 16%, total number of ICU patients represented in all of our total ICU and NICU beds. Last week it was around 15% so you’re seeing it plus, or minus 15, 16% represented here. You’ll see the total number of ventilators, available still north of 10,000 though, we were consistently above 11,000 on the ventilators available. That’s something to watch. We continue to draw down purchasing additional ventilators. We’ve been in constant contact with FEMA, our federal partners about what the national stockpile on ventilators look like.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:46)
It’s an important thing to do at this stage because as I remind you consistently and I’ll do it again today, that the numbers we present you are in the aggregate. They’re the sum total of all local numbers. None of us live in the aggregate. We live somewhere in the state of California and there are parts of the state that are in need of additional ventilators. We’ve made that point in the past, around Imperial County. The reason we are moving forward today with additional dimmer in terms of our opening begin to dim down, again, is we’re starting to see in some rural parts of the state, an increase in ICU use that is generating some concern.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:34)
Let me be specific. In Placer County and Butte County, ICU capacity is now limited, south of 20% capacity in those counties. Now, we have mutual aid capacity. We have a system, again, a system which suggests many parts, but one body. A systemic approach to how we share assets and resources. As I said, we’ve done that in Imperial, bringing ventilators down. But when you start seeing it in multiple counties, start seeing it in Lake County, in addition to Placer County, in addition to Butte County, but when you start to see a little of a supply constraint in terms of ICU beds and additional increase in use and utilization of ventilators, it draws our attention. That data then bears consequence, the consequence being the data driving the decision to utilize that dimmer switch. Long way of saying that’s fundamentally why today we are moving forward with the modifications that I led with in this presentation.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:37)
One thing I just think is incredibly important to remind all of you is that this virus is not going away anytime soon. I hope all of us recognize that if we’re still connected to some notion that somehow when it gets warm, it’s going to go away or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off, this virus has done neither. You’ve seen parts of the country with very hot, including humid, not just dry weather, where you’re seeing an increase in positivity rates, increase in hospitalizations and ICUs here in the state of California as we’re seeing triple digit weather in many parts of our state. We’re still seeing an increase in the positivity rate, the community transmission, we’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus. So that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize, soberly, that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, until there is a vaccine and or an effective therapy. And again, I focus on effective therapies because on the therapeutic side, this state is really leading the nation and in many respects the world in terms of the advanced trials that are being done here.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (20:53)
And of course, as the birthplace of life science biotech, we’re very proud of our innovation in this space and our capacity to develop partnerships with our universities, our research and development, federal labs and the like as well as the private sector and it’s ingenuity. A lot is happening in this space. As I mentioned on multiple occasions in the past, we have an advisory group that’s focused on therapeutics and they’re consistently offering us some raise of optimism in this space. I just want to share that because I know that we look to the vaccines and we see that the vaccines are unlikely at scale to be procured, administered, distributed in a way that does justice, not only to the state, but our nation and the world in an immediate term, but there are some interesting opportunities to advance therapeutics that can mitigate the morbidity, not just the mortality of this disease.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:52)
I’m going to be focusing on socializing that a little bit more by inviting our members of our advisory committee to make a public presentation, to share with you some of that insight very, very shortly, which I’ve been looking forward to doing. We want to make sure the presentation is ready and we’re not providing you a false sense of optimism in certain cases. We’re organizing that as we are our testing update, which will be forthcoming. In fact, tomorrow, Dr. Galli will be presenting our new reconstituted testing task force, two new co-chairs of the task force. Again, just coming from record number of tests conducted. This is the next iteration of testing. That includes by the way, schools. It include strategies for employers strategies for effectively targeting in a much smarter, more efficient and effective way our testing sites in terms of testing deserts, diverse communities, vulnerable populations, but also looking at issues of costs associated with testing.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (22:56)
It’s a more sustainable model and we could build on the success we’ve had over the course of the last few months. As always, I want to remind you, limit your mixing with people outside of your household. It’s just common sense, but the data suggests not everybody’s practicing common sense. If you do mix, it is so important that you take that mixing outside. Again, that’s the spirit of today’s presentation, looking at moving a lot of these activities that were happening inside, like restaurants, moving those activities outside. The impact of the spread of the virus outside we believe is more favorable than mixing with individuals for an extended period of time, cohorts for an extended period of time inside where you don’t have the air circulation. We have seen based upon contact tracing, based upon examples across not only this state, across the country, but around the world, increase and concentration of an increase in positivity and spread of this virus.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:06)
As always, continue to impress upon you the importance of wearing a mask, wearing a face covering. What more evidence do you need than nations that have taken the bold leadership of acquiring nationwide wearing of masks and face covering. They are much better off than unfortunately our country. As a consequence, we encourage you in this state, encourage you to wear a mask, wear a face covering, continue to practice physical distancing when you’re coming into contact with strangers or people outside of your household, continue to practice appropriate hygiene and washing of your hands and the like. Let me just close by soberly saying that we lost another 23 lives to this pandemic in the last day. 23 human beings that family members have lost loved ones, being torn apart. It’s a reminder of the deadliness of this disease. We had 72 individuals on Saturday that lost their lives. And so I just remind you that not only are people getting COVID-19, not only are we seeing people transmit this disease, but we’re also continuing to see lives lost. You saw some of those numbers go up last week, north of 100 lives lost.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (25:33)
Don’t be fooled, respectfully. I say this, not because I’m hoping for this, quite the contrary, but one has to be honest and forthright and sober about this. 23 may be on the lower end, but I’ll remind you a week or so ago, I was reporting just six lives lost and then a few days later well in excess of 100 lives lost. This continues to be a deadly disease. This continues to be a disease that puts people in our ICUs, in our hospitals, and is currently putting a strain on our hospital system and in our ICUs. Good news is we have over 300 million masks; N95 masks, procedure masks in our current state, stockpile, hundreds of millions being distributed over the last few months, hundreds millions more will be distributed and are being distributed in real time as we built up our PPE. More capacity and resource with plans, protocols, procedures, processes throughout the state of California in different parts of the state; alternative care facilities, health care personnel that we’ve been able to identify as critical, additional healthcare resources to provide levels of expertise, wherever there may be mismatches.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:56)
That’s part of our health core, all of these things, including the cohort of now over 10,000 people that have been trained in our contact tracing core, all are advantageous in terms of meeting things head on and allowing us to navigate through this whitewater at the moment and through a little bit of the headwinds as it relates to a resurgence of sorts in this first wave of the pandemic. And so again, dimmer switch being utilized a little bit more forcefully, continuing to be targeted in those areas on the monitoring list to additional sectors, but now broadened throughout the state of California, as we see more and more counties entering the monitoring list and more and more people now going from one county to the other and ICU and hospitalization concerns presenting themselves, particularly in rural parts of the state that may mask their current transmissions and total number of positives that have been identified, but should not mask…

Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:03)
Positives that have been identified, but should not mask the availability of appropriate levels of hospital resources, which again have precipitated in the decision that we are announcing and advancing today. So with that, as always happy to take any questions. And again, I just want to thank everybody for continuing to endure what I know is a very challenging and difficult period of time. We were able to suppress the spread of this virus. We were able to knock down the growth of this in the beginning. We’re going to do that again, there’s no doubt in my mind. But at the same time, that can’t happen by demanding something of you.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:47)
We just want to encourage you to do what you know needs to be done in terms of wearing that mask and physically distancing into the extent we have to look at sectors of our economy that reinforce a mandate of focus we’re doing just that, but we’ll get through this and let me again, just thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart, for your perseverance, for your patients, for your recognition, but also our collective reckoning of the virulence of this virus and the ubiquity of this virus and our need to maintain our vigilance and continue to do the good work we’ve done as a state over an extended period of time. So we can work through this, get to the other side more resilient, more capable than ever. With that, happy to take any questions.

Speaker 1: (29:35)
Marisa Lagos, KQED.

Marisa Lagos: (29:40)
Hi, Governor, I have young kids as do you, and I’m curious as to what kind of guidance you guys are going to be giving a school district, it’s a real mix right now. It feels like if indoor activity at some of these other places aren’t safe, they may not be for school districts. And I’m just curious as to how much the state intends to wait in since it’s such a hodgepodge right now.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:04)
We’ve forcefully done just that number of months ago. We put out a guidance for our schools, I encourage you and others to go to the covid19.ca.gov website covid.ca.gov website. You’ll see the guidance we put out through our department of public health. You’ll see as well, what CDE put out, California Department of Education put out as well. You know, that there are different counties with local health guidelines and officials working in partnerships with our superintendent of public schools based on the conditions on the ground, making subsequent recommendations, as you saw demonstrably, that it played today. Both LA unified school district, as well as San Diego announced that they’re going to enter into the fall school season, the way they ended last school year. And that is by utilizing distance learning until we deal with the background rate of infections, contextualizing the schools and where they’re operating the communities that are being impacted by rates of growth, positivity, and spread of the virus.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:16)
I want to just acknowledge and applaud the leadership of those districts for leaning in and recognizing their responsibility at this moment to give their children not just their children, their caregivers give the system as well as parents the opportunity to begin to adjust and make plans. I will say on distance learning and this is a broad stroke statement. We were able to knock down that digital divide by roughly in half over the course of the last five months, but halfway is not all the way. And so we still have enormous amount of work to do. And so it’s also a reminder as some of these districts make determination based upon background infection rates based upon their own physical constraints, the criteria you have districts that are not unified school districts, some just are high school districts versus middle school districts and the like. Each district is unique and distinctive over a thousand plus districts in the state of California.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:21)
When we work through these different constraints, criterias and concerns, utilizing the CDC guidelines, utilizing the CDE guidelines, department education at state level and our own health guidelines and partnerships with locals that each of these criteria need to meet the needs in these respective districts. And that’s why we put up $5.3 billion in this year’s budget to allow for the ability to procure assets, to allow for distance learning, to make sure that we have the resources to continue to do more, to close that divide and to keep our children and to keep our teachers, our janitors, our bus drivers, and all of those remarkable people from secretaries and principals that make our school systems work to keep them safe as well. And so look, we will continue to modify based upon changing conditions. And so just for purposes of your question, a little bit of a preview on Friday, I signed off on some additional guidance that’s being socialized.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (33:37)
And so respect please, that is currently being socialized within the system over the weekend. And today around masks, around contact sports, around choir, around busing of our kids and keeping them safe and around furthering our efforts around distance learning and how to make sure that we’re addressing the divide in social and emotional concerns, obviously they are a big part of distance learning that otherwise are substantially mitigated in terms of the socialization of our kids. When they’re physically present in the schools again, I’ll remind you two things are non negotiable, our children’s health and the absolute essential importance of educating our children. To me, it’s an and not an or, and I didn’t want to just applaud Austin Buetner, who has been working very, very closely with the state, not just the County in Los Angeles and the team down in San Diego for the decision they made today.

Speaker 1: (34:42)
Kathleen Ronayne, AP.

Kathleen Ronayne: (34:46)
Hi, Governor just to follow up on schools. I understand that what happens with schools is a local decision, but you’re the leader of California’s response to this pandemic and if indirect activities are dangerous for everything else, why would schools be okay? And what if anything, will the state do to step in if districts choose to return to in classroom learning?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:07)
Well we put, and you’ll see the budget, I think you report on the budget. And I think it’s important that folks take a closer look at the language of the $5.3 billion that we put up and the statutory language, not just the guidance we put out through the department of public health as it relates to our expectations with the districts, but you’re absolutely right. We’re monitoring this in real time. As I made very clear in the last answer, we, over the course of the last number of days have made decisions to further strengthen our guidelines based upon the increased growth and rate of spread. If that’s not leading to a conclusion that you should anticipate even more, I would disabuse you that it should encourage you to believe that we will be leaning in even further well aware of my responsibilities. Well aware of the dynamic that is a state, as large as ours.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:03)
Again, I want to just caution people. This is unlike any other state in the nation, in terms of the scope and scale over six plus million children that we are responsible for in our education system, different cohorts of children, high school students, middle, elementary, a lot of preschool components and pre-K components that are all part and parcel of our considerations. Each district stands unique and distinctive in terms of its physical designs, its physical assets, contextualizing some parts of the state that have not had substantial community spread.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:40)
And that background spread of the virus has to be contextualized as well. So you’re correct in your question, looking at the local nature of the way we’ve designed our system of education here at K through 12 education in the state of California, that is a bottom up approach, but we certainly will be asserting, have been asserting ourselves for a number of months now in terms of the guidance we’ve been putting out and the statutory language that’s in the budget related to school funding. That is also a demonstrable example of leaning in, in terms of the expectations in this state. But again, the dynamic nature of the spread of this virus means you’ll be hearing a lot more in the next few days and presumably weeks as we get closer to the opening of the school year.

Speaker 1: (37:31)
Karma Dickerson FOX40.

Karma Dickerson: (37:34)
Hi Governor, I understand that you’re going to be talking to the subject of testing strategy tomorrow with Dr. Ghaly, but could you address the issue of just testing availability? We’re starting to see just a harder situation for people on the ground trying to get tests, people talking about waiting weeks. I spoke with a woman today at a pop up testing site who basically expressed three week lag between finding out she had been exposed to someone who had been tested positive and actually being able to get tests. She’s done everything from going to pop up sites that have run out of tests to try to schedule out appointments and she’s done pretty wide search going as far as scheduling testing an hour away from where she lives.

Karma Dickerson: (38:19)
And we heard similar stories out there. So again, can you just discuss what a testing capacity is like at this point at what people can expect going forward? And also just the basic fundamental of we’re talking about three weeks from the time you’re finding out that you’d been exposed to the time you’re actually getting tests with a lag in getting results. I mean, it’ll be about a month before when it’s all said and done before this woman knows whether or not she’s positive for this. So how that’s actually effective at all?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:51)
So I would encourage everybody that wants to access a test to go to the coid19.ca.gov website, covid19. ca.gov website. You can pull down, type in your zip code, which will give you a map of the most proximate testing sites in your area. We’ve been working over the course of last number of months to go from an average of 2,000 tests a day, just over 90 days ago. Now you saw, we are running at a record rate, more testing than the state has ever conducted over a seven day period. You saw at the beginning of the presentation over 107,000 tests on average per day, over the last week, 137, almost 138,000 tests conducted yesterday. I made this abundantly clear on many, many occasions. I’ll do it again today, even 137,000 tests is inadequate to meet the needs of a population as large as ours, including this individual that you have exampled.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:59)
And so it’s unacceptable in this nation and in this state that we are not in a position to be doing even larger scale testing, that all of us have been very, very aggressively promoting and trying to manifest. We announced a task force a number of months ago when we were averaging just 2,000 tests a day and we were able to reach some stretch goals. Goals we set out 60,000 get to 80,000 as a stretch goal of tests that we conduct on a daily basis. We also targeted what we referred to as testing deserts all throughout the state of California. We also targeted our diverse communities within urban settings that were also under-resourced. So not just in rural parts of the state, not only in remote parts of the state, but also even in densely populated parts of the state, certain communities were not getting tested.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (40:56)
We’ve seen marked improvement. I made it clear a week ago that the task force had done not only an admirable job, I believe an outstanding job, I complimented it’s two co-chairs and made it clear that we would be announcing two new co-chairs in the presentation today. I reinforced and thank you for acknowledging that tomorrow, Dr. Ghaly will be making a presentation, announcing the two new task force members and addressing exactly the concern that you’re bringing up as it relates to access issues that remain stubborn, issues related to supplies that once again are presenting themselves, particularly in the PCR tests, as it relates to transport media viral collection, the ability to get swabs, the questions that were long standing concerns were continuing now, when you see a scale of testing happening in other parts of the country, we’re starting to see constraints again, including time to test results. We’ve seen a real-

Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:03)
… To test results. We’ve seen a real marked improvement for a number of months and now we’re starting to see delays once again, in terms of the testing results.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:12)
So your example is twofold. Example of someone who may have had difficult time accessing a test and then after they get tests, to have a difficult time being patient, waiting for those test results. That’s exactly what Doctor Ghaly will be discussing tomorrow. Our new strategy, our new approach and new partnerships we formed. Rather than complaining about it like we did the last time, we’re doing something about it. We’ll do this again, as it relates to different capacity, building partnerships and a different approach that he’ll be highlighting in detail tomorrow.

Speaker 2: (42:52)
Doug Sovern, KCBS radio.

Doug Sovern: (42:53)
Hi governor. Thank you. I want to ask you about Alameda County. As you may be aware, there’s been a lot of confusion in Alameda County the last few days. It had been allowing outdoor dining for the last few weeks. Found out Thursday it wasn’t supposed to. The county issued a new order. There was confusion between the state and the county. Over the weekend, a number of cities, including Oakland, Livermore, Hayward, said they would not enforce the new county order. A lot of angry people at restaurants. A lot of confusion and that confusion extends even to this briefing because while Alameda County has shown on the state watch list on the website, it’s not on the list of counties you just put out and the website shows 31 and you said 30.

Doug Sovern: (43:38)
To some people that’s sort of emblematic of the kind of confusion and chaos there is and where people aren’t really sure what is safe, where it’s safe, why it’s okay on one block and not in another. There’s not compliance.

Doug Sovern: (43:51)
How do you address that and explain to people.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:53)
Very easily, Doug.

Doug Sovern: (43:54)
What was going on and how that can even be happening. As Kathleen said, there’s a leader of this state. Things seem to be going in the wrong direction. How do we turn it back around?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:04)
So Alameda County is one of two counties that I previewed just a moment ago that are likely to go on the list, as I said, tomorrow or the next day. So apparently that may have happened as it relates to the website and forgive that mismatch. That’s a rare occurrence. In many, many months, I have not seen that happen. Forgive me. But as it relates to Alameda County, as it relates to a number of other counties, as I said, it’s likely they’ll enter onto this list.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:34)
We’ve had a process that’s been very consistent. You’re well familiar with it. I think the public is as well as it relates to an attestation process. The attestation process is a give and take between county health directors with their county board of supervisors, with their hospital system and with our health team here in the state of California. We promote those attestations that are on our website, COVID- 19.ca.gov. I encourage people in their respective counties to go to the COVID-19.ca.gov website, to look at their county attestations. Also on that same site, you’ll see where the monitoring lists, where the technical assistance on this list is being provided.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:19)
I made it crystal clear a moment ago, and I’d encourage you to rewind the presentation, that people come on that monitoring list and they come off that monitoring list because of the dynamic nature of this virus. Nothing’s constant, nothing is linear as it relates to infectious disease. There’s a dynamic and that dynamic needs to be monitored in real time.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:47)
The purpose of the presentation today, many other presentations, is to make that point and reinforce it by saying it is not an on and off switch. It’s a dimmer switch and any of you have used a dimmer switch, the dimmer switch goes up and down based upon changing conditions, based upon context or what you’re trying to accomplish.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:09)
So that’s exactly what we’re doing. As things dynamically change, as we see the spread, as we see our capacity in certain parts of the state improve, we see capacity constraints in other parts of the state and as a consequence, we have to continue to toggle back and forth.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:27)
So that’s part of our resolve. It’s part of the leadership in the state, the first state in the country to move forward with a stay-at-home order. That didn’t mean we shut down every sector of the economy. Mark this is a consideration; 60 plus percent of the economy still remained open even after the stay-at-home order.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:46)
We began to make modifications after extended period of time of stabilization of our hospitalizations, stabilizations and our ICU’s, stabilization in terms of the positivity rate, to make some modifications based upon local conditions in a state, as large as ours. That was the attestation process and this is now the monitoring of that attestation process and the technical assistance. That is an iterative process. It’s a dynamic process. Again, not linear, and that dynamism is it relates to the spread of this disease, is marked by my weekly presentations, where we tried to be as forthright and transparent and as direct as we possibly can with you and many others.

Speaker 2: (47:34)
Final question. Annabelle Munoz, ABC 7.

Annabelle Nunez: (47:40)
Hi, governor. Taking a look at some of the information on your website in regards to those closures for the counties that have been on that list for three consecutive days, one of the items listed is protests. Can you explain what that means?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:55)
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the last. One of the items listed on the website is what?

Annabelle Nunez: (48:00)
Is protests or one of the industries under these categories says protest.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:06)
Well, I, and forgive me, maybe more clarification in terms of your question. Yes, we we have a framework around protests. Is that what you’re asking exactly?

Annabelle Nunez: (48:18)
Right. So on the website, it has a category for industries that should be shut down unless they’re modified, it says to operate outside or by pick up. It says fitness centers, worship services, the third thing listed on that list says protests.

Annabelle Nunez: (48:36)
So I’m wondering if that’s supposed to be in this specific category and if [crosstalk 00:48:40] by that.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:41)
I appreciate it. I think what you’re referring to is no indoor activities and that would include certainly protests as it relates to those indoor activities. So if it’s under the header indoor, and again, I don’t have the benefit of exactly what you’re looking at specifically. If it’s under that heading, that’s what it would be referring to.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:04)
One more question.

Speaker 2: (49:05)
David Baker, Bloomberg News.

David Baker: (49:10)
[inaudible 00:49:10] A quick question about today, we understand there’s going to be another conference call with Vice President Pence and a bunch of the governors on the Coronavirus and I wanted to find out if there was any specific help that you wanted the federal government to provide at this point or any form of aid that you’d be looking for in today’s call?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:29)
Not in today’s call, but I mentioned this last week and thank you for the opportunity to share it again. We were the beneficiary of a relationship with the vice president in terms of our partnership that we formed over the course of the last number of months, to secure 190 individuals that the vice president was able to secure for the state of California to help basically decompress some of the stress of some of our key healthcare workers and some of these hotspots in the state. Through partnership with HHS, we were able to get these teams, total number of health experts, of 190 individuals.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (50:12)
So in contemporary terms, that was done. That commitment came in just a number of days ago and it was formalized, I think, late last week and those folks are now being sent and will be deployed throughout the state of California.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (50:29)
So the purpose of often, and this is an opportunity to maybe talk about some of these calls without getting into the particulars though. These calls certainly have been leaked and they might as well just be public calls at this stage, but the calls are really about governors sharing best practices and updating on some of their efforts and their concerns. It’s also an opportunity to hear not only from a number of other governors as it relates to sharing of those best practices and concerns, but also vice president and other experts in the administration, all part of the testing, or rather the Corona Task Force, forgive me, the Corona Task Force they put together. We’ll hear from a number of them as it relates to PPE issues, testing issues, skilled nursing facility issues, issues related to opening of schools clearly and these have happened on a fairly consistent basis, if not every week, certainly every other week.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:27)
And as you know well, we’ve had some times, some guests, including the president himself, that participate in what’s typically an hour to an hour and a half long phone call.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:39)
Let me again, just thank all of you for the opportunity, however long you’ve tuned in to this update and this presentation. I want to thank you for continuing to take seriously the spread and transmission of this virus.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:52)
I want to always remind you the same mantra that is to wear a mask, to physically distance and continue those hygiene practices that are essential. Continue to remind you what I don’t need to remind you at this stage, the vulnerability that still placed on our seniors and those that have pre-existing conditions that are more prone to impacts and virality of this virus.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:18)
So for seniors and for those that have immunity systems are compromised, in that respect, please, please take seriously the fact that positivity rates are growing in this state and across many parts of this country and continue to be vigilant as it relates to your own activities and your own health.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:40)
Take care of everybody. Look forward to updating you on testing tomorrow and look forward to subsequent updates throughout the week.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:47)
Take care.

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