Jul 27, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom July 27 Press Conference Transcript

California Governor Gavin Newsom July 27 Press Conference Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsPress Conference TranscriptsCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom July 27 Press Conference Transcript
Governor of California Gavin Newsom’s July 27 coronavirus press conference. He discussed sending strike teams to the eight Central Valley counties that have experienced a severe spike in COVID-19 cases. Read the full news briefing speech transcript here with all COVID-19 updates for CA.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (10:53)
A positive working environment and causative and more importantly, collaborative environment with county health officials, local officials and state officials. And I just want to acknowledge this example is exactly the kind of example we want to see replicated all up and down the state of California. When you’re in these larger processing plants, invariably, when we have so much background spread, so much community spread, the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 is relatively high. As a consequence, it’s not the fact that an employee is tested positive, it’s how we respond to that employee being tested positive and how we protect those coworkers, how we protect the entire business and the community those businesses are operating in. Reason we came here is demonstrably, this is a group that gets it and has been able to collaborative and get things done and partner again with local and state officials to allow these essential workers to continue to move forward and continue to generate opportunities, not only for family members and those that are supporting their families workers here, but as an economic engine again for Stockton and the broader county and state.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (12:16)
That’s the reason we’re here this afternoon, but we’re also here intentionally for another purpose and that’s to build on what we announced on Friday. We talked a lot about the importance of protecting essential workers here in the state of California. Protecting essential workers from the ravages of this virus and to maintain that structural integrity of an economy that disproportionally relies on those essential workers. I made this point on Friday. I’ll make it again today. While we see positivity rate in the state of California growing modestly, we’re seeing total number of cases, certainly growing, a number of people losing their lives and I’ll talk about that in a moment, also growing.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (12:59)
It’s not happening evenly in every part of the state. There’s certain parts of the state, certain regions in the state and certain sectors of our economy that are disproportionately impacted by the transmission of this virus. We’re here talking today about the central valley. Eight counties that have R effective rates. Dr. Galley will remind you what R effective is in a moment when he speaks. R effective rates north of 1%. we have eight counties where we’re seeing an increase of infection. We have positivity rates in the central valley on the low end of 10.7% in Fresno to Larry and Stanislaus on the higher end, 17.7% positivity rates. You get a sense of the challenge we have in eight counties making up the central valley, disproportionately being impacted currently by community spread and by spread happening disproportionately…

Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:02)
And by spread happening disproportionately with essential workers, disproportionately in the Latino community, disproportionately impacting congregate settings, continuing to be vigilant around skilled nursing facilities, correctional facilities, and the like. That’s the area of more of our laser like focus, in terms of our targeted interventions, in terms of our resource allocation, and in terms of our transparency and, ultimately, accountability to partner with organizations, not only the state level, local level, but also at the federal level, to provide relief and diminish the spread and transmission of this virus.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:43)
So today, we’re announcing $52 million investment, new dollars that will be put in to the Central Valley, into the eight counties, to improve our isolation protocols, our quarantine protocols, our testing protocols, and to enhance our healthcare workers, by providing more support, as well as more personnel. $52 million that has been provided to us through a grant we received from the federal government. $499 million CDC grant, of which the first dollars we’re now distributing. 52, again, eight Central Valley counties, focusing and targeting on improving testing, not only providing more supplies and supports, but time to testing results.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:34)
You’ll hear a moment more from one of our co-chairs of our testing task force, to talk more specifically about some of our renewed efforts in this space. But these dollars, we think, are timely. These dollars certainly are critical and important, and they will build off local infrastructure that’s already in place.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:56)
What’s also in place, deeply ingrained in our mindset, is the example of what occurred in Imperial County and the work we’ve been doing in Imperial County now, for a number of months, to address some of the community spread that really flared up there, disproportionately in that county. We were able to make some improvements, in terms of the transmission and spread the virus, by deploying a number of strike teams. Some of you may recall these regional unified response teams that we deployed into Imperial County.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (16:33)
We’re announcing today, we’re doing exactly the same thing throughout the Central Valley. Three teams representing three different regions in the Central Valley will be deployed, along the same lines we deployed those teams in Imperial County. I’ll remind you those teams included members of the office of emergency services, certainly members of OSHA, team members Department of Social Services, as well as partners that we developed at the local level, including community-based organizations that will be helping us and supporting our efforts to truly unify our engagement, truly unify our approach and framework to mitigate the spread of this disease.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:21)
We’ve also created at the State Operation Center, what we refer to as the SOC, a new Central Valley task force, exclusively focused on the needs of the task force, or rather the needs of the Valley, that taskforce focusing on this unified coordinated response and focusing on accountability, again, transparency at all levels of government.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (17:46)
And so with the new supports, $52 million of new resources we’re deploying, with the strike teams, which will be deployed in every one of eight Central Valley counties ,with the renewed vigor of what we announced on Friday, related to supporting our essential workforce, disproportionally engaging our employers, not in a punitive mindset, but a supportive mindset.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (18:14)
The work we’re doing in terms of increasing the acuity of focus related to identifying and isolating and quarantine individuals that may have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in an environment where someone was a close contact had been tested positive for COVID-19. That through the additional efforts with our partnerships that we are establishing, we announced Friday, including project Room Key, which has been enhanced to provide isolation space and additional supports, in terms of housing vouchers, primarily hotel vouchers, that we’re supplementing, and increased education, more targeted engagement to not only employers, but to employees. So that they know their rights in relationship to sick leave and in relationship to worker’s comp. We think we are in a better position this week, in terms of these efforts.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:17)
And so that’s purpose of today’s announcement. And Dr. Ghaly will come up in a moment and fill in a little bit on the details and some more specificity related to these efforts as well.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (19:31)
Let me though, first, briefly update you on what occurred over the weekend, update you on the numbers, since we last had the opportunity to engage on Friday. The positivity rates in the state of California over 14 day period are at 7.5%. Left you on Friday, we were at 7.5%. They’re holding relatively strong. Up 5% over 14 day cohort. So we’ve been ranging from 7.4 to 7.5 over 14 day period. I, again, remind you, that’s in the aggregate, and the data that I just presented you related to the Central Valley shows a different picture here in the Valley, compared to the state of California. Remember 10.7% in Fresno, 17.7% Tulare and Stanislaus 7.5. However, statewide, the seven day average, which has gotten more attention is 7.8%, but 7.5 over a 14 day period.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (20:36)
Hospitalization numbers, as well as ICU admissions, are increasing, but at a more modest pace than we saw two and three weeks ago. You may recall hospitalization rates in the state of California, when we announced a 50% growth over a 14 day period, raised obvious alarm bells. Over a 14 day period, we have seen that hospitalization rate now, in the announcement today’s numbers increased 3%. So from 50 to 3%. I left you on Friday, that 14 day hospitalization rate was at 9%.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (21:18)
as it relates to ICUs, you may recall, hospitalizations were at 50%. a few weeks back, over two week period, ICUs were up 39%, a few weeks back over a 14 day period. The numbers we have out today, our 14 day numbers related to ICUs have increased 7%. So from 39 to 7 on ICUs, from 50 down to 3% on the hospitalization. So again, we’re seeing a growth rate, but we’re seeing a modification, a decline in the rate of growth. It is not where we need to be, but it’s progress indeed, but more progress needs to be made.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (22:05)
And again, our efforts, our focus are really to target those efforts in areas that are hotspots, Central Valley and Southern California, particularly Los Angeles region, as again, focus of a disproportionate amount of our efforts. By the way, on Friday, for what it’s worth, the 14 day on ICS was 11%, again, down to 7% today on Monday.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (22:34)
Related to the total number of positive cases here in the state of California, we have averaged, and I again caution looking at daily stats, both in terms of deaths and daily stats in terms of positives, because it doesn’t always give you a real picture. And we can run with headlines based upon data that appears relatively low, some that appears relatively high. And that’s why we prefer the seven day number. Our seven day total number of positive cases is averaging a 9859 cases. 9859 cases over a seven day period.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:15)
A number of deaths over a seven day period has increased from 91, the previous seven day cohort. The last seven days, our average number of deaths, tragically, is 109. So the total number of deaths certainly beginning to increase. Don’t be misled. The numbers that we’re announcing today are just 29 deaths. And I don’t say just because I am not naive about every one of those deaths being a loved one’s lives lost and a family completely torn apart. And so our hearts go out to every one of those families. But 29 is today’s reported number. But the seven day average [inaudible 00:23:55] 109 average deaths per day.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (23:58)
And I remind you, what more evidence do you need than that, of how deadly this disease continues to be, how deadly this disease continues to be. For some that say otherwise, these points of data and all of the pain and suffering these family members are going through is testament to a different reality. And please let’s wake up to that reality.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:23)
Tests continue to rise in this state. Total number of people tested positive continues to rise in this state. And number of lives lost continues now to rise again. At trendline, we’ve seen over the last few weeks, 109 average lives lost on a daily basis because of COVID-19. We tested 128,000 people yesterday, and we saw our total number of tests, those tested positive, just shy of 7000. I think it was 6,891, to be exact, tested positive yesterday. Again, a positivity rate over 14 day period at 7.5%.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (25:08)
I know these numbers, forgive me, can be confusing, particularly when we don’t have the benefit of all of that data on our slide deck. I encourage you as always to go to the covid19.ca.gov website, covid19.ca.gov website, and take a look at that data, not just data statewide, but data where you live. So you can understand the background rates. You can understand the community spread in your county, in your city proper, as well.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (25:43)
I want to go, before I turn it over to Dr. Ghaly, just say a few things about this city, Stockton, and how proud I am of their mayor, Mayor Tubbs, who has been leading the charge in this county. We’re in a county that is struggling with an increase in the rate of infections and transmissions, a county… Stockton’s in a county that is being challenged currently by staffing pressure in its hospital system, increase in the total number of cases in its ICUs. And that’s why, because of a Mayor Tubbs’ leadership, because of his forthrightness, his willingness to really lead in many respects in this region, this is a part of the state where we have been able to get the support of the federal government and bring in these Department of Defense ICU healthcare teams.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:40)
We now have five of the eight teams, those are 190 personnel we got from the federal government, that have come into the Central Valley. And notably, one of those teams is right here. And I want to just thank Mayor Tubbs for his leadership and for his demonstrable commitment that constantly is reminding all of us that good enough never is. And so we remain vigilant. We’re trying to help decompress some of the stress within the hospital system with additional personnel. We recognize more personnel needs to be forthcoming. That’s why it’s important to note that $52 million commitment that we’re announcing here today.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (27:24)
But in addition to that, we continue to work, to try to collaborate within the healthcare ecosystem. And remember, when one hospital is coming near capacity, that hospital is part of a system that has a coordinated capacity for mutual aid, not only within the county, but also outside the county. And so we’re dealing with staffing flexibility. We’re allowing for more of that, I think 64% of the 45 hospitals in the Central Valley-

Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:03)
… Percent of the 45 hospitals in the Central Valley have requested some flexibility on staffing. We’re doing that to address some of the staffing anxiety but we’re also supplementing through some of the DOD personnel, as well as Health Corps personnel, in addition to the strike teams that we’ve assembled that have many, many agency stripes, many that I referenced just a few moments ago.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:26)
So central workers there’s a focus that really needs to be made on the Latino community, continue to do more and better to raise awareness and to educate young people that cohort 18 to 49 continues to see a disproportionate rate of growth in terms of infections and transmissions and a reminder before Doctor Ghaly comes up, as always of the power and potency of this non-pharmaceutical intervention, wearing a face covering and a mask. We’ve been doing a lot of research, a lot of surveys, and in many respects could just be anecdotal.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:05)
While people have done. I think a very good job, not universally, but disproportionate a very good job in their workplace environment wearing the masks, what tends to happen is we are also letting down our guard, not just at our work place, during breaks, during lunch, perhaps before and after work, but we’re also seeing people that may be very, very vigilant in terms of face coverings at work, not be as vigilant when they’re home with friends and family.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:40)
So another critical component of mitigating the spread of this virus is also reminding people and you know we’re educating. That was part of the announcement and the new resources we’re putting directly into this effort that we announced on Friday but reminding people that friends and extended family, when you’ve been with people outside of your household and you’re mixing, you’re putting their lives at risk and your own life at risk, if you’re not wearing face coverings.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:11)
So having just come through the weekend, that may have been you this weekend, where you’re doing a great job today at work but you may not have been as aggressive when Aunt Cindy came over and you hadn’t seen her in at six or so months and she came right over as she always does and gave you a big hug and kiss a without a mask on. I know how difficult that is for all of us and we’re not going to blame anybody for that, particularly Aunt Cindy for expression of love and passion. It’s just a reminder of the fact that we are in the midst of the first wave of this pandemic and we have got to do what we did in the beginning of the outset of this pandemic and that is mitigate the spread and we will and we will do that much sooner if all us maintain that vigilance and don’t let our guard down. Human though, all of us are.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:06)
So again, I say this with absolute admiration and respect for everything we’re all going through; many of you are going through at this moment. So that moment has come where now ask Doctor Ghaly to come up, say a few words, and then he’ll introduce you to someone he introduced you to a few weeks ago, our new co-chair, we’re just blessed. Epidemiologists who were blessed to have on our team back from retirement, working to address the issue of shortages of supplies and more laser like focus on testing. Doctor Ghaly.

Doctor Ghaly: (31:52)
Thank you, governor and it’s great to be here today in Stockton. I just want to say echo the thanks to Mayor Tubbs, to the County Administrator, Monica Nino, and to Doctor Maggie Park, who has been a great colleague over the last many weeks. She’s the local health officer here in San Joaquin County, who I know many of you are familiar with here locally and just really working hand-in-hand across a number of tremendous public health leaders in the state who are trying to keep the drum beat going on how we keep transmission low in our communities.

Doctor Ghaly: (32:35)
We’re here today in the Central Valley for reasons the governor already laid out. We are seeing a top level, high level transmission rates, test positivity rates as high as 18% in some of the counties. We’re seeing an inordinate number of cases across many of the eight counties in the Central Valley that reach between 250 persons infected per a 100,000 over 14 days, all the way north of 450.

Doctor Ghaly: (33:10)
We’ve seen our effectives, remember that’s the number of individuals who will become infected by any one person who’s infected now, so it’s really a measure of transmission rates. We see those increasing and above one, some as high as 1.4, which tells us we have a great deal of work to do, to get transmission rates down here in the Central Valley.

Doctor Ghaly: (33:34)
As the governor mentioned, the hospital beds, as well as the ICUs and the 45 hospitals in the eight counties here in the Central Valley are feeling the pressure. Some of the regular hospital beds that we depend on for everyday care are filled up with COVID patients to the rate of 65%. same thing in the ICU beds. Some of the smaller hospitals, their ICUs, small and mighty and important to the community and some of those 65% of the patients today in those beds, are COVID positive.

Doctor Ghaly: (34:09)
So what that tells us is the moment is now to continue to work between the state and our local partners to get a handle on what’s happening in the Central Valley. The Unified Response Teams of the governor mentioned led by Cal OES, out of State Operations Center, multidisciplinary teams across many state agencies that are putting sort of our feet where our mouth has been, coming into communities, partnering with individuals like Doctor Park and her county and city colleagues to make sure that we’re addressing everything, not just hospital surge capacity and whether we have enough staff and ventilators, but also way upstream, getting into places like Diamond, where we are today, where we know essential workers are part of the story of transmission, that we need to do more working with our labor partners here in the Central Valley, working with community leaders all the way, faith based leaders, community groups.

Doctor Ghaly: (35:13)
A number of the city and other local leaders as well, to make sure that our message around wear your masks, stay physically distanced and reduce the level of mixing that we’re seeing in our communities so we can get transmission rates down and really keep our communities protected over the long run.

Doctor Ghaly: (35:34)
These Unified Response Teams will have members of a number of different agencies, including our labor agency, our AG agency, our business agency, my agency, the Health and Human Services with Department of Public Health, social services, aging, a broad range of individuals who will come, boots on the ground, to work closely on every issue from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities, to how we improve our messaging and communication to increasing testing, to making sure that we have the staff necessary to do that contact tracing and disease investigation. And finally, and very importantly, building our efforts to make sure individuals who are positive can successfully isolate and quarantine in a safe and supported way so that we can reduce the lanes of transmission in our communities.

Doctor Ghaly: (36:28)
Today’s hospital numbers really came from infections weeks ago. So if we want this situation, the hospitals here in the Central Valley and throughout the state to improve, especially as we’re knocking on the door of flu season and the normal amount of surge in those hospitals in the next few months, we need to do today. We double down our efforts to improve our own behaviors, the behaviors in our community, so we can get transmission down, so these numbers in the hospital are reduced in the next few weeks.

Doctor Ghaly: (37:02)
With that, I wanted to take a moment and invite back Doctor Gil Chavez, who just retired from state service at the end of last year. He immediately reached out as we were reaching out to him, offering up help. He’s been with us since the beginning of our response to COVID. I recently asked him and he agreed to be one of the new two co-chairs of our revitalized testing task force, focused not just on ensuring that we have capacity with testing in our state but also that we’re looking at equity and making sure we’re targeting communities like the Latino community, other communities of color in parts of the state, like the Central Valley, where we know there’s a disproportionate impact. That even though Latinos make up a certain portion of the population in each of the Central Valley counties, they make up a greater proportion, sometimes, 20, 30% greater proportion, not just in the number of cases, not just in the number of patients in the hospital, but also in the number of deaths.

Doctor Ghaly: (38:09)
So making sure that we’re communicating clearly and concisely around messages that can reduce transmission, as well as ensuring that testing is in high quality and high amount within the Central Valley.

Doctor Ghaly: (38:22)
So it’s with great pleasure that I invite Doctor Gil Chavez to the podium to share a few words, not just about testing and the testing taskforce effort, but just what we need to be doing as a community at large to reduce transmission as we continue our battle against COVID across California. Doctor Chavez.

Doctor Gil Chavez: (38:46)
Thank you, Doctor Ghaly. Thank you, Governor Newsome. I actually am going to switch gears and make my presentation in Spanish, if you don’t mind. I am here today. [foreign language 00:39:01].

Doctor Gil Chavez: (42:00)
[Spanish 00:00: 00].

Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:53)
Thank you, doctor and again, thank you for all your leadership and support on this testing task force. And I’ll remind you a few weeks ago, Dr. Chavez was announced as one of our two co-chairs of a new testing task force effort. You may recall 100 or so days ago, a little over 120 or so days ago, we were averaging about 2000 tests a day. I noted yesterday we conducted over 128,000 tests. We recognize that we still have a lot of work to do, and that not every part of the state is experiencing the same testing capacity as every other part of the state. We are hearing about challenges with supplies against viral media, transport media, issues related to reagents, other related issues that continue to be vexing. But more importantly than anything else, it’s incumbent upon us to really focus in on our testing in these areas that we have identified as the most vulnerable populations, the most vulnerable sectors, as well as regions in this state. So again, I want to just thank Dr. Chavez.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:04)
Also, I want to thank two people that could not be here that have been instrumental in bringing us here, and that’s Assemblywoman Eggman and Senator Galgiani. The legislature has to confer and meet as it relates to the distribution of these $52 million of new funds into the central Valley. I want to thank them for their leadership and their support of that effort. I want to thank many of the other elected officials, representatives in the assembly and Senate as well, for their counsel and advice as it relates to distribution of funds. Not just distribution of funds, I noted just a moment ago when complementing Mayor Tubbs, the fact is we have those resources coming from the federal government, and those resources and the decision making is guided by local decision makers and they are instrumental in those efforts as well.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:02)
Look, we have enormous amount of work still to do not only here in the Central Valley, not just other parts of the state, but all across the state of California to ultimately vanquish this disease. We now have 37 counties, we just included Santa Cruz on the monitoring list, 37 of our 58 counties now on the watch list, as referred to, the monitoring lists. Those are the lists, or those are rather cohort of counties that are on that list that are getting most support in terms of targeted intervention and efforts to mitigate the spread of this disease. And we thank Dr. Galli as well and Mark Gilladucci for their efforts in terms of the creation of this task force in the Central Valley and the framework to get ahead in terms of mitigating the spread of this virus in the Valley, learning the lessons from Imperial County and some of the examples of partnerships that really proved to be incredibly, incredibly well, successful. And that is said very soberly because we recognize while we’ve seen some progress, significant progress in Imperial County, we still have a lot of work to do in that County as well.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:26)
So that’s the update for the day. Now, of course, as always, I look forward to answering any questions and Dr. Galli and Dr. Chavez are ready to answer them as well.

Nicole Nixon: (48:38)
Good afternoon Governor. Nicole Nixon with CapRadio News, and I’ll be asking questions on behalf of the press today. Speaking of the state watch list, Angela Hart with Kaiser Health News asks, “Most counties are on the state’s watch list. So do you have any plans to reconsider your approach, allowing counties to open at their own pace based on local conditions? At what point does there need to be consistent and uniform statewide standards for public health order mandates?”

Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:05)
Well, there are statewide uniform standards and we certainly have organized 93% of the population represented in those 37 counties, but there are counties that are not represented on that watch list. There are unique conditions that exist and persist within that cohort of 37. Let’s just for example, pick the eight counties here that make up the Central Valley. Even within the Central Valley, you have positivity rates, 10.7% in Fresno, and Dr. Galli just referenced as high as 18%, 17.7% in two counties. Different conditions, different challenges, even within a broad geographic region that often is identified in the same breath as one region.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:56)
So my point is, one has to get under the hood. One has to distinguish, and as a consequence of the protocols we put into place as relates to our monitoring lists and the criteria we use to monitor, that’s a dashboard, as it relates to positivity rates, relates to ICUs, hospital capacity, relates to testing protocols, isolation and quarantine protocols. Each county has their different capacity, different needs and different expertise. All of those will be assessed on an individual basis as relates to the further modifications of the same.

Nicole Nixon: (50:33)
The legislature reconvenes today. They have a lot on their plates with pandemic response and other issues. Have you spoken to legislative leaders about a possible special session and would you call one if there is not enough time for them to get through everything?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (50:46)
Yeah. As needed, we’ll consider it, but as needed. And right now, I have not called for one, which is suggestive of our current position. But again, it’s a dynamic process and we’ll be adaptable and we’ll be flexible and we could not be more proud of the partnerships and the leadership of both the assembly and the Senate.

Nicole Nixon: (51:06)
Legislative Democrats unveiled a $100 billion stimulus package today. Have you spoken with any lawmakers about this plan and if so, just want to get your reaction to it.

Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:15)
I haven’t had a chance to review. There were a number of modifications that were made recently. I haven’t had a chance to review it in any detail. I’d be remiss to comment until I have a chance to review the details and happily will make our position well known and I appreciate, again, the leadership, Senator Hertzberg in particular, going back now many, many months in his commitment to economic growth, economic development, but also to a paradigm of focus on inclusion, growth and inclusion. And that’s foundational in terms of any package that needs to move forward. We have to include a framework of bringing people along as we reopen our economy and as we grow our economy.

Nicole Nixon: (52:03)
A couple of questions for you, maybe Dr. Galli or Dr. Chavez, want to go back to the updated testing standards. One, have those new guidelines made meaningful changes in who is getting tested or allowed us to better understand and contain outbreaks? And if not, why not? And also, can you clarify how the new guidelines apply to individual people who want to get tested or is the state still advising anybody who wants a test to get one? Are you still encouraging everyone to go to the state-run testing sites?

Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:32)
No. It’s an opportunity again, to have a chance to remind people of what the new protocols or procedures and priorities are. And now we have our co-chair and the head of HSS will do just that.

Doctor Gil Chavez: (52:51)
Thank you. That’s an excellent question, and I want to review the fact that we issued those prioritization guidelines because we found that a time where there was this thing constraints across the nation, and we felt that it was best to manage the testing capacity we have in California to achieve two goals. One, to support the clinical care of people and patients in hospitals. And secondly, to ensure that we continue to do our public health function of contact tracing, outbreak detection and control, and ensuring that people that need to provide vital services have access to testing. So that’s why we issued those updated guidelines.

Doctor Gil Chavez: (53:35)
And so that leads me to your second question, which is are we at a point right now where we can say everybody that wants a test needs to get a test. The answer is not today. We need to prioritize the testing for those who need it the most and for public health purposes. As we continue to increase capacity, and we are doing that as you see the numbers every week, they continue to increase. We have plans to increase them even more, then we’ll open up the testing to anybody who wants to get a test. But now, we need to really use that for public health purposes.

Doctor Ghaly: (54:13)
Just to pick up on one other part of your question, which have we started to see a difference now that we have the new testing guidelines there. We have seen for certain facilities where the test turnaround time was really increased, that the prioritization of certain patients and people with symptoms are now getting their test result a little bit faster. We hope to see that improve over time so that we can-