Apr 30, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 30
Governor Gavin Newsom of California held a press conference today, April 30, on coronavirus. Newsom ordered Orange County beaches to close.
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Gavin Newsom: (05:59)
Good afternoon everybody. This is been a week with some optimism. The beginning of this week we laid out a framework for reopening in the state of California, really breaking down a deeper understanding of the six indicators that will guide our decision making as it relates to making meaningful adjustments, meaningful modifications to the stay-at-home order. Been working with our local partners all throughout the state of California, local health directors, local elected officials, but also local sector leaders. What I mean by that is we begin to consider these modifications over the next few weeks, as it relates to expanding the definition of essential, beginning to expand the opportunities for more retail in the state of California, more manufacturing of nonessential goods, consider the opportunity to open up spaces all across the state that have otherwise been closed. We’ve been breaking those conversations down, working with our economic and recovery advisors and also working sector by sector to understand the unique challenges, unique characteristics of businesses, large and small, all throughout the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (07:13)
We had wonderful conversations yesterday with elected officials, federal representatives, Democrats, Republicans from all across the state of California. Had very spirited conversations around regionalism, variances, everybody making the point. Each and every part of the state is distinctive in some respects from other parts of the state and we need to be considerate to all of the work we do here in Sacramento. Not from the frame, top down, but truly bottom up, community by community, region by region, but all working for the greater good in the state of California. So we are moving along very swiftly. I’m breaking down the guidance with the consideration that these modifications will be in place in the next number of weeks and making sure we’re doing that in partnership and in counsel with local leaders all throughout the state of California. But one thing has become crystal clear, when we talk about economic opportunities, economic growth and reopening with modifications to the economy in a safe way in the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (08:22)
Not only should we be driven by data and public health as a predicate and we will be, but we also have to be driven by considerations of workforce. And that means we really have to consider the needs of our workers, particularly those with children. And that’s why today I want to make an announcement about an effort that’s been, and I’m not exaggerating, almost two decades in the making, these challenges, they birth a necessity and innovation. And what we’re announcing today is because of necessity, an innovative portal, an innovative platform that the Department of Social Services has put up for childcare in this state. I’ve got four kids, many of you watching have children, many of you hoping to get back to work. Many of you struggling to educate our kids, to care for our kids and take care of yourself and others. And childcare has been a huge challenge.
Gavin Newsom: (09:23)
63% of licensed childcare facilities in the state have been impacted from this crisis. That’s a jaw dropping number. But despite that, there’s been some really heroic work done. Working partnership with our hospital system up and down the state. We were able to partner with them, partner with others to put 432 pop-up childcare facilities very strategically placed all throughout the state of California. Because of the leadership of Tony Atkins and a great leadership of our speaker of the assembly, Anthony Renden, they prioritize with their colleagues across the political aisle the support of emergency grants for childcare slots. I had a wonderful conversation with the Women’s Caucus here in the state of California, led by Connie Leyva, focused exclusively on the issue of childcare. Their advice, their counsel, their direction, they want to make sure that $100 million we put up as being well utilized and well invested with real transparency and accountability.
Gavin Newsom: (10:29)
50 million of the 100 was for new vouchers and then $50 million in partnership with CDE, California Department of Education, was for facilities. Making sure that their sanitary, making sure that we have the appropriate protective gear for those facilities. CDE just put up their information today on where those $50 million are going. They’re going to get those dollars distributed and they put out that guidance and couldn’t come too soon, but we’re very grateful now. It is up and we’re going to get those dollars out there. So $100 million in that space, this new portal, which I’ll introduce in a moment, years and years in the making, weeks and weeks in its creation. And then, additional positive news in this space. $350 million that came from the CARES Act, because the incredible leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the partnerships she was able to form across the aisle.
Gavin Newsom: (11:27)
We had conversations yesterday with Kevin McCarthy, leader, state of California Republican leader, everybody worked together on that CARES Act. It provided the state of California $350 million of grants that we’ll be distributing in our new budget. We’ve got this, we call May Revise in the state of California. We’re very close to finishing our work. We’ll make that public on the 14th of May. And that $350 million working with, not just the Women’s Caucus though substantively so, with colleagues of all political stripes in the Assembly and the Senate. We’ll prioritize the investment of those dollars in real time as well. But in the interim, this portal is profoundly important. This portal is a tool to navigate. A tool where we do a lot of the vetting, we do a lot of the research, we do an assessment that is dynamic, in real time is updated that allows you to go in, type in your zip code, and then see pop-ups of all of these childcare facilities in your area. Health and safety criteria, whether or not they’re being met, licensing.
Gavin Newsom: (12:37)
You have a chance to really learn about the quality, not just the access to the available slots. You’ll learn about the number of available slots, the hours of operation, the size of the facilities and other information that is now being made available all throughout the state of California. And there’s still areas, if you have your zip code where we recognize not a lot of centers will pop up. That’s on us to do more and do better in that space. And again, the constraints with so many of these facilities shutting down makes that more challenging, but that’s our responsibility to work through and figure out. And so that’s the part of that $100 million contribution, the 350 million is really find these childcare deserts in this state and make sure that everybody has equitable access to high quality childcare in this state.
Gavin Newsom: (13:24)
This portal, by the way, was inspired by the good work of two well-known brands, unions in the state of California, UDW and SEIU. They have a version of this called Katrina or rather, Carina Cares, not Katrina. Carina Cares, but it focuses on their employer base. There’s some registration requirements and other requirements that separate what we’re doing from what they’re doing, but I just want to acknowledge the incredible effort they put in place some time back. They became the inspiration for this broader effort now made available to all members of the public. But the most important-
Gavin Newsom: (14:03)
Available to all members of the public. But the most important member of the public today, is the person that really spearheaded this effort and really led this focused endeavor over the last four weeks. She made a point earlier that I’ll repeat yet again, how many years this has been in the making and, how wonderful it is to be in this position where we get to present it to you today. It may not be as big of a deal, many of you without kids, but those with kids, that understand the power and importance of childcare, and understand childcare is economic development. Childcare is an economic question, as much or more than so many others. Again, it’s about workforce. Economic and workforce development. Can’t have a workforce lest they’re taking care of their children. And are confident in the quality of that care.
Gavin Newsom: (14:52)
I’m confident in the quality of the leadership of Kim Johnson who is here to go through this care site with you. The head of the Department of Social Services and again, I just want to thank her and her team for putting this site out today and you’ll now have a chance to take a look at it.
Kim Johnson: (15:11)
Thank you so much governor. And it is. This has been a long time in the making. We know that childcare keeps California working. It also provides that critical enrichment and activity for supporting the healthy development of children. The $50 million investment that the governor mentioned that’s going to service 20,000 individuals in accessing childcare subsidies across our state, is rolling out. It’s for those essential workers and it’s also for our vulnerable populations. Those that have been engaged in our child welfare system, at risk of abuse and neglect, those who are experiencing homelessness, domestic violence across our state. And also those that have different learning abilities for our children and special healthcare needs. We’re glad to provide this additional resource in partnership with the legislature to really address the needs of all across our state. This childcare portal will help them get that access and locate those open childcare programs in your community.
Kim Johnson: (16:02)
So I’ll share with you how you can access this information. On our covid19.ca.gov website today, there’s a new bar that [inaudible 00:16:12] says, find childcare options. That’ll take you directly, to a screen that has a map of California, where you’ll be able to identify and include your address or zip code for the area that you’re looking for childcare to locate in. Once you’ve done that, you will have a listing of again, open childcare programs, both family childcare homes and childcare centers across the state, in that area. Any of these that are of interest to you, you can click on, which will then bring you additional information around the contact information of this facility. Their current availability of spaces available, capacity of that site, and again, critical health and safety information around the licensing history of this given program.
Kim Johnson: (16:56)
You will also find access to your local childcare resource and referral agency, who can help you navigate and answer additional questions that might be helpful to you as you’re looking for childcare for your family. Again, a long time in the making, in the critical support. I absolutely want to thank the partners in this effort, including Open Lattice, Children’s Data Network, our local childcare resource and referral agencies, the network and our partners at the California Department of Education, to all of the hard work in developing this tool.
Kim Johnson: (17:25)
Also want to thank the employers across the state, for the 432 pop-up childcare centers that we’ve been able to open, the expansion that’s been able to occur in family childcare homes. We want to thank you for stepping up in identifying and addressing the needs of your workforce in this space. And certainly don’t want to leave out the workforce itself. The childcare providers and early learning workforce across our state who are serving to buffer the stress that’s happening with this public health emergency across our state while they’re caring for themselves and their families.
Kim Johnson: (17:55)
So thank you so much, for what you’re providing to children and families across the state. We’ll continue to take thoughtful approaches to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, as we look at our roadmap to modify the stay at home order. I do want to point everyone again to guidance that the Department of Social Service released earlier this month, around social distancing and physical distancing in childcare programs. Really keeping those group sizes as small as possible for children. Extending that indoor environment to outdoors. It’s perfect weather to do so. Using carpet squares, mats and other visual cues for children’s to keep that social distancing in place. Those cots for nap time, six feet apart. Frequent hand washing with learning counting, learning songs, and really making sure that that’s happening across the board. And also how you can modify your pickup and drop off practices, to reduce the entry in and out of your facility.
Kim Johnson: (18:49)
The Department of Social Services looks forward to continued engagement with the community, the women’s caucus, other stakeholders throughout our state, as we ensure our children and families across California have the supports they need to thrive.
Gavin Newsom: (19:05)
Thanks Kim, and again, always health and safety as the foundation of our approach for all of our efforts here in the state of California. But childcare is essential. These are essential workers out there that need childcare. We need to provide that support. And childcare becomes, again, even more important as we begin to modify the stay at home order in the state of California. So, I want to go on to thank, her team and all those that were part of this effort. We want you to know that the site is available at covid19.ca.gov, covid19.ca.gov. That’s again, the aggregated portal for so much information related to this crisis and our response to the crisis, that will send you to this specific site, and hope people will take advantage of the site and fulfill the opportunity to get some of these subsidized slots or high quality slots in their neighborhoods so they can get the relief that they deserve.
Gavin Newsom: (20:09)
Speaking of the covid19.ca.gov website, I encourage people to go to that website, not just again for childcare information, but as I suggest, for a lot of information. We update on a fairly consistent basis, our statewide stay at home order. The guidance we put out, we said from the outset, is dynamic. Based on conditions, based upon the incredible decisions that so many of you made to stay home and to physically distance. We’ve been able to continue to update that site. We have, just as an example, a number of days ago, updated it to, allow for people to get clarity, if they sell bikes. To, allow folks to, sell bikes, working with the counties, to adjust on a county by county basis. Those points of guidance, but those guidance are up for the entire state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (21:03)
Met with faith-based leaders a few weeks ago. They wanted some clarification, which we did update as it relates to social services. So many of our faith community providing critical social services, essential social services for our community, including substantively for those with behavioral health issues, our homeless brothers and sisters, seniors, substance abuse programs, and we wanted to make sure that was clarification of those being essential services and that guidance was updated on the site accordingly. We were able to do the same as it relates to activities like showing homes, realtors and, the like. And so, I encourage you to take a look, particularly, in light of some of the updates today on open space and outdoor activities. It’s essential that people recognize, and avail themselves to the essential nature of physical and emotional support. And we recognize, the State of California recognizes, with its 200 parks that are still open in the State of California, that there’s a real need and desire to have more points of access, and also really more points of clarification on what’s allowed and what’s not allowed.
Gavin Newsom: (22:23)
About two dozen additions were made on that site. I encourage you to take a look at it. As it relates to hiking, again with a modification of physical distancing, social distancing, it’s been allowed. We wanted to clarify the hiking protocols, issues large and small. A lot of conversations in this state about, things like, well, golfing, and whether or not that’s appropriate, inappropriate. Bay Area, put out some additional guidance on that. We wanted to clarify where the state stands, we have and so, that is a space loosening up again with modifications and conditions. Folks in rural parts of the state, some even closer to suburban urban areas asked about horseback riding, asked about being able to play catch with your kids, kick a soccer ball around, those kinds of activities. Yes, they are appropriate as long as you’re practicing physical distancing. We put clarification out on that. Tennis, we have guidance on tennis, as an activity, an outdoor activity, which we encourage again, as long as you practice physical distancing. Want you to see sunsets and we want you to enjoy again, activities outdoors.
Gavin Newsom: (23:40)
Again, the only thing we don’t want you to do is linger, outdoors in ways where you’re mixing, or you’re congregating, or you’re violating the principles we set out on our stay at home order related to large events, and related to your health, and the need to keep you healthy, and keep you safe. And so, I hope you’ll take a look at those guidelines and, they are certainly more expensive than we’ve seen. We hope to continue to update them. As I said, that site gets updated fairly consistently. Just want to make sure that you avail yourself to it and we of course, are working hand in glove with our local health departments to make sure we’re squaring our guidance and clarifying where there may be ambiguities.
Gavin Newsom: (24:24)
This is the phase we’re in, over the next few weeks, arguably many, many months. We’ll continue to work with our county health directors, our local officials, and there’ll be constant need to update, to toggle, and to iterate. And to that end, that’s what we need to do as it relates to, what we saw in the activity last Saturday in particular, and Sunday, to some degree on a couple of our beaches in the state of California. As I’ve said from day one, one has to be open to argument, interested in evidence. We can’t be driven by ideology. We have to be driven by the spread of this disease.
Gavin Newsom: (25:02)
I’m going to announce in a moment the number of people who lost their lives. Getting close to record numbers, yesterday. The fact that we saw a 5.2% increase in the number of new positive cases, in the state. And saw modest increases in hospitalizations, ICUs. I’ll update those numbers in a moment. It’s just another reminder. This disease is not gone away. A few people reached out to me and said, “Oh no, no, it will. Just need a little sunlight, and it’s going to be solved. ” There’s a sense that, people are spreading that around. It’s somehow that it’s a disinfectant itself.
Gavin Newsom: (25:37)
We are hopeful, there may be a seasonality to COVID-19. But the reality is, even in countries like Singapore, they had a big setback. They opened up too early, had a big setback, had to close down there. I think they had, roughly 1400 cases in one calendar day, just in city nation state of Singapore. Because they may have moved too quickly to open things back up. It’s a way of long windedly making this point. We’re guided by health, we’re guided by your health and the health of others. And, I want everybody to know, no one’s invincible.
Gavin Newsom: (26:12)
And some of us are more vulnerable. Seniors, people with compromised immune system. It doesn’t matter your time of life. And if you have a compromised immune system, you could be much younger, feel healthier, but, you could put yourself at risk or your loved ones at risk. You may be asymptomatic, feel fabulous, actually, may have just been tested and been positive without knowing. A few days later, after your negative tests, you may have contracted the disease, but be asymptomatic and now spreading it to your loved ones, back into the community. And so that’s why we really are sincere about our desire to keep you safe, and to monitor, and to meet the conditions as they change. The conditions last week. The images we saw, on a few of our beaches, were disturbing. I was very candid about that. We’ve been very consistent, about that and we had anticipated, a week ago, today concerns with that weather coming back up and wanted people to be vigilant.
Gavin Newsom: (27:07)
Unfortunately, as I say, just in a couple of our beaches, we didn’t see that happen. Vast majority of them, we did. We saw people doing all the right things. Incredible leadership in LA, in the county and city level, Mayor Garcetti, great work being done. San Diego, in their county, and their partnerships. Even up in Mendocino, Sonoma, Bay Area. So many outstanding examples where people met the moment, both as, citizens of the state and as local leaders, law enforcement and the like. And we just want to acknowledge that. I want to thank everybody for that outstanding work. That’s going to help us get to this goal of beginning to reopen this state much, much sooner. So let’s keep that up. But, in areas where we didn’t see that, you have to acknowledge that. You have to own that. And you have to figure that out. And so, I’ve been led by my health directors-
Gavin Newsom: (28:03)
… that out. I’ve been led by my health directors in partnership with council with many health professionals that that feel we need to address that a little bit more specifically in a targeted way, the volume of density, the volume of people and concentrated space, particularly in a few cities, a few coastal cities off and around the Orange County area. Those were the point of particular concern.
Gavin Newsom: (28:29)
Today, we want to make some clarifications. We’re going to do a hard close in that part of the state just in the Orange County area. We’re working with the county. By the way, I want to acknowledge the great work of the county. They put together some interesting and very thoughtful guidelines on reopening their local economy. It’s just an example of a lot of great work that’s being done at the local level. We’re bringing that into the conversations we’re having up here. That’s the spirit that we want to see all across the state. I want to acknowledge that spirit in Orange County. But specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells. People that are congregating there that weren’t practicing physical distancing, that may go back to their community outside of Orange County and may not even know that they contracted the disease and now they’ve put other people at risk, put our hospital system at risk and alike.
Gavin Newsom: (29:23)
I’ll just remind you, LA County, these are large counties, but LA County, San Diego County, Orange County, those are three of the four largest areas of concern in this state as it relates to total number of people that have tested positive and the total number of people that have been hospitalized. Orange County has been on our list of health concern. They’ve done a wonderful job down there. I just think we can tighten that up a little bit. We’re going to have a temporary pause on the beaches down there, state and local beaches. We want to work very closely with local elected officials, and we’re committed to doing that. If we can get some framework and guidelines to get this right, we can reopen very, very quickly. But we got to make sure we get this right.
Gavin Newsom: (30:10)
Why undo all the great progress? Let’s move this state forward together. I know there’s that urge and that desire and that’s why I hope you take a look at all the new outdoor activities that are absolutely allowable. Things that were already allowable, but may not have been as clear. Those 200 state parks that are open in the state of California. As long as we’re modifying our behavior and practicing the physical distancing, we’re going to move through into this next phase. We can talk about that phase two in the next few weeks. Only thing that will set us back is behavior. Not an indictment of the people that wanted to go to the beach. My gosh.
Gavin Newsom: (30:51)
By the way, I’ve been a beach advocate out there. Martin’s Beach, trying to open up. Hollister Ranch. I finally signed a bill, been vetoed a few times, to open up Hollister, to open up the beaches there. Passionate about your right and our collective responsibility, not only to give you access but to keep you safe. That’s an and not an or.
Gavin Newsom: (31:11)
My job as governor is to keep you safe. When our health folks tell me they can’t promise that if we promote another weekend like we had, then I have to make this adjustment. I hope it’s a very short term adjustment. I’m confident it will be because the spirit that defines the moment is disproportionately a spirit of cooperation. There’s always exceptions, but they truly are exceptions. Hopefully, we’ll be back make [inaudible 00:03:41]. It’s very targeted, very focused, trying to solve a health problem, trying to mitigate one that could grow into the future. I just want to update you on that space as well.
Gavin Newsom: (31:52)
Just briefly before we open up to questions, I will update you. Tragically, I implied this, but let me be explicit about it. We had 95 people, 95 families completely torn apart just in the last 24 hours that lost their lives. This virus, I said it doesn’t take weekends away last weekend, but it’s not gone away. Don’t be fooled by that. I know we want it to go away. We’re doing everything in our power. You have that power. Your decisions have helped us flatten the curve in the state of California, but we haven’t bent that curve downward. We’ve just flattened that curve. It’s stable, but 95 souls were lost in the last 24 hours. I hope that’s a point of reminder and caution in terms of the behavior that we’re seeing, just a few of our beaches in the state.
Gavin Newsom: (32:42)
Accordingly, we saw 5.2% increase in the total number of positives. Yes, we’re doing more tests and I’m proud of now in excess of 625,000 tests. We made a commitment to you to go from 2,000 tests a day to get to 15,000 tests, get up to 20 and get on our way by the end of this month to 25,000 tests. We’re meeting those goals, your expectations. We are also getting those testing sites up in rural California and in inner city, California. But still so many people, even in a county like Orange County, which is one of the highest rates of total number of positives against size and scope, very limited number of people have been tested in that county. We need to provide more tests, and as we do, you’ll see these positives, but 5.2% increase yesterday. Hospitalizations, as I said, went up and ICUs, but just modestly, within a percentage point, less than a percentage point.
Gavin Newsom: (33:34)
Again, we’re seeing some stability, some positive signs and that’s why I want to keep this momentum. Just be smart, targeted way about enforcing the stay-at-home order and forcing those events. What’s happening is same reason we are not reopening arenas with tens of thousands of people, we don’t want to have beaches with tens of thousands of people mixing for the same reason. That doesn’t keep people healthy. I think most folks out on the beach would go, “Well, yeah, I get why you’re not doing it at the arena.” But you may want to look around on the beach and go, “Maybe not necessarily healthy here either.” I know it’s outdoors and I know all those distinctions, but let’s be guided by common sense and by these public health officials that I have done just such an outstanding job guiding us through this pandemic so far.
Gavin Newsom: (34:21)
We’re getting close, a lot more work to do, but I just wanted to thank all of you for everything you have done. If we can just hold the line, we’re going to get through this and I remain incredibly optimistic about getting through it much more strongly than we got into it. Thank you for your patience and your indulgence and give me the opportunity to make those announcements, little updates here today. Of course, now we’re happy to take any questions.
Speaker 1: (34:50)
Alexei Koseff, SF Chronicle.
Alexei Koseff: (34:56)
Hi, Governor. Now that we are about a week out from those massive crowds that you saw in Orange County, are there any outbreaks of cases, hospitalizations, anything like that that you’ve seen that would indicate there’s been a health impact of those crowds on the beaches last weekend that necessitated you to take this step?
Gavin Newsom: (35:20)
Well, I’ll leave that. Well, it’s been four days, so it may be premature to judge on the basis. Remember, it’s Thursday and this was through the weekend.
Gavin Newsom: (35:32)
Again, I maintain that we have to do a lot more on community surveillance, that’s the predicate of moving from phase two to phase three and expanding the portfolio of essential/non-essential services. We’re still just not there yet, but, look, we continue to monitor those numbers, update them in real time. What is consistent and of concern is that county in particular is still in the top three or four counties in terms of hospitalizations, in terms of number of positives. We’ll monitor that over the next number of days to see if there’s spread. But again, it wasn’t just folks from that county that went to the beach. Folks from all over. It’s difficult to isolate that unless you geo-pin every single individual and where they go back. Therein lies our concern. Therein lies the challenge therein lies why the public health directors want to focus on identifying a problem and solving it before that problem spreads all throughout the state of California in ways that are more difficult to know in real time without statewide community surveillance, which we’ll get to, but aren’t here yet.
Speaker 1: (36:40)
Phil Willon, LA Times.
Phil Willon: (36:43)
Hi, Governor. How are you doing?
Gavin Newsom: (36:44)
I’m all right.
Phil Willon: (36:49)
I just had a quick question. I’m sure you saw reports that you were considering closures statewide of beaches. I understand you met and talked with some local government officials. I want to find out kind of what changed your mind. I mean you, you hinted yesterday that you were talking to the coastal commission, state lands about advice.
Gavin Newsom: (37:11)
Phil Willon: (37:11)
What kind of made you kind of pull back?
Gavin Newsom: (37:13)
Oh, we never did. This is exactly the conversations we were having. No, this is consistent with what I’ve been saying. I appreciate you acknowledging what we were saying yesterday, I think Monday, last Thursday, Friday. We’ve been very consistent and we’ve been engaging in those conversations, CSAC, League of Cities, mayors up and down the coast, all across the state, elected officials, but more important than anything else, health officials, guided by their determination, their decision making. We’ve been consistent. This is the announcement and the directive. I can’t square what others may have said, but this is what we’ve seen.
Speaker 1: (37:48)
David Baker, Bloomberg News.
David Baker: (37:53)
Governor, we’ve seen some motion in Modoc County to possibly re-allow some businesses to reopen tomorrow, as long as they follow some county-specific guidelines. Is this something that the state is aware of? B, are you okay with this or are you going to challenge it somehow?
Gavin Newsom: (38:13)
Yeah, I don’t know the details of it. I am aware. Not only Modoc but other parts of the state. We have received letters. You have written about San Luis Obispo area and folks in other parts of the state of California. There has been legislative efforts by local city councils and boards of supervisors of what things will look like. But remember what we’re all connected to is each other and the healthcare which is driven by local health directors and their determination of what’s appropriate and what’s not that is guided by the statewide stay-at-home order. That is the stay-at-home order overlays all the orders in the state. You can go further and be more prescriptive and restrictive, but when you loosen up and you loosen beyond the California, then it’s in conflict and therein becomes a challenge.
Gavin Newsom: (39:04)
But here’s the good news, I’ve been crystal clear, not just today but all week, that we have the opportunity to move into this next phase, which I think is in the spirit of that community and other communities very soon, the next few weeks in the outset. I think we can do that. The only thing that will set us back is behavior that’s not conducive with those guidelines that are currently in place and a spread of this virus. That will ultimately make the decision not a report or not a resolution.
Gavin Newsom: (39:42)
But, look, I’m confident that we’ll get there together. Just know this, let me just make this as crystal clear as possible, nothing would please me more than pleasing those local elected and to help them help all of us move through this pandemic. But we’re not out of the woods. No part of the state, no part of this country, few parts of the globe have been immune from this virus.
Gavin Newsom: (40:05)
I’ll just remind people, look what happened in Japan. Look what happened in Singapore. Look what happened in China. When you pull back too quickly, you literally put people’s lives at risk. People are literally dying because of decisions that were done without a real frame of focus on public health first, and so that’s what ultimately guide our decisions.
Speaker 1: (40:33)
Kathleen Ronayne, AP.
Kathleen Ronayne: (40:37)
Hi, Governor. You have repeatedly said localism is determinative. I wonder, why now? Why go against local leaders in Orange County who say that such a beach closure is not necessary? What’s your enforcement plan on this? Is it up to the locals to enforce? If they don’t enforce, is there something that the state can do to step in to enforce this order?
Gavin Newsom: (40:59)
It’s crystal clear. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to provide the kind of physical distancing, social distancing that is required on the basis of our statewide guidance. Unfortunately, that did not occur. You know that. Everybody knows that. Everybody who saw those images sat there and their eyes, we’re all concerned about that. If you’re not, I don’t know, folks are paying attention to this pandemic and how it is spread. How this virus is spread. That’s what ultimately led to this decision.
Gavin Newsom: (41:33)
When I talk about localism being determinative, you’re absolutely right, the application of these rules has to happen at the local level, but when it doesn’t and the enforcement can’t, we want to be supportive and provide guidance, and we’re doing that. We’re confident that people will do their best, they always do, to do the right thing.
Gavin Newsom: (41:52)
Again, we don’t ever want to be heavy-handed about these things. We haven’t had to be. We don’t want to be. But we have a framework of engagement, mutual aid strategies, all the engagement-
Gavin Newsom: (42:03)
… engagement, mutual aid strategies, all the engagement that has already been in place and a heightened awareness, more public campaign here in terms of just public information. And doing our best to just let folks know what’s at stake if we set back the clock and delay our reopening as an economy. I don’t want to delay it. The only thing that will delay it is more of weekends like last weekend in the next few weeks. Let’s not see that happen. I want to get this economy opening as badly as everybody else does, but let’s do it safely and smartly.
Speaker 2: (42:34)
Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News.
Hi governor. Some states are giving immunity to nursing homes in California. Several including Magnolia Rehab are currently under investigation for their handling of COVID-19. My question is, are you considering immunity for the state’s nursing homes, and if so, how would that work?
Gavin Newsom: (42:53)
Yeah, no plan for any announcements in the immediate term. There have been broad strokes discussions in this space. There are a lot of stakeholders that are included in that process. We’re not in a position today to make any announcements in that space. Though let me just acknowledge the seriousness of your question and the seriousness, the weight, of the decision that needs to be made in that space and know that we have a team of people working on that. And as soon as we have something to say on it, I can assure you, we will let you know.
Speaker 2: (43:27)
Ashley Zavala, KRON4.
Ashley Zavala: (43:31)
Hey governor, I’m curious about the police chief memo that went out last night saying that your administration was going to issue a directive closing all beaches and state parks. I was just curious what happened within the last 12 hours or so. And also is this essentially a warning to those other parts of the state where beaches aren’t closed, suggesting that “Hey, if we do see those numbers or images like we saw in orange County, then this could also happen in your area.”
Gavin Newsom: (44:01)
Come on. Bottom line, that was their memo. But that memo never got to me. And as it relates to the issue that I’m grappling with, we’ve been consistent. We have been clear. We have been transparent. We’ve been talking about this every day, many days in a row. And we were very, very focused on this in the last two days in particular reaching out to all kinds of stakeholders and we mentioned some of them yesterday and that was one group. We reached out to a lot of other groups getting their feedback, their advice and counsel, all of that was considered focusing targeted way. Those that are doing good work, we want to reward that work and that behavior, it should be acknowledged. I mean, San Diego and LA and others, they have done an outstanding job and we want to just focus on where there’s a problem. So that’s been where I’ve been the entire time. Try to focus on the problem in a smart and strategic way. This was the guidance that we’re providing and this is our determination to continue to again be led by data, by science, by the spread of disease and by public health officials. So this determination was made in concert with all those groups, but none more important than our public health team.
Speaker 2: (45:18)
Marisa Kendall, Mercury News.
Marisa Kendall: (45:22)
Thank you. I wanted to ask you a question about testing, which I know is on top of your mind. We’ve had a few outbreaks here in the Bay area at some congregate homeless shelters and a recent CDC report did some testing, testing everyone in certain shelters and found a really surprisingly high number of folks tested positive even with no symptoms. Do you support and do you have plans to implement universal testing in our homeless shelters and SROs and other congregate living situations?
Gavin Newsom: (45:53)
Yeah, I want to see it throughout the state of California, serosurveillance, PCR surveillance, broadly community surveillance. As you know, we want to prioritize the most vulnerable Californians and make sure that our health care workforce, our first responders are prioritized. As you know, we made some announcements around skilled nursing facilities and we want to help support the efforts locally, regionally, and all across the state on those most vulnerable, particularly those in those congregate facilities, homeless individuals. You may recall, one of the first announcements we made at the beginning of this pandemic was focusing on skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and taking care of our homeless. It’s important to note we have 12,647 isolation rooms, hotel rooms for our homeless that the state of California has acquired. 12,647 in partnership with cities and counties through Project Room Key alone. Just one of many things happening in this space to help isolate individuals that not only have been tested positive but that have been exposed when there has been a positive test and to make sure we can isolate those individuals and protect them.
Gavin Newsom: (47:07)
So this is absolutely a top priority. And even with the limited scope of testing as we look backwards, we still have been doing more in this space regardless to make sure that we’re securing the needs of our vulnerable populations in our shelters and in these congregate living facilities or congregate settings in these broader facilities for our homeless. But good news remains, we’re seeing a substantial increase the testing on a weekly basis and we’re going to broaden that access and again, provide just not testing episodically. This is a really important point, but to provide consistency of testing. I made a comment. I hope a few of you heard it. You may be tested negative and then you rush outside, “Hey, I’m fine.” And then you want to start hanging out with all your friends and then two days later you may get another test and find out you’re positive. So we want to be able to give people some confidence, some assurance that they’re not, even though they may not have symptoms or they had been recently tested and feel fine, to make sure that they have access to testing on a consistent basis. And you may know, California is the first to lift the testing requirements that broaden whom we’re testing, including those asymptomatic people. But we’ve always focused on these vulnerable populations and with more testing, we’ll be able to do a lot more in that space.
Speaker 2: (48:35)
Final question. Josh Jamerson, Wall Street Journal.
Josh Jamerson: (48:41)
Hi, governor. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, yesterday on an earnings call, described the state stay at home orders as fascist and said that would offer a serious risk to his company. Do you have a response to that?
Gavin Newsom: (48:56)
Good people can disagree. We’ve been guided by science, data, facts, not only on the ground here in the state of California, across this country, but guided by the prevalence of this disease around the rest of the world. Guided not just by headlines and trend lines, but by real data, real evidence and China and Asia broadly, Italy, Spain, other parts of the globe. Learning about this pandemic, learning about the epidemiology, learning about its virulence, learning about therapeutics in real time and partnerships here in the state of California with Gilead, a California based company, and all the work we’re doing to understand the nature of this disease. Our public health officials have guided the decision making as it relates to the stay at home order. California was the first state to move forward with a stay at home order. We have not experienced to date the kind of increase in the prevalence of the disease and the spread of the disease and number of people hospitalized and dead. I believe because of the good work of those health directors and officials that guided us in that policy making on the state of home order and the physical distancing that’s so important.
Gavin Newsom: (50:01)
And I just hope we can continue that. Over the next few weeks we’ll start making some significant, I hope, modifications to the stay at home order in a very targeted and modified way with a health and safety frame of focus. And I began today’s comments, let me end them in that spirit. Real progress in that space. Real partnership across the spectrum, rural, urban, Democrat, Republican, people I know desperate to get back to whatever semblance of this new normalcy may look like. I am with you. I am absolutely of that same mind. We are many different parts of this state and I recognize the nuances and the diversity in this state. We do not adopt a one size fit all, but there are basic foundational principles that we do foundationally want to see advance throughout the state of California. But know in real time we’re working with health directors and health departments, getting their guidance, getting their input.
Gavin Newsom: (50:59)
You saw the modifications in the Bay Area. I think that was some very positive news for most folks, not only in Northern California but all across the state because I think you’ll be seeing similar things. But we got to do it strategically, thoughtfully, health focused first and in the interim working to make sure that we can hit the ground running with these modifications for manufacturers, for retailers, hospitality industry. And again, remind people a couple hundred parks in this state that have been opened, remain open. Just be thoughtful. Be judicious in how you utilize these extraordinary assets. Play catch with your kids, kick a ball with your children. Bike shops are allowed to be open in the state and those that are open need to be modified in terms of the way they’re conducting business, others can begin to do the same.
Gavin Newsom: (51:53)
And so every few days we’ll keep making, we hope, new announcements and over the next few weeks I think some bigger ones, sectorial ones and regional ones as well. And so keep up the good work. Let’s focus on targeting problem areas. Let’s fix them. Let’s get them back into the fold and let’s continue to go together so we can go far and get this pandemic behind us, this disease behind us. And always let me just remind you, you can continue to participate in that endeavor by not only practicing social distancing and physical distancing and abiding by local and state guidance, but by potentially contributing your time and your attention to causes near and dear to you and communities near and dear to you all around the state. californiansforall.ca.gov website, californiansforall.ca.gov website, a wonderful portal to match your passion with action and help contribute to meet the needs of those most vulnerable and get this state ready and prepared for our comeback. Take care everybody. Stay healthy.