Feb 27, 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom Coronavirus Update Transcript: California Governor Holds Press Conference on Coronavirus
California Governor Gavin Newsom held a news conference providing new information on the coronavirus in California. He said the state is monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus. Read the full transcript here.
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Governor Gavin Newsom: (00:05)
Had the opportunity over the course of decades in public service as a County Supervisor and as mayor of a County, San Francisco, to work very closely and collaboratively with the State of California, federal agencies to address issues, large and small. Issues around MERS and SARS, issues around H5N1, not just H1N1. Issues around Ebola, and our response to those situational challenges and crisis. I saw first hand the incredible expertise and commitment and resolve of people at all level of government. And as a consequence, many of those things are in our rear view mirror as it relates to the acuity of our consciousness and focus.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (00:52)
Accordingly, we will meet this moment. We will express and advance similar resolve on the issue of this novel Coronavirus, and we will accordingly attach ourselves to a little bit understanding of our history and our capacity to meet pandemics head on, both in pre-planning, both addressing pandemic in real time, and more importantly in many respects post pandemic. Over the course of decades, now the state of California formally has adopted some renewed strategies and those strategies are advanced on an annual basis through formal efforts at the local level, regional, state and federal level to work, to build capacity and build partnerships.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:42)
The state of California invested millions of dollars a year to require communities large and small in this state to advance protocols, to do very comprehensive annual event plans, and to continue to develop relationships, not just develop policies and planning documents. Relationships and trust at the end of the day matter more than anything else. We had a number of those, by the way, conducted at scale last November.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (02:14)
It was just a month or so later, last December, that we first were afforded the opportunity to learn more about what was happening overseas in Asia. I’m very proud of being a former mayor of San Francisco, with the first and largest Chinatown in the United States, one of the largest Chinese populations, Asian populations, more broadly defined per capita, and they are part of our country. Accordingly, being governor of the most diverse state, in the world’s most diverse democracy also affords us the capacity of understanding, and again, strong formal relationships that have been developed over the course of decades.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (02:54)
Those relationships allowed us to advance in real time in understanding and scoping of the challenge that inevitably would be presented. We worked more formally with the Trump administration, and continue to work formerly, and very collaboratively, with the Trump administration at all levels to coordinate and collaborate. That coordination and collaboration, you may recall initiated in a number of repatriation flights that came to the United States, and rather than turning our backs on those repatriation flights, we support it with partnerships at CDC and other federal agencies. Those repatriation efforts as American citizens first, as Californians advancing our values second and we coordinated those first flights. The first flight in particular in January, late January down into Riverside at Marsh. We’ve had a number of other flights including the most recent at Travis air force base in Solano County.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (03:56)
Over 800 people have come in on those flights, but that’s a small part of the overall picture. Thousands and thousands of other people have come in on more traditional flights through the state of California. Some 8,400 plus are currently being monitored with 49 local jurisdictions doing those protocols and monitoring as it relates to more traditional commercial flights that came in from points of concern and potential points of contact, particularly in Asia.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:29)
As you may know, as of today, and I say as of today, at this hour we have 33 confirmed positive tests for the virus. Five individuals have subsequently moved out of state, so there are 28 people that we know in the state of California that are positive. The case yesterday understandably generated a lot of attention, but didn’t surprise any of the folks standing to my left or right. We knew this was inevitable as it relates to the nature, the epidemiology, the nature of these viruses, that that incident would occur.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:11)
Accordingly, when hearing about it, we initiated a series of protocols that we were prepared to advance. Those protocols include deep tracking and tracing of individuals that would be in contact with this individual working again in collaboration and partnership with our federal partners, and working with the extraordinary talented and committed frontline workers both in the healthcare sector and a bit more broadly defined at the local and County level.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:46)
We are currently in deep partnership with CDC on one overriding protocol that drives our principal focus right now, and that’s testing and the importance to increase our testing protocols, and our point of contact diagnostic testing as our top priority, not just in the state of California but I imagine all across the United States. We had conversations just [inaudible 00:06:15] say moments ago, but within last few hours with CDC assuring us that the testing protocols will be advanced with urgency.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:26)
We have just a few hundred testing kits in the state of California, and that’s surveillance testing as well as diagnostic testing. That’s simply inadequate to do justice to the kind of testing that is required to address this issue head on. And I’m very pleased the CDC is moving expeditiously on that, and it made firm commitments to the state of California that will significantly and exponentially expand our capacity to advance those testing protocols. Nothing more important than point of contact, diagnostic testing that could be readily made available, so that we can have full spectrum testing of this disease, or rather of this virus. And so that’s our top priority as is it relates to the moment. And again, we are pleased with the response that we have just received from our representatives, the federal government.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (07:24)
We have today though, representatives from a number of state agencies that we’ll talk more learnedly and more specifically about the protocols and procedures that are underway as it relates to modeling this virus in this state, looking at vaccine protocols, when not if, when the vaccine avails itself, looking at the strategies of cooperation at a multi jurisdictional level, be it not just with state and local and federal officials, but also nonprofits, NGOs and private sector participants. That’s why we have assembled here today the head of our health and human service agency who will speak just after me. He’ll hand it off to Dr. Angel who represents public health system, and someone many of you in California are quite familiar with, the head of our office of emergency services, not to elevate anxiety in relationship to the of emergency services, but our leader as it relates to wildfires and relating to natural disasters, but also our leader in logistics as it relates to the modeling and gaming out of our next phase strategies, if they aren’t necessary.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:39)
I long windedly have just said the following, we’re meeting this moment, we have been in constant contact with federal agencies. We have history and expertise in this space. We are not overreacting, but nor are we under-reacting to the understandable anxiety many people have as it relates to this novel virus. At the same time, no better resource state in America to address this issue head on, and no better team assembled that have taken account and responsibility from day one to meet this moment. So it’s in that spirit that I now will ask Dr. Ghaly to come up and express his points of view, and he will pass his podium on to the two other representatives of agencies and we’re here of course to answer any question you subsequently may have. Dr Ghaly.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (09:44)
Thank you, governor. My name is Dr. Mark Ghaly. I’m Secretary for California’s Health and Human Services Agency. Today I want to walk through what we, alongside our colleagues at the governor’s office, Cal OES, our local partners, our private partners in the hospital system, the clinic system, our many physicians and nurses across the state, have been working towards as well as our great partnership with the CDC and other federal agencies.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (10:14)
We are here and have been doing our work around the clock for many weeks and months now to protect California’s health and safety since we first learned about the novel Coronavirus. I will then turn this over to Dr. Sonia Angel, to my right, who is our California public health officer who is also the director of the California Department of Public Health, and she will go into more detail about specifics on the particular case that I know many of you are interested in learning more about.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (10:44)
I do want to spend a moment setting a bit of a ground rule around what we’ll do here today. As a physician along with Dr. Angel, we take very seriously patient privacy. We may not be able to be in a position to answer questions about the most recent case when it comes to the condition of the patient, their age and where they are. We are also not going to be discussing in great detail issues around the federal repatriation efforts as many of you are aware. We are in active conversations and in litigation around that with our federal partners and the local entities.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (11:25)
I want to start by saying it’s natural to feel concerned about the novel Coronavirus but I want Californians to know that we have rigorously planned for this public health event. Just like this, as the governor mentioned when I was with him in San Francisco, we prepared for the H1N1 situation. We’ve gone through this with Ebola in being prepared, and many other events like it in the past. And our goal is to take every precaution to protect California’s health and safety.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (11:57)
This is a rapidly evolving situation. We are leveraging all the necessary state resources to address it. We are in constant communication with our federal partners and, yes, it was just moments ago that we were on with the CDCs director learning about our ability to expand testing here in the state, to receive more testing kits, and to be an active conversation on redefining what triggers a situation, a clinical situation to be tested.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (12:27)
California continues to be an active partner with the federal government helping lots of impacted Americans get home. As the governor said, we welcomed home the first of many flights to this state. We have been participating with all of our public health resources, our clinical resources to support those federal efforts. We are the first in the nation to begin to roll out testing, and we are going to be expanding that in the hours to come.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (12:58)
We have been actively and extensively planning with our local health partners that includes our delivery system. The hospitals and doctors and nurses that we all trust, have been deeply engaged. I’m grateful for those wonderful partnerships and relationships we have with those agencies and organizations across the state, because those relationships matter at a moment like this, it makes it more seamless and gives us a better chance to be prepared as we have experienced in the last many weeks.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (13:28)
As in any public health event, our medical and health coordination center has been activated and is coordinating its response across the state, and preparing for more and possible community transmission. California continues to prepare and respond in coordination with even our local hospitals in Solano County and in many other counties that have stepped to the plate and really taken on a clinical load that weeks ago wasn’t anticipated.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (13:59)
We are providing information guidance in documents and in technical assistance, in regular phone calls and webinars with all of our state partners who need to continue to work with us to make sure that we have the best interest of all Californians in mind. This includes guidance to facilities such as schools, universities, colleges, childcare centers all across California because the questions are many and we want to make sure we give a consistent and clear voice.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (14:32)
We continue to coordinate with the federal authorities and local health departments in implementing screening, monitoring and in some cases quarantine. We’ve had over 8,000 passengers returning to the US from China and other parts of Asia over the past many weeks, and we have supported and worked with our local health departments to make sure those individuals are safe and that we are giving good and appropriate guidance based on the most up to date information.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (15:05)
We are continuing to work with our federal partners on giving our feedback on all of their guidance and criteria so that we make sure that it is current and meets the needs of an evolving situation. We look forward to continuing those strong relationships and we are working hard to ensure that our local health capacity is preserved for those individuals with significant symptoms, if that is developed. So we are working hard to make sure that our local health partners are communicating accurately when people who are experiencing symptoms, whether they’ve had exposure or not, should be emerging and coming forward to health facilities.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (15:52)
We live in an age where telehealth, telemedicine, phone advice, many other types of, modes of getting information and sharing your clinical condition exist. And we are urging many folks to use that before they come to emergency rooms, or urgent care centers, or their physicians practices, in order that we ensure that the hospitals and our capacity during our important time in flu season and when other emerging other patients with clinical needs would naturally use the emergency rooms. So we’re trying to work hard with those partners to make sure that we use our scarce but critical access within our acute care hospitals in the most responsible and appropriate matter.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (16:39)
I will now turn to Dr. Sonia Angel, who will go into more detail about the state of affairs of Coronavirus across the globe, across the nation, in our state, and some of the specifics on the important development from yesterday. Dr. Angel.
Dr. Sonia Angel: (16:57)
Thank you. Hi. Good morning. I’m Dr Sonia Angel.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (17:03)
Hi. Good morning. I’m Dr. Sonia Angell. I’m director of the California Department of Public Health and state public health officer. I’m welcoming you all today here to our medical health coordination center. This is where we coordinate with all of our agencies, a very important response that we’ve put in place for novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. Now that the coronavirus, COVID-19, is new, but it is part of a family of coronaviruses that have been around for a long time that we are very familiar with. In fact, coronaviruses are responsible for the common cold, so it’s something that all of you may also be quite familiar with.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (17:42)
The cause of the current outbreak that originated in China is a new member of this family. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Our experience to date, though, is that most people, more than 85% will have mild or no symptoms. Some may move to a more complicated course including pneumonia, but that is not the most common manifestation of novel coronavirus. We’re learning more about its transmission and as I said, the most common symptoms are respiratory. Therefore it’s primary mode of transmission is from coughing or sneezing, particularly when we don’t cover our mouths after we sneeze or cough or don’t wash our hands.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (18:29)
There have been a limited number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California today as mentioned. 33 positive cases in California, 24 were from the repatriation flights. The other nine confirmed cases include seven that are travel related. One due to person to person contact, but that was from a very close contact, a spouse living in the home. Now as mentioned yesterday, this new case from an unknown source. This particular case could be the first possible instance of community transmission of COVID-19 in the United States and it’s here in California. It’s in an individual in Solano County who is receiving care in Sacramento County, with no travel history and no known exposure to somebody with confirmed COVID-19.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (19:22)
We currently have people in the field working in the community from the local, the state, and also from the CDC. They’re investigating the cases and they’re taking action. They’re contacting any individuals who might have been exposed and they’re isolating them.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (19:40)
This is a fluid situation at this time and I want to emphasize that the risk to the general public remains low. In the event that that risk changes, we will communicate with you. We will make everyone aware, but it’s important to note that the risk, to the general public in California remains low from novel coronavirus.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (20:03)
The Department of Public Health emergency operation center has been actively coordinating response efforts, preparing for possible community transmission. As always, in emergencies, we planned for both the worst situation but also the best situation. So we’re ready for anything. We’ve been working with our state and local partners for situations like this for over a decade. We’ve updated our plans based upon our lessons that we learned from H1N1 and from Ebola virus. But we do realize that this case that we’re discussing today marks a turning point and as such, we’re expanding our surveillance activities. We’re increasing our laboratory capacity as mentioned with more testing. We’re planning increased demands on our medical system and we’re using the latest science to model and forecast the needs of our community so that we are sure we can continue to respond as we have to date.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (20:55)
As we learn more about COVID-19 and how it evolves, we will be sure that we adapt whatever we’re doing to make sure that our responses are appropriate. As we continue to work in coordination with federal and local partners, there are some simple steps that I want to remind all of you, we all emphasize this, that you can do today to make sure that you stay safe and to protect yourself. Those include washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes nose or mouth with unwashed hands, staying at home from work or school if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like a fever or cough and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (21:34)
It’s natural to be concerned at times like this, which is why California officials have been closely, closely monitoring and working with partners around this situation. Now I’d like to turn this over to California Office of Emergency Services director Mark Ghilarducci.
Mark Ghilarducci: (21:53)
Thanks Dr. Angell. Good morning. Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. First let me just say as you’ve heard today, this is a new and rapidly evolving situation and a challenge to us, but we are doing everything at the state level in support of our local partners to address it. This is not our first time, as has been mentioned by previous speakers, that we have addressed similar kinds of challenges. Currently my office, the Office of Emergency Services is primarily supporting the great team at the Health and Human Services Agency and California Department of Public Health with any resources, coordination activities. We’re actually leveraging all the very powerful and broad authorities of OES and of our great emergency response system to be able to meet whatever needs that HHS has to ensure that they have all the items they need. Particularly areas in commodities or critical assets that may be necessary.
Mark Ghilarducci: (23:03)
We’re also doing a lot of cross coordination and communications with jurisdictions around the state to ensure that our local operational areas meet all the needs in the event that they’re having trouble facing whatever challenges that they face. Again, much like we do in the normal course of emergencies that we routinely face here in California and like all emergencies, it’s critical to understand that there are risks and as been mentioned, we want to encourage everyone to have a family plan and review that with your family and really listen to state and local health authorities as they continue to provide critical information out to the public. This is going to be a little bit of a marathon and so we’re going to be continuing to support and as it evolves or changes, we’ll be prepared to do that in an effort of bringing all different state agencies and departments together where we’re doing advanced planning for any potential scenario that may take place in the coming weeks or months.
Mark Ghilarducci: (24:09)
So again, I just want to close by emphasizing that while we face this new challenge, we do know that the state is taking every action and we want to encourage you to just continue to listen to your state and local health officials. Thank you.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (24:23)
Thanks Mark. So I’m happy to take any questions, again, with the one criteria of respect and responsibility that we have to patient privacy. I imagine many of you want to know who she is, how many people she was in contact with, where she works, and those clearly are understandable questions and I hope you, in anticipation of our responses, understand our patient responsibility to protect and preserve confidentiality. But know that we are intimately involved in answering those questions with kind of specificity as required in the moment.
Jodi Hernandez: (25:01)
Governor, Jodi Hernandez, NBC Bay Area. Can tell us when this person came to the Northern California hospital, how many days went by before they came to the medical center and were possibly exposing folks.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (25:14)
Yeah, I leave that to Dr. [Galley 00:08:17].
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (25:20)
We can’t give all of the details that reveal that. We know that there were a number of days that she was in her community and that she then did begin accessing care and through the course of her care, as her condition evolved, she was then tested. So there were days in between when she emerged with symptoms and when the test actually occurred. But we have been working closely with those health care delivery systems that took care of her as well as the CDC and others to make sure we’re doing all the appropriate things to understand what community exposure existed and what we can do to make sure those who were exposed receive the right care and concern that we would want any of our family members to receive that were in that situation.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (26:12)
I should just note, it underscores the importance of the testing protocols being advanced and as we said, the information we received from the CDC this morning advanced those protocols and so we are satisfied and we’re now moving in the right direction. Accordingly, we have a tracing protocol that’s best in class. Meaning every single point of contact, every point of contact of those that were in contact, all of those will be resourced and reviewed accordingly. CDC has committed to sending 10 of their personnel into the State of California to help assist in those efforts to broaden our capacity to track each one of those individuals and to make sure that they’re contacted and to make sure that they’re interviewed.
Speaker 1: (26:55)
Governor, let me ask you, many of the passengers from the Diamond Princess were brought to Travis Air Force Base in Solano County. Many have tested positive. That’s where this patient first presented. Is there any connection?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (27:10)
I’m going to leave that to, again, my medical team.
Dr. Sonia Angell: (27:11)
We have no evidence that there’s any connection with those patients in this individual at this time.
Speaker 1: (27:17)
Okay, and you’re also tracking a lot of individuals. How many potential contacts are you tracking right now?
Dr. Sonia Angell: (27:22)
I can’t give you those specific numbers, but I can tell you that investigation started yesterday. They continue across the full spectrum from the individual’s home all the way through the hospital system and all of them are being reviewed carefully by those people in the field at this time.
Speaker 1: (27:36)
Just characterizing, dozens, hundreds?
Dr. Sonia Angell: (27:38)
I can’t give you the number at this time.
Speaker 2: (27:42)
Can you explain why the state wasn’t prepared with more testing kits?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (27:45)
Well no state was. No state had the ability to access them. I don’t want to get into the … let’s just establish this. New protocols are now being advanced. They can’t happen soon enough. Testing protocols have been a point of frustration for many of us across the spectrum and I mean … means cross, not only the spectrum and then the health system, but across states we have, as I said, just 200 kits and that’s for not just the traditional diagnostic but also surveillance. It’s simply inadequate. But no longer will that be the case later this afternoon, tomorrow, next few days we have been assured of our capacity to significantly, exponentially increase the capacity to test. This is something that, again, is critical at this moment.
Speaker 3: (28:34)
[crosstalk 00:28:34] government been slow to respond. I mean UC Davis got the test back [inaudible 00:28:40] passenger last week, Friday, last week.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (28:42)
Look, I’m not going to politicize this moment and I’m not going to point fingers and I’m going to speak honestly and forthrightly that we have had a very strong working relationship with the administration from the secretary level to the director level. We have been in consistent contact not only as a team but individually, I have as well, from day one. To the extent that they are processing their own protocols and procedures, we are grateful that in that iterative engagement they are moving forward as we demand and advancing our efforts to test.
Speaker 4: (29:22)
[crosstalk 00:29:22] current challenge, will you declare emergency. If it is a challenge-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:26)
To the extent necessary. Emergencies often are to emphasize energy of focus, often just for federal purposes of receiving additional resources and support. Right now I don’t feel either are necessary. The attention is understandably focused. The money is not the issue at the moment, but to the extent conditions change, we’ll consider that.
Speaker 5: (29:53)
[crosstalk 00:29:53] Governor with everything going on, how concerned are you about proposed [inaudible 00:29:56] to the CDC.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:57)
I am not concerned about them at all today.
Chuck Schumer: (30:27)
Then I finished my job here today. Anyway-
Speaker 6: (30:42)
Do you trust that President Trump is taking this seriously enough?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:45)
I know his team is. I know the folks that came up after him and the press conference, we know each and every one of them, not just by name and face, but by constant contact. I know each and every one of them are sincere and resolved. So I have absolute confidence that the folks he’s assembled around him do.
Speaker 6: (31:09)
[crosstalk 00:31:09] What about President Trump himself?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:09)
We’ll see what he’s able to accomplish in the next few days and weeks. But look. It’s all about your team. It’s about the people you assemble. He’s got longterm professionals that have transcended his administration, that are there, that have earned reputations, that are solid. We have developed relationships of trust and those relationships predate his administration and mine. So from that perspective, not a lot of daylight. Again, I’m not here … it’s very easy for me, I mean, we’re involved 68 lawsuits with the Trump Administration, to find daylight and politicize this. But first and foremost, I’m an American citizen. I’m a father of four. Politics has no place at this moment. We have to meet this moment with a sense of urgency and conviction that transcends politics and transcends pettiness. So I will not allow my administration participate in that and I hope we collectively can elevate above that.
Speaker 7: (32:06)
[crosstalk 00:32:06] Governor-
Speaker 8: (32:06)
You said more kits are on the way, more testing kits are on the way from the CDC. When will they get here and how many kits are expected?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:12)
Well, that’s a real time question.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (32:15)
Sure. We spoke to the director of the CDC moments ago and he assured us without giving a specific number that our capacity would be substantially expanded. We expect that those kits will be here any day now and we already have a number at the moment, so this would just augment that capacity and scale very soon.
Speaker 9: (32:35)
[crosstalk 00:32:35] How many people are you currently testing?
Speaker 10: (32:37)
Are there more clinicians who have requested that their patients be tested, but they haven’t because they haven’t fallen to narrow protocols?
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (32:44)
We don’t have that information. We do not know if that’s actually the case. But as the governor said, we are in constant communication and the case from yesterday is obviously giving the CDC a lot to consider in terms of revising those protocols so that more individuals will be tested with symptoms that might be identified as common pneumonia without a clear source. We are in conversation with the CDC about ensuring that that fits the need for California so that physicians or clinicians who ask for the test will more easily be able to send it.
Speaker 9: (33:22)
[crosstalk 00:33:22] Doctor you mentioned that this woman spent some time in the community before she recognized any of these symptoms. What specific community are we talking about here? Who should be concerned?
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (33:31)
Yeah, so as both the governor and Dr. Angell said, we won’t be speaking about this specifics, but because we have-
Speaker 9: (33:42)
But don’t you think people deserve to know if that individual was in their community?
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (33:42)
We have a very robust and first class tracking system to ensure that we’re reaching out to all of the potential contacts in many, many different walks of this person’s life. So that we’re doing as we have in many, many other situations like this to ensure-
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (34:03)
Any other situations like this to ensure that those individuals who may have been at risk are contacted and that they receive the correct attention and care if needed.
Speaker 11: (34:11)
But you don’t feel the community deserves to know?
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (34:13)
As we said, we’re engaging closely with that community, and in order to protect a number of things around the public health standards that we’re all committed to, that we are working hard to make sure that anyone who might have been in contact with this individual throughout the community is knowledgeable and that we’re reaching out to them.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (34:38)
Let me just amplify, if I may just briefly imply, absolutely people that have been in contact with this individual have the right to know, and in real time they are being interviewed, points of contact, family members are being interviewed and others.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (34:51)
This is a very detailed protocol that is well established that predates this particular virus. And it is a protocol that is multi-dimension and I think affords a level of comfort that people understand. We’re meeting the moment in a comprehensive and detailed way.
Speaker 11: (35:10)
But this is under the assumption that someone else in this community transmitted this disease to that individual. We don’t know who that person is. So should people who didn’t necessarily contact the sick person know that there are other people in their community who may have this disease?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:25)
Yeah, but look, that’s the reason. The testing protocol is so important. You don’t know what you don’t know unless you’re testing. And so this point cannot be emphasized enough. We should have caregivers, doctors, have the capacity in real time on demand to advance these testing protocols.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:41)
And that’s I think one of… That’s why I began this conversation today with all of you that that’s our top priority. It was this morning and we’ve been given assurances that CDC recognizes that with a deep sense of urgency. As you know, it’s one thing just to have the testing kits.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:55)
It’s another have the capacity on the backend to adjudicate the facts and have a full diagnostic test that’s provided. That’s limited today. But over the course of the next few days, we’ve been given assurances there’ll be exponentially more sites for testing also made available, including the prospects of doing them within the state of California. So we get the test results back more quickly.
Speaker 11: (36:19)
So should everyone in Solano County be concerned?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:22)
Look, everybody in this country is rightfully anxious about this moment, but I think they should know that we are meeting this moment with a kind of urgency that is necessary. And I don’t want to overextend the anxiety that people naturally face. It’s common sense. This is something that we’re organizing around something we’ve been organizing around for months and nothing so far has surprised us. Nothing.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:51)
What happened in Solano County did not surprise anybody. I think the only thing respectfully that surprised folks was that it didn’t happen sooner, but we had anticipated this moment. It’s a natural thing and invariably we’ll meet it. And so I think people should go on their day to day lives with some common sense.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:11)
And I think Dr Angel was right to advance what common sense, it’s nothing more complicated than what your grandma taught you, what your mom taught you and others. But I don’t want to instill any sense of new anxiety that already is naturally filtering through our communities.
Speaker 12: (37:27)
[crosstalk 00:37:27] Since the virus can be spread-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:28)
Speaker 13: (37:28)
[crosstalk 00:37:28] Do you agree with moving patients to Costa Mesa and our other sites under consideration?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:33)
We are in litigation as you know in real time on that. I think both parties are meeting representatives, lawyers from both sides. So I don’t want to speak to the specifics of the site in and around Costa Mesa Community. But we clearly have protocols and we have identified pre identified locations and that’s among the more favored location in the state. But there are other sites in addition to that site all across the state.
Speaker 13: (38:01)
Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:01)
All across the state.
Speaker 14: (38:02)
[crosstalk 00:38:02] Can you give us an update on the number of people that need to be isolated and put in a place like the Costa Mesa [crosstalk 00:38:07]-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:06)
It’s a number that’s very dynamic. We estimated it candidly forthrightly to be higher and it turned out to be meaning the test came back more favorably and this is something that’s encouraging less people testing positive than we had anticipated. So we had some initial estimates of what we needed that actually are substantially more modest. That said, this is dynamic and things could change the next days and weeks.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:34)
And so a big part of why the Director Of Office Emergency Services here is we have protocols and are well established as it relates to emergency planning and how we address people that not only could shelter in place in some respects and be quarantined at home, but also those that need stepped up support be it hospitals but also in non hospital settings. So that we don’t clog our hospital system and not provide access to those that are desperate need of emergency care and other acute care.
Speaker 15: (39:07)
Governor, you and the secretary alluded to this, but do you specifically think the guidelines for testing need to be expanded? And he had mentioned [inaudible 00:39:12] first in California, could you expand on that?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:16)
Yeah, no, look, as I said, I can’t repeat it enough. We need to substantially increase access and availability to testing and we need to do that today.
Speaker 15: (39:26)
About the guidelines.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:27)
And the guidelines as it relates to the testing, I’ll leave to the doctors and the experts, but I can assure you, I think we all share that sense of urgency, that the testing protocols need to be improved.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (39:38)
So in conversations with the CDC today we are assured through our feedback and feedback from a number of other States and jurisdictions that those requirements for testing will be changed based on the new information from yesterday here in California. And we are working hard with the CDC to ensure that once those are prepared we are ready for it.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (40:04)
We know that it will shift from the posture of border and significant containment to one where we acknowledge that community spread is possible and that it meets that condition. So that patients where the provider believes there are symptoms, suspicious of coronavirus, that we have the capability and permission to be able to send that test.
Speaker 16: (40:29)
[crosstalk 00:40:29] Talk about what kind of notifications people in Solano county are getting? People are getting reports, getting emails, text messages. What is the general public hearing about this? They’re talking about schools that are wiping down desks. What is the general public getting out of this?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (40:43)
Dr [inaudible 00:40:45], you want to?
Dr. Sonia Angell: (40:46)
Sure. So the contact tracing itself and the way we communicate depends upon the individual and how we can best reach them. So that can vary in different methods. So that’s the first answer to your question. With respect to schools and other locations, that really depends upon where we understand there might be a particular risk and so that again will be evolving over time.
Speaker 11: (41:09)
Do you plan to [crosstalk 00:41:09]-
Speaker 17: (41:09)
[crosstalk 00:41:09] The community at large though or only specific people being contacted?
Dr. Sonia Angell: (41:15)
The way contact tracing works is that we start from the individual that we know has been affected. We have interviews with all of those individuals that are around them and step-by-step, we look at where they’ve had, where they’ve been and who they might’ve been indirect communication with. We also know because this person was admitted to the hospital, that we also look at all of those individuals in the hospital who might’ve been in contact with the patient there.
Speaker 11: (41:39)
Do you plan to release a timeline?
Speaker 17: (41:40)
[crosstalk 00:41:40] I just want to be clear in terms of that though there was nothing that went out [inaudible 00:41:42] of the community. If someone got contacted, it was part of the contact tracing, not a general emergency alert on their phone or something like that?
Dr. Sonia Angell: (41:49)
No, no, no. These are personal and direct to the individuals and very intentional because we’re really want to make sure that we communicate to those individuals the potential risks that they have when we identify it. So these are not blacking statements. They’re very specific.
Speaker 11: (42:02)
But do you plan to release a timeline of where this person has been?
Speaker 18: (42:04)
[crosstalk 00:42:04] Doctor what if this person was in a grocery store for instance, and you don’t know all the people that were [crosstalk 00:42:07]-
Speaker 11: (42:08)
Speaker 18: (42:08)
Or a restaurant.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:09)
Guys, having had the privilege over decades now, not just in this instance, that these protocols are well established. This is not our first great challenge as it relates to public health. Quite the contrary, these protocols have been perfected in so many ways, shapes or form, not only in the United States, around the rest of the world.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:31)
So all those things are being considered, I can assure you. And, we have not only existing teams and protocols in place, they are now, as I suggested, being expanded by the CDC themselves that are help amplify those efforts and as information becomes appropriate to make available in a way that doesn’t overly create anxiety and okay? I mean guys, let’s put this in perspective. I know there’s deep anxiety, but let’s put it in perspective. As we feel it’s appropriate for public health purposes.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:04)
We’ll make all of that available. I’m deeply committed to transparency and I’m deeply committed to building trust. And so we’re not going to hold things back inappropriately or politically. There’s no happy talk here. I’m not trying to talk something up or situationally worry about the politics of this. We are dealing with this as a public health issue and above all else that’s our frame and focus and people, again, should know we’re on top of this.
Speaker 11: (43:33)
[crosstalk 00:43:33] You’re saying for them to trust you but there seems to be a resistance up there among you guys to say where this individual has been and when? Why is that?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:42)
For all of the reasons I just stated.
Speaker 19: (43:46)
[crosstalk 00:43:46] concerns about health care workers being exposed, both at Davis and at the first hospital.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:49)
Correct and we are aggressively working with those caregivers. We’ve identified the vast majority of them and to the extent they hadn’t contacts, they are being identified in real time. These are the pros and professionals and most of them are self identifying and we have procedures in place and again remember quarantining people, isolating people happens all of the time. From measles to TB, these protocols are well established.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:19)
As I said, H1N1, all of these other challenges we’ve had and pandemics in the past, these protocols have been advanced. And these are similar strategies for engagement that we’ve had and protocols that have served us well both from public confidence perspective and from a public health perspective.
Speaker 20: (44:39)
[crosstalk 00:44:39] at the first facility [crosstalk 00:44:42]-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:41)
And you better believe it. Every point of contact.
Speaker 11: (44:45)
Is that facility still accepting patients?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:48)
Well I believe they are accepting patients.
Speaker 11: (44:52)
Which hospital is it?
Speaker 21: (44:54)
[crosstalk 00:44:54] Additional testing kits that you expect to get? Has the issue with early faulty tests been resolved? And are there sites in California that you [crosstalk 00:45:00]-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:02)
I wouldn’t categorize them as faulty tests, just inaccessible testing protocols. And so-
Speaker 21: (45:10)
[crosstalk 00:45:10] California.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:11)
We we have just received, as I said, few hours ago, insurances that tests will be forthcoming. Additional test kits, again, 200 seems remarkably inadequate. Of course the real inadequacy is not just the lack of test kits, it was lack of ability to utilize those test kits.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:28)
Now we’ll be able to utilize them and we will be the recipient of an exponential increase in new test kits and then more testing locations will be made available. So we don’t have to send everything back to CDC headquarters in one testing location. We’ll see multiples of locations over the course of the next few months.
Speaker 22: (45:48)
[crosstalk 00:45:47]. Has the federal government underfunded this? And [crosstalk 00:45:52]-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:51)
I’m not worried about money.
Speaker 22: (45:53)
What about the State [inaudible 00:45:53]-
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:55)
I’m not worried about resourcing this response. It’s just not even concern.
Speaker 22: (46:00)
[crosstalk 00:46:00] California plan to put more money into this?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:02)
We will meet this moment. We are well resources a state, California for those of you not familiar with the state is running a record reserves and running surpluses. We are uniquely resourced in California and I have great confidence that the administration, particularly in partnership with speaker Pelosi and leadership in the Senate will provide more than adequate resources to the state of California and other States.
Speaker 23: (46:29)
[crosstalk 00:46:29] Thank you all, thank you both.
Speaker 24: (46:31)
[crosstalk 00:46:31] We’ve heard places like [inaudible 00:46:31] are actually running short on some supplies like masks, can you talk to that?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:33)
Yeah. And, and I’ll end on this because we can spend the day together. You’ve got a lot of work to do, as do we. As it relates to the masks we have millions of masks. Some have expiration dates and we’re making a case that some of these masks had been well stored in secure cool facilities and those expiration dates that do not exist in other parts of the world should not necessarily apply here.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:08)
We have orders for masks. This shouldn’t alarm anybody. The masks of course have produced disproportionately in China and so there’s backlogs on those masks, but we have millions of masks in storage locally. And we are requesting some capacity to distribute those and we feel confident that we’ll be successful. So we’ll have adequate supplies. And I think anything you’re hearing in that space is accurate and inaccurate because of the totality and the magnitude of what we have prepared for in the past that we feel confident we can resource going into the future [crosstalk 00:00:47:45].
Speaker 25: (47:47)
[crosstalk 00:47:47] Do residents need to wear masks right now?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:48)
No, I leave that to the doctors, but I’m not walking in here with any mask today. Dr Galley isn’t either, but perhaps you can end on that note.
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (47:56)
Sorry, can you repeat that?
Speaker 25: (47:57)
My question was, do residents need to be wearing mask, right now?
Dr. Mark Ghaly: (48:02)
Yeah, we do not believe so. And as soon as that decision would change, we would share with the public widely. Thank you.
Speaker 23: (48:11)
And if you have other questions, feel free to reach out our respective communications office? Thank You all. Thank you.
Speaker 11: (48:13)
Can you guys release the hospital where this patient showed up?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:15)
Thank you guys.