Jun 22, 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom June 22 California Press Conference Transcript
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Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:27)
Thank you again as always for the privilege of your time and the opportunity to catch up. I did walk in today with a face covering, wear that wherever I go publicly, events where I can not socially distance, physically distance from others. But as many of you know, just a few days ago, state of California advanced an effort guidelines that came from our health department to mandate face coverings in exterior parts of the state and areas where you may be recreating, but otherwise cannot practice social distancing, physical distancing and indoors. To the extent again, that you’re mixing with cohorts of individuals that you otherwise may not have been previous to our modification of the stay at home order.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (02:20)
The reason we’re doing this is simple, wearing face coverage saves lives, it mitigates spread. I think it’s remarkable just looking at this slide itself, the impact that we have as individuals, even when we exhale. And you can just see from this slide, just taking a deep breath and exhaling droplets can go as far as 4.5 feet, coughs that infamous six foot number. But look at that sneeze. When we sneeze, it goes far droplets of 26 feet. It underscores the magnitude of opportunity we have as a state. I argue as a nation to be more thoughtful and not only about ourselves, but about others when we are in public. When we start to mix cohorts as we reopened the economy here in the state of California and all across the nation.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (03:16)
I’ve had the privilege across over the course of the last number of months to spend time with four ex governors, living governors in the state of California, governor Wilson, governor Schwarzenegger, governor Davis, governor Brown, they’ve been advising me, advising our economic recovery task force. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know them personally. You of all have gotten the privilege to get to know them professionally. Two Republicans, two Democrats, and all concerned about where we are in this pandemic with COVID-19, where we are going. And as a consequence, they were generous enough to put together the following video, underscoring, the importance of face coverings.
Speaker 1: (04:09)
One more click.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:11)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: (04:12)
And maybe you didn’t vote for me.
Gov. Gray Davis: (04:14)
Arnold newsflash, I voted for Gray Davis.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:17)
But no matter who you voted for, or if you didn’t vote at all, it doesn’t change the California look out for each other.
Gov. Jerry Brown: (04:23)
Look, nobody wants to wear these things.
Gov. Pete Wilson: (04:26)
And thankfully masks have come a long way since the last pandemic.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: (04:31)
This is not about being weak.
Gov. Gray Davis: (04:34)
It’s about fighting the disease and keeping our families and ourselves safe.
Gov. Pete Wilson: (04:39)
And it’s about getting Californians back to work
Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:42)
And small businesses open safe.
Gov. Jerry Brown: (04:44)
COVID-19 is still spreading.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: (04:46)
It didn’t go away just because you more or less open at 50% capacity.
Gov. Pete Wilson: (04:51)
This isn’t over.
Gov. Gray Davis: (04:52)
It’s up to all of us to fight it.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: (04:54)
So do you apart.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (04:56)
Don’t let COVID win, wear a mask.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: (04:58)
Just do it.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (05:00)
Just do it. So I want to thank the governors for taking the time to participate in that PSA of sorts. And I want to thank them for their leadership, their council, their advice, their devotion to the state and the nation and a recognition that we’re not out of this first wave. We’re not into the second way. We’re not out of the first wave. And the slide you see now up on your screen only underscores that we are experiencing and have experienced just over the last 14 days, some 35.6% of all of the cases they have been reported just in the last 14 days, 46,000 plus new cases. Just yesterday 4,230 individuals tested positive for COVID- 19. 4,515 in the previous day, which was a record day. Those that suggest we’re out of the woods, those that suggest that somehow is going to disappear, these numbers tell a very, very different and sobering story.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (06:17)
And that’s why I wanted to lead today’s discussion and this press conference by imploring you to take seriously this new mandate to wear face coverings. To listen, not to me, perhaps you are more fond of some of those other governors to listen to governor Brown, to listen to governor Wilson and governor Davis, governor Schwarzenegger, who across many differences you heard governor Davis express one difference and that was a reference to the recall campaign. The fact is they all agree on this fundamental point, the importance of wearing face coverings to mitigate the spread of this virus, to address the rise in case numbers that you see reflected in this slide. And moreover, the numbers in these slides.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (07:05)
Look not naive we have made this point and other governors are making this point, it’s part of a national conversation. The more you test, the more numbers of individuals you will test positively, we agree with that. In fact, we had a record number of tests that we conducted yesterday over 92,000 tests done yesterday, 85,000 tests done the day before, 79,000 tests a day before that, that’s the blue part of this graph. The testing is going up and up and up and up, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. We’re starting to see slight uptick in the positivity rates, not where it was. You’ll see that red line the 40.8% on the graft last week, last Monday, it was about four and a half percent. Now about 4.5 or rather 4.8% over a 14 day period. So it’s going slightly up even the positivity rate.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (08:04)
We made the point it’s been relatively stable to dropped significantly since the 14 day first period of tests that showed 40.8%. But again, under a small subset of tests where mostly people were symptomatic. Now, as we get North of 90,000 tests, we’re getting into populations where many people are asymptomatic or presymptomatic, but the positivity rate, nonetheless, that’s been stable is now going slightly up. Accordingly, we’re starting to see an increase in hospitalizations. A week ago we saw a modest increase, but this week we have experienced an increase that when you stretch it out over a 14 day band has gone up by roughly 16%. I’ll get to what this number means, not just in percentage terms, but in terms our total hospital capacity in this state to put it in perspective. But it does reinforce perspective that I want to advance here today. Total number of cases are going up in the state of California, total number of positive cases relative to total number of people tested is going slightly up.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (09:14)
Hospitalizations are starting to go up in the state of California and reflected in this slide. Accordingly, number of ICU patients has also seen an increase a little more modest than hospitalizations, but nonetheless, an 11% increase over a 14 day period. Wear your masks, practice physical distancing, continue the hygiene that is so foundational in terms of mitigating the spread of this virus. We are not out of the first wave of this virus. We’re not discussing yet the second wave because we still need to work through the first wave of this virus. Accordingly though, we recognize that the last few weeks we haven’t just been victims of fate nor over the course of last few months, I presented a similar slide last week on Monday, that looks at the capacity of our system to address the increase in the spread of this virus. This updates you in terms of total healthcare system capacity.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (10:19)
You’ll see on this slide that we have a surge capacity of over 52,000 beds. We currently have, even with that 16% increase in total hospitalizations, the 3, 702 number you see there. Total number reflected is still a very modest subset of total number of available beds. It was 6% last week we’re at about 7% this week. So we still, because of the work over the last few months, identifying our surge capacity, putting protocols and plans together, both on the physical capacity, as well as the human resource side, we’re in a position to absorb even greater increases. So I want you to know we’re managing this. We’re focusing in a very deliberative way on addressing not only the mitigation, but addressing the reopening of economy where people are mixing and the likelihood will continue that we’ll see an increase in total number of positive cases. And by extension a subset of that in hospitalizations.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (11:26)
The second slide is a slide related to ICU capacity. Again, not dissimilar to the previous slide on hospital capacity. We have an ICU capacity that actually grew a little bit over the last week. Over 4,120 now capacity, the available ICU capacity in our system, we went from about 28% to roughly 29% this year. So 6, 7% on the hospitalizations, 28 to 29% of our critical capacity as it relates to ICU. And the number on the right of your screen, the 11,627, those are total number of ventilators available, roughly what it was last week plus or minus a dozen or so. So again, despite an increase in hospitalizations, despite an increase in total number of ICU patients, our capacity remains fairly stable compared to where it was a week ago and certainly is in a much better position than we were a number of months ago.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (12:28)
So again, I’ll begin with the not surprising news, but the trend lines that are becoming headlines around total number of tests that we’re conducting, total number of positives and the commensurate modest increase in the positivity rate, percentage of people tested that are tested positive for COVID-19 and by extension, more people testing positive, more people likely to end up in hospitals. We’ve seen an increase in hospitals and subset of that in ICU. Capacity continue to be stable nonetheless, in hospitalizations and ICU and that is important. So that’s the framework so far as it relates to the work that we’ve been doing. Accordingly, we continue to advance more work to reopen the economy but safely and responsibly. And it’s incumbent upon all of us to really take heed these documents that we put out. Not sure everybody paid deep attention to the fact that we’ve put out 38 guidelines around developing strategies to safely reopen this economy since the beginning of the pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (13:44)
We now have 54 counties in the state, these 53 attestations, there’s an attestation for two counties, forgive the confusion, but the vast majority of counties have moved forward by taking our guidance, which again does not prescribe when to reopen it just lays out how to safely reopen and they have implemented their protocols and procedures through that attestation process. That again is available online at the covid19.ca.gov website, covid19.ca.gov website, where you can go to your county and see how they’re performing, vis-a-vis their own attestations. And you can also take a look at the guidance within industries to get a sense of whether or not these segments of our economy and those specific businesses that are part of the guidance documents are actually doing their part to keep you safe, to keep their employees safe and keep more broadly, all of us safe and mitigate the spread of this virus.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (14:52)
We’ve been monitoring as we said last week, all 58 counties in this state. Last week, we had highlighted a number of counties that we were monitoring and we were focused on 13 counties in particular that required not just monitoring, but some technical assistance. The good news compared to last week with 13 counties that we were providing technical assistance, we now have 11 counties that we’re providing technical assistance to. Dr. Ghaly is going to come up. He’s going to talk more about those counties we’re to go through. He’s got a list of all 11 counties that are part of the technical assistance and how they’re doing vis-a-vis these attestations and the kind of technical assistance that we’re providing.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (15:39)
Also, he’s going to lay out some considerations as it relates to the foundational principles of not just wearing a face mask or a face covering, but practicing the social distancing, the physical distancing and why that’s so foundational as well in mitigating the spread. But with that, I’ll ask Dr. Ghaly to come up, he’ll update you on technical support of these 11 counties, and then walk you through those additional considerations as it relates to practicing, safely practicing physical distancing and advancing the larger cause of social distancing in the state, doctor.
Dr. Ghaly: (16:22)
Thank you governor. Good afternoon, just before we go onto the county monitoring, I just also wanted to highlight that, just punctuate the point that the governor made, which is that we have throughout the state distributed millions of masks to a number of sectors. Not just the health partners that we began, the covert conversation talking about, but all of these listed sectors and this comes because of the execution of our contract statewide with BYD to bring masks to California and be able to provide those to these important sectors so that not only can we protect the workers, but also allow those clients or customers who come and interact to be protected as well.
Dr. Ghaly: (17:15)
So it behooves us not just to double down on these efforts to get masks to these various sectors, but also that we as the public deliver our own promise to those workers and to protect them by donning our own face covering when we interact with them in a store or in a different setting. So as the governor mentioned, we are this week looking at 11 counties. And as you can see on this slide, just like the one we reviewed last week, there’s a number of data points that we’ve been tracking. We’ve been looking at a county’s ability to provide testing at a level that allows us to feel comfortable with our ability to pick up positives when we have to and be able to contain that-
Dr. Ghaly: (18:03)
… when we have to and be able to contain that spread, our ability to look at overall disease transmission, our ability to look at the increasing hospitalization numbers and then the ability of that hospital capacity in a certain county to manage those increasing cases.
Dr. Ghaly: (18:20)
As you can see in general, all of the counties have the capacity of ICU beds and ventilators that we need to continue to support the patients that are presenting a need that level of care. I think it’s very important that as the governor underscores the level of preparedness that we’ve had, that we want to ensure that as few people become sick as possible and even though we have that capacity, that it’s not capacity we want to use to treat COVID-19 patients. We would much rather people practice physical distancing, wear their face covering, practice good hand hygiene, stay home when they’re sick and all of the things we’ve been advising, so those beds remain available, but not used.
Dr. Ghaly: (19:08)
I want to just highlight a couple of things on the table in front of you. Focusing on two new counties on the list, Riverside and San Bernardino, where we have over the past many days been in communication with those county public health leaders and leaders overall, to have a conversation, not just about the spread in congregate settings, like skilled nursing facilities or even jails and prisons, but the fact that we’re starting to see additional spread in community settings.
Dr. Ghaly: (19:37)
So those are cases that can’t be linked to necessarily a congregate setting, that is spreading within households, households that live in closer quarters, maybe in communities where they have a number of multi-generational households and where we’re not just seeing that uptake in the number of cases as respect as reflected in the case rate increases but also in the commensurate hospital increases that we’re seeing.
Dr. Ghaly: (20:06)
So not only do we see increased cases in certain communities and certain counties, but those increased cases are not just because of increased testing but actually becoming increased number of hospitalizations and in the future may put pressure on our ICU capacity and our ventilator capacity that we want to maintain to keep our community safe.
Dr. Ghaly: (20:30)
I also want to identify Stanislaus as a county that is on the county monitoring list for the first time and then continue focus on Los Angeles County, where despite a good job in maintaining their hospital capacity, doing quite a bit of testing, we still have a very high case rate which we watch closely because of the dense population in Los Angeles County.
Dr. Ghaly: (20:57)
A number of the other counties we’ve been following very closely; Imperial, which is a county we continue to be concerned about and talk about both in this New Summit noon conversation but throughout the course of the week, to make sure that we have the bed capacity, not just within Imperial County, but also in surrounding counties that have really stepped up and taken patients who have been sick in Imperial and need both hospital or ICU level care so we keep all of Californians safe. So we will continue to update this list on a daily basis and share it with you every Monday. So you can track with us those areas where we are concerned.
Dr. Ghaly: (21:42)
As the governor promised. I just wanted to spend a minute talking about the power of decreasing exposures. So as you can see on the top line with no decreased exposure, so that means going about our business as California reopens without much care or thought about wearing face coverings, about remaining physically distance when you can in a store or another setting, even while you’re outside, that you see that one person within five days can infect two and a half other people, which may not seem like a lot, but when you stretch that out to 30 days, we’re talking about over 400 new people who are been exposed and infected, and that 400, those 400 individuals go on to infect even more and we begin to see quite a rather radical and steep increase in the number of cases, which then leads to a radical and steep increase in the number of hospitalizations, potentially as well as ICU stays.
Dr. Ghaly: (22:45)
You can see with just a 50% reduction in exposure, so that’s a combination of remaining physically distanced, wearing your face covering, frankly staying at home as much as you can and ensuring that when you’re sick, you stay at home. When you’re sick, you reduce your interaction with others, even those people in your own family and that you continue to practice good hand hygiene, that we can reduce exposure, so that over the course of 30 days, not 400 people get infected but just 15.
Dr. Ghaly: (23:17)
Even farther, if 75% less exposure, so that means wearing our face coverings even more often than we might otherwise, staying home even more often when we have symptoms or concerned and making sure that we practice that physical distancing that the governor and many other people have been talking about, we can reduce the number of people infected 30 days out from our own or one person’s own infection to just two and a half people and that is exactly how we control the spread in California, ensure that our preparedness over the last few months continues to serve us well and ensure that we continue to keep that curve bent and that we have the capacity to keep Californians safer as we begin to move forward with our economy and have more and more sectors reopened.
Dr. Ghaly: (24:12)
I just wanted to talk about one last point that we have been discussing for weeks now and this is our contact tracing capacity. A number of you have seen in the news over the past few weeks, a focus on contact tracing. I will say one point that contact tracing is only as robust and good and successful as we have the capacity to allow people who are close contacts or even positive cases out of those contacts, to be able to isolate safely at home and that means in a supportive way, where they’re able to be isolated, have the food and other necessities to be able to maintain that isolation safely, not just from the community at large, but even from people within their families. We set out a goal to have 10,000 individuals trained to be part of that contact tracing workforce across the state by July 1. We continue each week to train state staff that are being repurposed to do that service, as well as working closely with our county partners who have both retrained and redeployed their own county staff to do this work, as well as invited hundreds of others from community based organizations and other sectors to help join this army. We are continuing to work towards that July 1 goal and we’ll go even farther as our cases increase and we have the goal to make sure that every case in California receives the type of disease investigation and contact tracing that we know is necessary to keep the spread of COVID contained.
Dr. Ghaly: (25:55)
We also just want to highlight that 31 of our counties are onboarded already on the California Connected Platform that we launched a few weeks ago and that we’re in process of having an additional 20 counties join. That isn’t to say that the other counties who won’t be part of California Connected Platform, aren’t themselves reporting and managing the data as it relates to contact tracing, they certainly are. We are just having a single shared platform for as many counties as needed so that we can in an organized, methodical way, be able to watch the spread of COVID-19 and ensure those who are close contacts, get the support and care that they need.
Dr. Ghaly: (26:43)
I want to just end by reinforcing this because today’s message isn’t just about the when something reopens, but really about the how. The governor said clearly that we have spent weeks, months even, preparing guidance for sectors that are many, many pages long with specific details on how a sector more safely opens and reduces risk for both their workers and their customers and clients.
Dr. Ghaly: (27:13)
But it really comes down to these things that we can all continue to do and do more of. Wear our face covering, the order, the directive, the requirement to wear face coverings that California put forward last week by California’s Department of public Health. The old, now very common sentiment, that physically distance makes a difference. That keeping six feet apart will actually reduce the spread of COVID-19 just as the governor’s initial slide that showed how droplets spread. This is the purpose for doing that. Washing your hands cannot be overstated. Washing your hands for at least a couple of rounds of the ABCs, as I tell my pediatric patients, or long enough, at least 20 seconds, but making sure that you do that enough to reduce the transmission.
Dr. Ghaly: (28:10)
Answer the call. We’re having contact tracers from throughout the state, whether it’s locally in your counties or some of the state staff, call individuals who may have been exposed, to understand what their real exposure was and whether they should isolate as well. It’s important that you answer that call. We will continue to deliver that message.
Dr. Ghaly: (28:32)
Then I just want to end by reinforcing that despite the fact that we are having more and more movement in mixing as sectors reopen, our strong support for individuals who are older, or who have underlying medical conditions, to stay at home as much as possible. We have spent the last many months asking questions and preparing to support those individuals as they stay at home but because the virus is still spreading in our communities, because transmission is no different than it was before, we want to continue to support older Californians and those with underlying medical conditions to stay safe and stay home.
Dr. Ghaly: (29:13)
So with that, I’ll turn it back to the governor.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (29:20)
Thank you, Doctor Ghaly, and as always, we want to encourage you to learn more about all of the above and get the benefit of understanding what’s happening in your local community by going to the COVID19.ca.gov website. COVID19.ca.gov website. Again, it includes not just information that we provided here today, but those attestations, those protection plans, the specific details within your counties, the guidelines, the sectorial guidelines that we just put forth. Also includes updates on testing, the tracing work that Doctor Ghaly was just referring to and provides a little bit of a dashboard, a little bit more clarity and insight as to how certain counties are performing versus other counties.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:08)
As always, we encourage you to go to the testing site on COVID19.ca.gov if you feel you need to be tested or you know a loved one that you would encourage to be tested, go to that site, and then just type in your zip code and you’ll learn from close to 90 different sites that are on the COVID-19 platform, what’s available near you and the cost, which is in almost every case, negligible or zero, as these are subsidized examples of, at least subsidize locations that we’ve worked hard to provide for people, regardless of their means.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (30:48)
So look, bottom line is, as we move forward, to be sober about the reality, that again, we are still in the first wave of this pandemic. To again remind ourselves, the power and potency of our individual decision making, our ability to bend this curve, ultimately to bend it down, until we have a vaccine, until we are in a position to turn the page on COVID-19. It’s your individual decision making that will determine our fate and future, our capacity to mitigate the trendlines that you’ve seen that we presented here today, to mitigate the likelihood in need that we ever have to toggle back on the stay-at-home orders and revert back to where we were just a few months ago.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:38)
We don’t intend to do that. We don’t want to do that but I want to make this clear. We are prepared to do that if we must. Clearly we have the capacity, individual and collective capacity, not to have to go in that direction by just being a little bit more thoughtful about how we go about our day-to-day lives.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (31:59)
Read up on these guidelines. When you go to a restaurant and it’s clear that they’re not practicing what we are preaching, report that. Give us the tools to enforce and I want to make this point clear because invariably it’s asked of me on a daily basis and likely to be asked in a moment when I turn this over to questions, what is the enforcement mechanism? Foundationally, what we look to local government to drive the enforcement but we more importantly look to the moral persuasion each and every one of us have as individuals to again, be good examples so that when we’re out and about and we’re wearing a face covering, we’re not only protecting ourselves and protecting our loved ones and the broader community, but we’re also sending a message to people that they should consider doing the same.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (32:47)
Our goal is not to be punitive. Our goal is to educate. Again, we’re just a few days into this mandatory face mask guidelines. That’s why I put at the front of this conversation, that video. Again, deep gratitude to the former governors, be willing to participate in that video, to highlight the importance of wearing face coverings.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (33:06)
The next slide that I put up about the 26 feet, when you sneeze that droplets can travel, I just hope underscores the seriousness to which we place this face covering mandate and the encouragement to have you and others participate in doing the same. But beyond that, the state of California and local government has the ability from a regulatory perspective to go after people that are simply thumbing their nose and abusing the privilege of this moment and not putting your best interest, your health interests at heart, or even their workers.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (33:45)
The state of California has that ability just as an example and we’re using the restaurants to the alcohol beverage control. I was on a conversation call today day with many governors across the country. In fact, it was an all governors call with the vice president of United States, comparing and contrasting best practices. There wasn’t one governor that spoke that didn’t speak up about the importance of enforcement and the relationship they have in terms of not trying to be punitive, not trying to be too aggressive or heavy handed, but at the same time, being able to utilize tools in the toolkit. Again, focusing first on the cities and counties and the regions doing the same, the state from a regulatory perspective, not least of which ABC, but also OSHA and the capacity again to educate workers, the importance or rather employers, on the importance of protecting their workers and advancing the principles of the guidelines.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (34:33)
Again, guidelines say how to reopen safely and it’s incumbent upon those within industry sectors that helped us. Many cases, leaders in those sectors helped us draft those guidelines, to procure strategies, to manifest those guidelines, to keep you healthy, to keep you safe as we transition out of this first wave and prepare for the fall in the likelihood of a second wave.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (35:02)
I want to just close by making two additional points that were highlighted by Doctor Ghaly and can’t be reinforced enough. You saw that one slide that showed 130.1 million masks that have been distributed throughout these sectors of our economy; the transit sector, our education system, obviously within the health and human service sector, the agricultural sector. We also, because of the magnitude of our capacity now as a purchaser, we currently have an inventory of 199 million masks. We’ve distributed 130 million. We have an inventory of 199 million. We’re trying to turn that around as quickly as possible and get through all of those orders of masks within sectors and throughout the state, counties, cities, healthcare systems, and the like. By the way, that includes the precious right N95 masks. We’ve received over 11 million of the N95 masks. Tens of millions more will come.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:03)
Of the N95 masks, tens of millions more will come in and over the course of the next few days, and over the course of the next few weeks. As soon as we get those in, we want to get those out as well, particularly to our most vulnerable workers, again, the heroes of this pandemic, our nurses, our doctors, the people that do need to be on the front line, in the ICU, in the hospitals settings and the like.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:24)
And so I just want folks to know that we’re very, very proud of the magnitude and the scale of our procurement, and our passively to help support the many sectors within the state of California. And accordingly, you saw on that slide on the 130 million that we’ve already distributed, we’ve also been able to help because of the partnership we formed with FEMA, which has been exceptional, we’ve also been able to help some other States with their needs as well.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (36:55)
So it’s a point of pride and a point of privilege that we say this, but again, point of protection for each and every one of us to wear these face coverings and to make sure that we mitigate the spread again through this, what we call non-pharmaceutical intervention.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:11)
There are two non-pharmaceutical interventions that we know that work, that staying at home, practicing that kind of physical distancing, that a stay at home order provides and then wearing face coverings to mitigate those that cannot practice the physical distancing and social distancing when you are in a cohorts where you’re mixing with people that otherwise you had not mixed with in some period of time.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (37:35)
So testing going up. 92,000 tests, a record in the state. Not surprisingly over the weekend, a record number of people that have tested positive. A positivity rate that is holding but is slightly now increasing, hospitalizations that are increasing, but within a capacity that our system can handle. ICUs growing accordingly again, within the framework of capacity, our system can handle. More and more masks being procured, more and more masks being distributed and more and more dare I say, responsibility on each and every one of us to practice the physical distancing and be thoughtful as we move back in and begin to mix into the economy with all of these meaningful modifications that we’ve seen in at least 54 counties in this state, on the stay at home order.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (38:29)
Final comment, because it’s a point of pride. I want to just thank those that have participated in this great plates effort. I mentioned them a few months ago, and it was just a few months ago that California was going to become the first in the nation to provide meals for our seniors. Dr. Galley reinforced the need for me to reinforce this program by saying for those that are 65 and over people that have comorbidities, issues with their immune system, issues that relate to preexisting conditions with age, how sensitive we are to your needs and our larger community needs within that cohort.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (39:14)
If we’re going to ask folks to stay at home, we’ve got to address the issue of social isolation, the issues that obviously manifest people that aren’t feeling connected to loved ones and others that feel isolated and are indeed isolated, but also vulnerable. And that’s why the Great Plates program was so important, it was conceived to solve multiple, a number of problems. One, to address the nutrition needs. Great Plates is indeed about providing meals to our seniors that are isolated, but it’s also to provide a sense of continuity of care. We announced on Friday that over 1.6 million meals now have been delivered just since the creation of this first in the nation program, and how over 5,800 jobs have been supported, not only within the restaurant industry, but helping support those that are delivering these meals.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (40:07)
But one of the things that was so humbling and so extraordinary, it’s the reason I’m bringing this up are the number of letters that we’ve received, cities, counties have received mayors have received that they forwarded to us. We realized it’s not just about delivering nutritious meals, it’s about that knock on the door, the only knock that a senior may receive on any given day, it’s about that phone call saying, “How was the food? And was it to your liking? Is there anything more I can do from the restaurant,” checking in on the senior to make sure that they’re providing quality. And the fact that someone reached out, made a phone call, fact that someone knocked on the door, fact that someone delivered that meal has been as impactful in some cases based upon the letters that we’ve received as the meals themselves, ability, again, to connect to people that feel totally disconnected and isolated, fearful, fragile, literally and figuratively at this moment.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (41:00)
And so I just want to encourage all of you, not just through a program like that that’s been so successful, over 30,000 seniors getting the benefit of this program. Again, not every senior gets the benefit of the program, it’s income eligible program. It’s people that otherwise are not eligible for other programs that get the benefit, but the fact that we’re doing it, it’s just Testament to individuals that are discovering something even more extraordinary, and that is the power and potency of their voice and their willingness to connect on a human level with another person. And that’s why I just want to encourage you, even if you’re not part of the Great Plates program, become part of something bigger than yourself. That COVID-19.ca.gov website also has volunteering information, has information on how you can support seniors and how you can just make calls and check in on strangers, see how they’re doing, make a difference in people’s lives. We say the happiest people in the world are volunteers.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (42:05)
So if you’re feeling a little down, you’re feeling a little blue, you’re feeling again, fearful, anxious, getting a little fragile, one of the most significant ways you can change your own outlook on life is by reaching out to someone else and checking in on their life. And again, I can’t be more encouraging than your capacity to make a difference in other people’s lives and in turn, make a difference in your own life by checking out those volunteering opportunities. COVID-19.Ca.gov. Wonderful resource for that as well. With that, happy to answer any questions.
Speaker 2: (42:43)
Jackie Box, Call Matters.
Hi, thank you governor for answering our questions. My question is about the Safety Net program that you’ve stood up during the pandemic. That includes pandemic unemployment assistance, the easy place to apply pandemic EBT. Great Plates delivered described best relief assistance for immigrants, project Room Key. Many of these programs are first in the nation, but reporters have also documented bumps along the ways, delays clogged phone lines, et cetera. I’m wondering if you could, for me, if you were writing your own report card, what grade would you give yourself for these safety net programs in terms of how well they’ve delivered on the promises that you made when announcing them?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (43:31)
Yeah, I’m very proud of starting things from scratch I’ll leave to more objective minds. People come with a subjectivity oftentimes, and I come with an open heart and a humbleness that when you start something from scratch, you take pen to paper, you take an idea and you’re dealing with a lot of challenges in this state. We just were able to get together legislature over the weekend, get a budget deal together. Now, a lot news, getting PGNE out of bankruptcy, trying to deal with the issue of racial injustice and police reform, systemic issues that we have to address as a nation dealing with. We had 429, or I think it was 400, it was about 429 wildfires we’re monitoring last week.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (44:13)
We are doing our best under very challenging circumstances. The fact that we have over, I think it’s 14,000 human beings, we estimate in the 11,000 or so rooms, off the streets and out of congregate facilities and shelters under project Room Key, I couldn’t be more proud of that. We could have just walked away and never even endeavored to do something audacious, do something no one else had ever done, do something that no one else is doing. We did it. And I’m proud of it. Proud of the work that we’ve done on this Great Plates idea. We could’ve just walked away from it, never even endeavored to do something that helps support 5,800 folks. That’s made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of our seniors, 1.6 million plus meals served to the extent that we were able to procure an unprecedented amount of masks, not only for our state, but now helping other States. It’s testament to a commitment and tenacity, not to allow critics to get in the way of progress and to put our head down and try to solve problems.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (45:15)
I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in that place as well. We’ve distributed over $34.3 Billion just since March 15th, $34.3 billion since March 15th, not of last year, this year in unemployment and pandemic unemployment assistance. That’s not something the state has ever had to do in the past. And I’m proud of the work that they’ve done under very difficult circumstances. We haven’t been shy about being honest about the frustrations we’ve all shared and the thousands of people that we had to get redeployed to help support those phone lines and dealing with the magnitude of call volume, 5.7 million people now that have applied for unemployment insurance and PUA insurance just since March 12th, not 15th.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (46:07)
And so all these areas are opportunities to do more and do better, but I’m very proud of the team for being able to meet the moment overwhelmingly and to advance some best practices for the rest of the nation and not be timid and not be shy about the work that we have in front of us.
Speaker 2: (46:27)
Kathleen from [inaudible 00:46:30].
Hi governor. So you talked about the positive case rate increasing and hospitalizations going up. So how seriously are you or how worried are you about the new infections and hospitalization? And is it safe to continue reopening given that a lot of people are still choosing not to wear mask? And finally, are you worried that Californians have started to normalize the deaths and illness from coronavirus?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:01)
There were 20 lives lost yesterday to the virus. I should have began with that. Thank you for the opportunity to remind people, people are still losing their lives to this pandemic. Our hearts go out to every one of the families and individuals, obviously, with the family members who’ve been torn us under because of this pandemic. The hospitalization numbers are something we’ve always been focused on, the positivity rate and the total number of positives, particularly as our testing has substantially increased. And we have a greater sense of understanding of the community spread than we certainly did three weeks ago, three months ago.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (47:38)
We’ve been putting together not just a plan for a hospital surge. That slide I showed you a moment ago, the 52,000 beds, that’s just in the hospital system. We have, in addition to that, these alternative care sites I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions. I’ll take this opportunity to mention it again. I get every morning the list of the 10 counties that have the alternative care sites, and what’s the current inventory on those sites. This morning was 19 individuals, and a system just on the alternative care sites that we can turn on at a moment’s notice of over 1500. So there’s great capacity, not just modest capacity there. I referenced the 7% or so capacity within the hospital system. So that’s 93% capacity still available, 7% that’s being utilized.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (48:30)
ICUs have always been consistently in the higher numbers, in the 20, 30% range. And those are, as I said, holding strong. 28% last week, 29%. So look, we’ve been concerned from day one about the spread of this virus. We’ve taken it very seriously. We’re the first state in the nation to do a state home order. But at a certain point, when you have 5.7 million people that are filed unemployment insurance, certain point when people can’t get preventative care, at a certain point when unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been since the great depression, a certain point, you have to realize and rationalize that the issues of the social determinants of health, the issues of poverty, the issues related to hunger also cause disease and have profound health impact. And so one has to be mindful of that as well.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (49:20)
And that’s why we’ve worked hard to safely reopen the economy. It’s why we’ve given the tools to the locals to make the decisions for themselves. That’s not the case in every other state. And there’s been mandates from a top, including even on face masks coverings, where they’re denying local government in many States, the ability to make that determination for themselves. And we’ve tried to create some flexibility in a state as large as ours. And so we’ve always walked into this with our eyes wide open. We’ve always prepared for a surge. We have surge capacity identified. We’ve shared that with you today, multiple days, the reason we are procuring hundreds of millions of masks is in anticipation of being even more prepared, replenish the shelves, so to speak, but also prepare not only to get through this first wave, but to prepare for a possibility of a second wave.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (50:10)
We continue to recognize we have more work to do in terms of making sure that we are safely monitoring with the kind of technical assistance that is appropriate this time, the reopening of economies and sectors. And also trying to do our best to enforce through social persuasion or more aggressively, working with cities and counties to enforce those that are flouting the rules and the laws and putting people at risk.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (50:41)
So we’re in that bend where I feel like we anticipated the likelihood as we reopened of these numbers increasing and they have, and I’m confident in of course the next few weeks and months that we have run scenarios and have procured strategies, and we’ll be able to implement strategies to do a lot more if need be.
Speaker 2: (51:09)
Jeremy White, Politico.
Governor, thanks so much for giving us a moment. Sort of going off of Kathleen’s question. You talked today again about the needs to be able to toggle back as necessary. And I think a question a lot of folks have is, are there specific fixed numbers or metrics you were looking at that would trigger now is the time that we need to reimpose some restrictions?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (51:35)
The point of the emphasis Dr. Galley and the recognition that we have a County lens on this is to make this point, everything that I presented to you is in the aggregate, and I’ve said this often, I’ll repeat it. We don’t live in the aggregate. California is 58 counties, 470 plus cities, different lived realities. And so the answer to your question is from my perspective, a nuanced response, meaning at the County level, within industries and segments within the counties, we need to be prepared to do that, doesn’t mean that we are doing that.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:14)
I thought it quite interesting and illustrious example that Lassen County, you recall a few weeks ago, they had moved forward into a new phase. Health director decided to pull back a little bit only to move forward again when a certain criteria and condition were more confidently met. That’s exactly the kind of protocol and kind of responsiveness that we’re looking for from health officials and health directors and local elected officials. We put a lot of responsibility into their hands and accordingly, we want to provide technical assistance to support them through navigating the application implementation of the rules, of the road that they’re putting out in terms of timelines for reopening.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (52:58)
So the technical assistance is foundational. We’re now monitoring technically again, 11 counties. It was 13 last week. And if we see persistent challenges, if we see things that raise red flag concerns and [inaudible 00:53:14] County has been example of that in terms of trying to need to decompress their hospital system and some of the cross border issues, then we will hold the line a little bit more. And to the extent we have to, we can pull back.
Speaker 2: (53:27)
Catie Orr, KQED.
Hi governor. You mentioned earlier that you’ve come to a budget deal with the legislature, which was announced today. Can you give us any more details about what that agreement contained and specifically, have you guys decided to go with your method of trigger cut or the legislatures, which would wait a couple more months to make them.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (53:52)
We make compromises across the spectrum. We’ll be putting out much more specific details in the coming hours and days, certainly through the week. I just want to compliment legislature…
Governor Gavin Newsom: (54:03)
Days and certainly through the week, I just want to compliment the legislative leadership, and the speaker, and the pro tem budget chairs and the respective houses to advocacy community that was incredibly responsible in terms of their advocacy and also pointed in terms of their concerns about prospective cuts. I want to thank City and County leaders in particular for their guidance, their counsel, their input in this process. Work we did on issues that remain stubborn issues in the state on homelessness and housing. Again, work we have to do together over the course of the next few years. This is a multi-year framework. We’re not solving for everything in one calendar month. We have a lot of work to do over the next few years, and we cannot impress upon the federal government more important work they have to do to help support municipalities, large and small, states, large and small, to help support us through this unprecedented period of time, the magnitude of this pandemic has placed in terms of pressure on our budgets.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (55:07)
Remember, it’s not just having to address revenue shortfalls. It’s also addressing increases in case loads at the same time related to the economic consequences and the displacement associated with COVID-19. Cannot again though, be more appreciative of all of the leaders and the cooperative spirit that brought us to an agreement simply hours and hours ago and the evenings late last night. And as the dust settles on all of that, you can pick apart the areas where we found common ground. This is not about disagreements, a budget deal. It’s about where we found agreement. And I want to thank them for doing just that.
Speaker 3: (55:51)
Mike [inaudible 00:55:52]
Yes Governor. Just to try diving a little bit more into the details of that. If you could share any more details regarding the deal in terms of what was agreed to with the legislative leaders specifically for University of California, California State University, and the tax breaks that were going to go to small businesses.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (56:13)
Well, there are tax breaks that will benefit small businesses. We had an eye on focusing on the need of small businesses, not only for those that want to start their business and providing some tax relief for those startups, but also recognizing that not every small business is a beneficiary of some of these federal programs, be it programs for support from the SBA or programs through the PPP program. Many have fallen through the cracks and as a consequence, we have provided more resources, more loan capacity in that space in addition to what we did through the process under the executive authority provided under the emergency capacity that the legislature afforded me a number of months ago in the creation under this I bank of loans along these lines. We’ve done a number of other things to help mitigate education cuts that were part of the May revise.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (57:13)
We have also deeply focused on the lens of equity. That was a foundational principle thrust which I made very abundantly clear on multiple occasions and I know it’s deeply part of the zeitgeists and value proposition of the California legislature. We came to agreement in that space. You’ll get all these details. There’ll be brought out in the next hours as I said just a moment ago, days, and certainly over the course of the next week.
Speaker 3: (57:38)
Dustin Gardiner, SF Chronicle.
Thank you Governor. With respect to the budget deal and deferring some of the cuts to schools, I’m wondering, are you confident that this will address the concerns that districts have about their ability to reopen if they don’t have full funding?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (57:57)
Yeah. I think the funding substantially exists. It’s not an increase as much as I had hoped when I put out my January budget. As you recall, my January budget, we talked about historic investments in special education, historic investments in preschool, historic investments in teacher retention, teacher training. We talked about a deep desire for more residency programs, more mentorship programs. We wanted to recruit more teachers that look like the student body, diversify our workforce. All those enhancements unfortunately, we are not in a position this year because of a $54 billion shortfall. Again, I was in a different mindset number of months ago we were projecting $6 billion surplus, which candidly was closer to $10 billion.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (58:44)
We unfortunately not in that position, but we were able working with the legislature, working through deferrals and working to get a lot of the federal CARES Act dollars into our education system. Those dollars could have gone anywhere. We put a substantial amount into our K through 14 education system. We think a lot of that anxiety is mitigated and I just want to make this clear, it’s an important point. As more details will be forthcoming, that we have provisions against teacher layoffs. That is good news. That was foundational important, something we all care deeply about and something we are very proud. I don’t want to speak for legislative leaders, but I’m sure they are very proud that we were able to all accommodate our collective needs and be able to make that commitment firmly.
Speaker 3: (59:35)
Sophia Bollag. Sophie.
Hey Governor. I want to turn for a moment back to the mask order. There’s been a lot of confusion from members of the public about how it will apply to various sectors, from everything from schools, to gyms and other types of businesses. So you said earlier, you want people to report to their counties if they see businesses violating the rules. Can you clarify exactly how this is supposed to apply to sectors where you’ve already released other guidance that doesn’t necessarily mandate mass requirements?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:00:18)
Yeah. Good news. All those guidelines are being updated with the new mandate. And that should very quickly answer the question.
Speaker 4: (01:00:28)
Hi Governor. Couple of things. First of all, there seems to be some mixed messaging. This is what I hear from people that’s out on the street. Where on the one hand, they hear that we’re having a record number of cases, record number of hospitalized patients, wear masks, wear masks, wear masks. On the other hand, they see more and more things reopening and they are told, “Get a haircut. Go to a restaurant.” And some even notice that on the state website, unlike the shelter-in-place order which was a legal public health order, it just says, “Guidance.” And they take that to mean it’s not mandatory even though it includes words like mandate and must. Can you address the mixed messaging that still seems pervasive out there where a lot of people say, “This can’t be as bad as they say, because look, they’re letting everything reopen.” And as you’ve been touting more testing, what is your reaction of President Trump having told his staff to scale back on testing, slow it down, which White House has offered several explanations for but it now appears he did actually do?
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:01:23)
I’m very proud we had a record number of tests yesterday. We are now exceeding our goal of 60,000 tests. I’m proud of the work that our team has done in that space. We’ll continue to be strong advocates for more testing, more community testing, and make sure those that want to avail themselves to testing that they have the capacity to get the tests. And so I think a few states, I don’t know many States that are testing north of 70, 80,000 as we have been over the last number of days, of their citizens on a daily basis. And I hope we can continue to see those numbers go up though we are getting close to capacity in other respects, and that is, there is a big cost associated with testing. And that’s moreover my concern related to anything that came from this administration is how they can support more testing at the state level and not put us in a position where we don’t have the resources to continue advance the testing at the kind of scale that you deserve and the public deserves.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:02:28)
As it relates to the messaging, it’s very clear. It’s crystal clear. As we reopen the economy, communities large and small determining when to safely do that based on conditions within their communities. Again, California’s a state that’s as large as 21 states combined, population roughly equivalent to Illinois, New York and New Jersey, just shy our population of those three States combined. We put a lot of onus on local health officers, local conditions, and that’s where the guidance is foundational. We listen and we attest to their concerns. We put them on websites available on covid19.ca.gov and we give people the capacity to toggle through these test stations and through the counties to see how their communities are doing. Dr. Ghaly just a moment ago, highlighted 11 counties that we are working with on technical assistance that are a point of some concern, that are examples of areas where the state and local government are working collaboratively together.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:03:42)
We’ve made it crystal clear that as we reopen the economy, we’re never going to be in a permanent state of shutdown. No one ever suggested that. Over months, we’ve been talking about phasing in a safe reopening of our economy. We said the guidelines don’t mean go. We said that when we put the guidelines out, we focus on how to do it safely, but not when to do it. That when local health officials through the attestation process decide they’re ready to do it, to do it safely. And through the guidelines, you’ll see very detailed guidelines on what that means in terms of different sectors of our economy, different types of businesses, how social distancing can be advanced, how physical distancing can be advanced. And now we have put out what exists for many local governments and that was guidelines on face masks that were encouraging a face mask, now we have mandated face masks.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:04:44)
There’s no ambiguity there. It’s a mandate for face coverings and the order made it clear what that looks like and when it’s appropriate to wear the face coverings, it was just asked. I thought a very good question about the guidelines, these 38 sectorial guidelines being updated. We’ve been working feverishly over the weekend to update those guidelines to incorporate the new mandate on face coverings so that will be out very shortly but this process has been very transparent, and I just hope folks recognize the magnitude of this moment, which is we’re still in the first wave of this pandemic. We’re not out of the first wave. We’re seeing an increase in total number of positive cases, we’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations, and all we ask is if you feel like this is too exhausting, you feel like you’ve just had enough, if you feel that way, that’s understandable.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:05:43)
But please, as you go about going back to some semblance of what life looked like in December, November of last year, do so safely and honorably by protecting yourself and your loved ones and wearing a face covering we believe, outside of physical distancing is the most important thing you can do.
Speaker 3: (01:06:05)
Final question. Jon Horn ABC San Diego.
Jon Horn: (01:06:13)
Hi Governor. Thanks for taking our questions. You mentioned earlier in your press conference that there were some anxieties that would be relieved when it came to education. You mentioned teachers, a provision against layoffs. I was wondering if you could give a few more details on what some of those anxieties are being relieved by this budget.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:06:28)
I was substantially addressing what potentially was a $19 billion cut within what we refer to in California, our Prop 98 funding requirement. That was the magnitude of the shortfall that impacted Proposition 98. I just want to remind folks, forgive me for belaboring this, just a few months ago, I announced a budget that projected roughly $6 billion surplus. In fact, about a month after I announced that budget, new revenue came in, that was ahead of what we had even anticipated , showing how strong the California economy was. Record low unemployment, record reserves, record GDP growth. At least in modern terms, we averaged about 3.8% GDP growth of our five year period. That we hadn’t seen in some time at least in the state of California. And that all changed. $ 54.3 billion budget shortfall just a few months later and the magnitude of that is fallen on all of us to address substantively based on constitutional provisions on state leadership.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:07:45)
We have a legal obligation to balance our budgets. We can’t do what the federal government can do and that’s kick the can, print money and the like. And so we had to work feverishly to figure out a way to do that, that mitigates the harm to those most in need, the most vulnerable, including our children, and our teachers, and the like. And so we were forced to address a $19 billion potential impact. We began to knock that down. I put out a proposal, the legislature and knocked that down. They went even further. We worked together across some technical differences in terms of how we distributed those funds, including the support from the federal government to target issues around learning loss and equity in our school system, which was so foundationally important to me and I know legislative leaders.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:08:39)
There was concern and anxiety about layoffs and pink slips and that was substantially addressed with language that is part of this budget bill that I look forward to signing based upon the agreement last night. So we made a lot of progress. By no stretch of the imagination is where we wanted to be and the reason I’m being so long-winded is to contextualize where I hoped we would be when I announced the January budget versus where we are here in June. And comparatively, we wished we could do a lot more because our educational system is still substantially underfunded in the State of California versus other states and we’re going to have to be very resourceful in the future to find additional capacity to make more investment, not less, in our public education system.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:09:28)
With that, let me just encourage people to take more seriously, not less seriously, where we are at this stage of this pandemic. We have a mandate for wearing face masks. There are exclusions based upon being a toddler, one, two years of age, people that have certain conditions where wearing a face covering is more problematic, not less. And I encourage you to take a look at the guidelines that came out from the health department. They’re available on the covid19.ca.gov website, covid19.ca. gov website to the extent people want more information about what the mandate does and doesn’t do. I encourage you to continue to listen to your local health directors and health officials, that our frontlines of this pandemic continue to express appreciation as we always should and must to our frontline caregivers that are still on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Governor Gavin Newsom: (01:10:26)
And I’m just again, grateful to them as we all should be. We’ll get through this, no question in my mind. We are a very resourced state and we are in a much better position than we’ve ever been to tackle this pandemic. Mark my words. We’ll get through it and we are in a much better position across the spectrum than we have been in many, many months. But the numbers are increasing as we reopen the economy and as we reopen all I ask, is that we are more vigilant than we have been, even perhaps than we were a few months ago, because we need to get out of this first wave and prepare for a second wave and get through this together and get those immunizations out. And we’ll get back to a more resilient mindset and a more robust and abundant California into the new year. Take care everybody. Thanks for the time.