A pedestrian walks past a mural which reads "Stay at Home, Life is Beautiful" Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Los Angeles. California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
April 9, 2020
While warning residents not to take the information as a trend, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state's number of ICU hospitalizations had fallen nearly two percent over the past 24 hours
However, Newsom also revealed that cases now total 18,309, with 492 deaths up by 50, in the same period, and the number of people hospitalized up to 2,825, slightly more than a four percent increase from yesterday.
"These are not statistics, behind every stat is a real person, real lives that have been torn apart," he said.
Despite the casualties and nearly three weeks after ordering the entire state to begin social distancing, the Golden State governor said “stay-at-home is working in the state of California.
"I caution anybody to read too much into that one point of data, but nonetheless, it is encouraging and it just again reinforces all of the incredible work that all of you are doing to practice physical distancing," Newsom said, warning against complacency. The state now expects the peak of cases to extend into May.
“The curve has been bent in this state, but it also, again, has been stretched. We continue to be vigilant," and California needs to do more to take care of the “deeply stressed out, deeply stretched” healthcare workforce, including psychological support, according to the governor.
Newsom announced a program to fund lodging for those "stretched" healthcare and frontline workers. He said the state will provide vouchers and stipends for workers who need to stay closer to patients or away from their own families. For low-wage workers, he said the state will provide 100 percent reimbursable cost at hotels. The voucher program will be funded with help from FEMA.
The governor also said 350 people should receive letters today to begin work in California's Health Corps and will be considered part-time state employees.
Meanwhile, in the past few days, California sent 500 ventilators across the country to help other states struggling to keep up with the coronavirus pandemic. In response to criticism he sent ventilators out-of-state, Newsom said those states have committed to returning them when California has its own needs and said there are more than 8,000 ventilators not in use currently within its hospital system. Newsom said this does not include the number of ventilators in the state's storage or those that have been sent out.
“We can’t just sit on assets when we can save lives and help our fellow Americans,” he said, stating it was the moral and ethical decision to lend aid.