COVID-19 Digest: Updates from Cal Wellness
This ongoing digest summarizes developments in policies and public-health guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on California. It began as an internal update to staff to inform our response efforts, and we’re sharing it as a resource to others. We hope it’s useful to you.
Thursday, April 2
Coronavirus cases topped 1 million worldwide today but the numbers of deaths and infection are widely believed to be higher for a number of reasons including differing ways in which numbers are counted, unreported cases, and testing shortages.
- Over 10 million people filed for unemployment in the last two weeks as job losses skyrocketed. After the initial shutdowns in certain industries unemployment is expanding across a wider set of occupations.
- New data about those infected is causing some re-thinking about how the virus is transmitted and the benefits of masks and face coverings to control the spread of coronavirus.
- Today there are 239,009 confirmed cases and there have been 5,784 deaths in the United States.
- Cases in California surpassed 11,000 with more 200 deaths. There are now confirmed cases in 52 of California’s 58 counties, with Los Angeles cases jumping past 4,000 and the death toll rising to nearly 80.
- Although the use of face masks and coverings is increasingly being advised, Governor Newsom today said face masks can help slow the spread but the state is not mandating use at this time.
- In the face of unimaginable challenges California hospitals prepare for the impending surge in cases.
- As numbers of confirmed cases increase and the concerns about potential outbreaks grow, attorneys for California inmates are calling on federal judges to reduce overcrowding in prisons.
- Today there are 11,175 confirmed cases and there have been 246 deaths in California.
- A Pentecostal church in a suburb of Sacramento is the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak with more than six dozen confirmed cases.
- Orange County has seen a surge of coronavirus cases bringing the total count of confirmed cases to 606, an increase of 107 cases from the previous day. There have been a total of 10 deaths.
- More babies are born in Los Angeles County than anywhere else in the U.S. Pregnant women in LA are facing uncertainty and changes in protocols in labor and delivery in many hospitals.
Wednesday, April 1
As the coronavirus crisis spreads and projections of fatalities grow, some economists are predicting the economic downturn will likely be deeper and longer than expected, and exceed the Great Recession of 2008-09.
- President Trump says life and death at stake as projections rise to 140,000-240,000 deaths in the United States.
- New York continues to be the nation’s hot spot with the death toll crossing 1,500 by Tuesday morning as the health care system struggling to keep up with demand for care.
- Today there are 213,372 confirmed cases and there have been 4,757 deaths in the United States.
- Yesterday the Superintendent for Public Instruction in California sent a letter to school district officials indicating that schools were unlikely to re-open before the end of the school year.
- Facing pressure to do more about crowded conditions in California jails and prisons California is granting early release for 3,500 inmates in an effort to reduce crowding as coronavirus cases begin to increase in jails and prisons throughout the state.
- Today there are 936 confirmed cases and there have been 215 deaths in California.
- Categorized as “essential workers” farmworkers face risks as they continue to pick fruit as coronavirus spreads. The estimated 420,000 workforce are largely undocumented, don’t have health insurance and don’t qualify for unemployment insurance or any federal COVID-19 relief.
- Nursing homes continue to be hit hard by coronavirus. In San Bernardino County one nursing home is reeling—more than 50 residents and 6 staff members have tested positive.
- A day after Los Angeles County reported the death of a health care worker, clinics on the front lines are low on protective gear and calling on the federal government for help.
- The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the very real digital divide that currently exists in many communities. Los Angeles Unified School District recently revealed that 15,000 high school students have been absent and 40,000 have failed to check in daily with their teachers.
- This week Bay Area counties extended stay-at-home orders and added clarification and restrictions. Here is a handy Q & A to help you understand the changes.
- The coronavirus pandemic is challenging non-profits, this article explores what many nonprofits are facing in the wake of COVID-19.
- The team at Cal Matters asked therapists for tips to managing mental health during this time of uncertainty, read what they recommended, here.
Monday, March 30
The numbers of cases and deaths continue to climb nationwide and stay at home precautions and federal guidelines are extended. In California over a three day period, from Friday to Monday the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 doubled.
- Millions have already lost jobs due to the coronavirus and many are forecasting it will get worse with an estimated job loss of 47 million, and unemployment rate of 32%.
- In New York City the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 30,000 people and is beginning to impact those on the front lines, nurses doctors and other workersat hospitals and clinics.
- On Monday work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foodsdraw attention to safety concerns of front-line workers during the coronavirus crisis.
- Today there are 161,807confirmed cases and 2,978 deaths in the United States.
- Today the Governor announced a new initiative the California Health Corps to rapidly grow the health care workforce to respond to COVID-19. The state is calling on health care providers with an active license, public health professionals, medical retirees, medical and nursing students, or members of medical disaster response teams in California are all encouraged to join.
- The Governor also signed an executive order that will temporarily expand the health care workforce and allow health care facilities to staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds the state needs to treat COVID-19 patients. The Governor’s executive order can be found here.
- Today there are 7,413 confirmed cases and there have been 146 deaths in California.
- Today nine Bay Area counties expanded shelter-in-place orders though at least May 1. These counties-- Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Napa and Solano, were some of the first in the state to put these types of orders in place.
- In Sacramento, county workers are expressing concern about continuing to work in crowded offices and cubicles when many of these jobs can be done remotely. Sacramento County has declared orders to limit social contact and a stay-at-home order was issued on March 19. Sacramento has 164 confirmed cases and has had six deaths as of March 30.
- While inmates in Los Angeles jails complain about a lack of soap and water today the first LA County inmate tested positive for coronavirus disease.
- Economics, Health and COVID-19, check out this very useful new resource from the California Budget and Policy Center.
- Little Free Libraries, those little boxes in neighborhoods where people swap books have quickly been re-purposed and become Little Free Food Pantries; read here about how public library staff and community volunteers in the City of Glendale are working to support those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Sat.-Sun., March 28-29
Today confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to increase in every state in the country with more than 2,000 deaths. On Sunday, while speaking on CNN Dr. Anthony Fauci the top infectious disease expert in the country said the U.S. could expect millions of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and a possible death toll between 100,000 and 200,000.
- Today New York recorded the highest jump in coronavirus deaths, increasing by 237 on Sunday March 29.
- Concerns continue to grow about how to address the health care needs of those not infected with coronavirus. Women who are pregnant are at risk and coronavirus threatens an already taxed maternal health system.
- On the largest Native American reservation in the country, spanning portions of three states, coronavirus creates concern and worry.
- Today there are 121,478 confirmed cases and 2,026 deaths in the United States today.
- In California cases jumped past 5,000 with hospitals rapidly filling up. Los Angeles has experienced 32 deaths and Santa Clara, the second hardest hit county, has seen 25 death
- This weekend California received 170 broken ventilators and a Silicon Valley company has jumped in to repair them.
- Today there are 5,846 confirmed cases and 123 deaths in California today.
- Rural counties continue to see a rise in cases and in places like Mono County, home to getaway spot Mammoth Lakes authorities are pleading for people “stop coming to visit”.
- Meet Sara Cody, the Bay Area doctor and Santa Clara’s Public Health Officer, who called for the country’s first coronavirus lockdown.
- In San Diego County cases jumped to nearly 500 as county closures are extended indefinitely.
- With stay at home orders in place nationwide more are relying on delivery of food and groceries. There is growing concern about the risks posed to delivery workers and the limited protections they are offered.
- Musicians are quickly creating music to help people learn about coronavirus and encourage people to stay home. Cuban artist Ariel de Cuba created Quedate en Casa, a catchy tune gaining popularity worldwide. The video and song can be found here.
Friday, March 27
This week, the coronavirus crisis continued as more and more cities and counties across the country are facing increasing numbers of cases and taking measures to both try to prevent the spread of the virus and treat those that are falling ill from COVID-19.
- Following this morning’s vote in the House, President Trump signed into legislation a $2 trillion stimulus bill, the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history.
- After announcing he was invoking the Defense Protection Act and ordering General Motors to produce ventilators needed to address the crisis, President Trump then announced the federal government would be purchasing thousands of ventilators from a variety of sources.
- Today there are 101,657 confirmed cases and there have been 1,581 deaths in the United States.
- As testing has increased the numbers of coronavirus cases have surged in the state, on Thursday for the second straight day, California crossed a 1,000-case marker.
- Governor Newsom today announced a temporary ban on evictions statewide for renters affected by coronavirus.
- There has been a lack of consensus about the best approach to house and enforce social distancing among the tens of thousands of homeless people in California. There is growing concern that this could potentially overwhelm hospitals already under strain from the growing numbers of coronavirus patients.
- Today there are 4,905 confirmed cases and there have been 102 deaths in California.
- Los Angeles continues to experience a serious surge, and according to public health officials the mortality rate of 1.8% is a higher rate than New York City and the United States overall.
- In Sacramento the Sleep Train Arena will become a 360-bed field hospital for coronavirus and regular trauma care patients. The California National Guard has also transformed the Santa Clara Convention Center into a temporary federal medical facility that will be able to house up to 250 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus.
- City leaders in Anaheim approved $8 million to help struggling residents who have been impacted by the coronavirus shut-down.
Thursday, March 27
Today the United Sates became the country with the most known coronavirus cases in the world surpassing both Italy and China. Worldwide there are 529, 591 confirmed cases and there have been 23,970 deaths.
- Today the Labor Department reported that 3.3. million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. This is a record breaking high; the previous record was 695,000 claims in 1982.
- The stock market rebounded and recovered 20 percent after previous days of record lows.
- Louisiana is seeing the numbers of coronavirus cases growing with concerns about a potential imminent outbreak, many are pointing to this year’s Mardi Gras festivities as the cause.
- Today there are 83,836 confirmed cases and there have been 1,209 deaths in the United States.
- On Thursday the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced it was closing all of its 170 field offices to the public beginning March 27. Employees will return to the offices April 1st but the offices will remain closed to the public.
- Today there are 4,044 confirmed cases and there have been 83 deaths in California.
- San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed concern about the crisis in San Francisco reaching the same levels of New York City and not having sufficient ventilators and hospital beds to meet demand.
- Silicon Valley has been hit hard by coronavirus, with new projections for the region estimating between 2,000-16,000 coronavirus deaths depending on how seriously stay-at-home orders are taken by residents.
- Los Angeles County reported 9 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total deaths to 21, as cases reached over 1,200. On Thursday the County reported a 52% increase in cases from Wednesday to Thursday.
- As the pandemic has quickly grown through the inland region of California, Coronavirus cases tripled in less than a week in San Bernardino.
- Nearly 50,000 people tuned in to an Instagram conversation between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry. Topics included the importance of social distancing, the development of tests and a vaccine and how prevent future pandemics. A video of the conversation can be found here.
- Check out this analysis published by USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity that explores the impact that this crisis is having on certain vulnerable populations in Los Angeles including, the elderly, the undocumented, renters and children on the other side of the digital divide.
- This very practical article can help as you head to the grocery store during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wednesday, March 25
New York continues to grow as the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, however California cases are growing at a rate on par with New York. California’s Secretary for Health and Human Services, Mark Ghaly stated earlier today that if cases continue at this rate hospitals could see a surge in patients in one to two weeks.
- The much anticipated $2 trillion stimulus bill was passed by the Senate late Wednesday night. It is scheduled to move to a vote in the House on Friday morning.
- Over the last few weeks there has been growing concerns about the health and safety of workers in the retail and service sector. Today it was reported Amazon workers at 10 warehouses have tested positive for coronavirus
- Today there are 65,778 confirmed cases and there have been 942 deaths in the United States.
- Today the state reported that it has received 1 million unemployment claims since March 13.
- As the coronavirus pandemic grows there are strong predictions that the crisis could wipe out California’s budget surplus and possibly much more that will be needed to fund vital government services.
- Citing concerns about the health and safety of inmates and staff, Tuesday evening Governor Newsom issued an executive order suspending the intake of any new prisoners in state and juvenile facilities.
- Today there are 3,158 confirmed cases and there have been 67 deaths in California.
- Community clinics play an important role in the health care system however clinic leaders are expressing concerns about the impact this crisis is having on the delivery of primary care services and revenue for clinics serving low-income people.
- Rural communities are beginning to see an increase in numbers of coronavirus cases and there is growing concern about shortages of clinicians in places like the San Joaquin Valley to meet the increasing demand.
- After classifying gun shops as non-essential businesses, the Los Angeles Sheriff reversed course and suspended efforts on Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, March 25
- New York is now considered the “hot zone “of the coronavirus with numbers now appearing to double every three days. It is now estimated that 60 percent of all new cases originated in the New York City region.
- In a complete turnaround from yesterday, stocks jump as a stimulus bill was on the horizon.
- Today there are 53,740 cases and there have been 706 deaths in the United States.
- Late Monday, Governor Newsom announced that the state would need 30,000 more hospital beds for coronavirus patients. This was a jump in a previous estimate. Like others parts of the country the Governor has indicated the state is also short on protective gloves and masks.
- Criminal and civil trials will be discontinued for at least two to three months after an order was issued late Monday by California’s chief justice which aims to cut down on the traffic in courthouses during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Today there are 2,610 confirmed cases and 55 deaths in California.
- City and County officials in Los Angeles are warning that the peak of the outbreak could be six to ten days away and that residents should anticipate the crisis getting worse before it gets better. On Tuesday it was also widely reported that a teenager died as a result of coronavirus, in Los Angeles. However early this evening it was reported that this case would need to be further investigated by the CDC as there might be an alternate explanation for the fatality. There are 669 confirmed cases and there have been 11 deaths in LA County.
- The Bay Area continues to see a surge in numbers of confirmed cases with a total of 1,047 confirmed cases and 21 deaths in 10 counties in the region. To better track and identify “hot spots” seven Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley are demanding that labs report data to county health departments and health care providers.
- The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department announced that gun stores are non-essential businesses and ordered them closed during this crisis. Businesses failing to comply will be cited and risk losing their business license.
- Check out this short film which explores how inventors and innovators are working to create equipment that medical professionals are in need of during this crisis.
- This article describes the tough choices workers are making between their health and a paycheck.
Monday, March 23
With increased testing capacity in numerous places in the country the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise. In California there ae now cases in 42 of the state’s 58 counties. Currently, the five counties with the highest number of confirmed cases are: Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, San Mateo and San Francisco.
- It is estimated that 1 in 4 residents in the United States are currently living under some type of shelter in place order.
- Despite efforts from the federal reserve to shore up business and keep financial markets moving the stock market closed the day in the red. Businesses are struggling --General Electric announced it would cut 10 percent of workers in the aviation unit and Nordstrom announced its cash has diminished and the company had to draw down $800 million in credit.
- Today there are 43,847 confirmed cases and 557 deaths in the United States.
- Social distancing proved to be difficult for Californians statewide. Residents were out over the weekend at beaches, parks and hiking trails in spite of numerous stay at home orders. To manage this, counties and cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, moved to close playgrounds and parking lots. By end of the day on Monday Governor Newsom announced that all state parking lots at beaches and parks would be shut down.
- Following a request submitted by Governor Newsom, late Sunday President Trump approved a declaration of major disaster in California due to the coronavirus crisis.
- On Friday in response to the COVID-19 crisis Covered California opened a special enrollment period for those who have experienced job loss or reduction in hours and have had health insurance benefits cut. Information can be found here.
- Today there are 2,220 confirmed cases and 42 deaths in California
- Concerns about the crowded conditions in jails and prisons continue to rise as the first inmate in California’s prison system tested positive and a Santa Clara jail inmate also tested positive.
- Today Los Angeles was able to increase coronavirus testing capacity by securing 20,000 tests with an ability to process 5,000 tests per day. Health care workers and first responders will be prioritized for testing.
- Today the City of Long Beach reported its first death from COVID-19; Long Beach currently has 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Cases in San Francisco grew by nearly a third on Sunday; San Francisco now has a total of 131 confirmed cases. The numbers in Los Angeles continued to climb with 540 confirmed cases and 8 deaths.
- The numbers of positive coronavirus cases among young adults are increasing. This is an eye-opening op-ed from a young woman who was hospitalized with COVID-19.
- Due to mandatory closures in California the food and beverage industry has taken a huge hit. California’s restaurant industry is the largest of any in the country with over $70 billion in revenue. This article lays out the challenges workers and businesses are facing during this crisis.
- Even Snoop Dogg has joined the Governor to encourage Californians to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Saturday-Sunday, March 21-22
This weekend we all continued to witness the exponential growth of the coronavirus pandemic. Nationally, leaders continued to plead with people to stay home and two more states issued stay-at-home orders.
- New York continues to be a focal point for the pandemic in the United States and currently accounts for nearly 5% of the world’s cases.
- Louisiana and Ohio joined six other states and numerous cities and counties nationwide that have issued some type of stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order.
- Today there are 26,747 cases and there have been 340 deaths in the United States.
- In California, residents flocked to beaches and hiking trails, the state’s Public Health Officer and the Director of the Department of Public Health updated its Stay Home Except for Essential Needs page to reinforce social distancing guidelines and clarify what is included in the executive order.
- This weekend, the state put in motion efforts to strengthen the health care system and increase capacity to meet the growing demand for services. This included: directing more than $42 million in emergency funding to expand the health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to respond to COVID-19; an executive order to expand health care capacity in clinics, mobile care units and adult day health facilities. The order can be found here.
- Today there are 1,605 cases and there have been 30 deaths in California.
- This weekend, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced two more deaths on Saturday and one on Sunday, as well as 71 more cases, bringing the total number of cases in Los Angeles to 409 cases and deaths to 5.
- There are growing concerns about the speed with which this pandemic is turning into a job crisis particularly for those in the service sector and the arts. In the Bay Area where the first shelter in place orders were enacted, many are struggling and quickly trying to adapt to this new reality.
- Here is a really good reflection about how historic “social distancing” in the form of segregation, discrimination and devaluation make low-income people of color more vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.
- Here are a number of articles, resources and ideas for parents managing at home with children during the pandemic (in English and Spanish).
Friday, March 20
The coronavirus pandemic continues to grow throughout the country. Leaders nationwide are instituting policies to help prevent the spread of the disease. As testing becomes more widely available, there is growing concern about health care system's ability to manage the growing number of cases.
- Earlier today both New York and Illinois issued orders for residents to stay at home. The Governor of Connecticut also issued a similar order and the Governor of New Jersey has reported that he will issue a similar order in the coming days. On Friday New York reported it was nearing 8,000 positive tests, approximately half of the total cases in the United States
- The Treasury Secretary announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic the tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.
- Today there are 18,563 cases and there have been 227 deaths in the United States.
- Many on Friday woke up to the news of the Governor’s stay-at-home order. Questions remain for many Californians as they began to make sense of the new rules.
- The Governor announced the launch of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign which will use the National Guard in the short-term, to help distribute food through food banks and protect the most vulnerable and isolated in the state.
- Today there are 1,241 cases and there have been 24 deaths in California.
- The numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus are increasing in every region of the state. On Friday Los Angeles reported 61 new cases bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 294. In Silicon Valley 8 people have died with Santa Clara County reporting 196 cases. San Mateo County now has 100 confirmed cases and Contra Costa County reported its first death. San Diego announced a third cluster of patients with COVID-19; confirmed cases jumped from 80 to 105.
- Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that two state prison employees have tested positive for coronavirus; however, no inmate cases have been confirmed. One of the employees was at San Quentin and the other at California State Prison in Sacramento. There is serious concern about conditions in jails and prisons, and the ability to contain transmission due to overcrowding and the inability to engage in proper forms of social distancing.
- I found this article to be useful in understanding how the current pandemic will have devastating impacts on low-income workers, just as workers have achieved numerous gains in recent years.
- The Public Policy Institute of California published a report today forecasting how coronavirus will affect California’s economy and what industries and regions are most at risk.
- All Birds, the San Francisco-based sustainable shoe company announced on Friday they are offering free shoes to anyone working in healthcare on the front lines fighting COVID-19.
Thursday, March 19
Another extraordinary day today in the United States. The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb nationally, in California and in all regions of the state. This evening Governor Newsom issued a mandatory order that all Californians stay home. The order allows residents to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats. People will also be allowed to leave their homes to care for a relative or friend or seek health care services. These are the first mandatory restrictions placed on all 40 million Californians. There is no timeframe for when the order would lifted. The executive order can be found here.
- Today the Trump Administration announced limits on global travel for all Americans. This Level Four travel advisory, issued by the State Department, applies to all international travel and it is its most serious warning.
- Today there are 13,680 cases and there have been 200 deaths in the United States.
- Earlier this afternoon Governor Newsom requested $1 billion in federal funds to support the state’s medical response to the novel coronavirus. The state is estimating that 25.5 million people in California will be infected over an eight-week period.
- State modeling is also forecasting that 60,000 homeless people could be infected with the novel coronavirus with 20% requiring hospitalization.
- Today there are 1,001 cases and there have been 19 deaths in California.
- Thursday night Los Angeles City and County joined the more than 18 counties that have some type of shelter in place order and put in place the “Safer at Home” public health order. This order puts in place guidelines directing residents to refrain from gathering in an enclosed space with more than 10 people, directs businesses deemed nonessential, such as retail stores and malls to close temporarily. Exempted from this are first responders and those in healthcare, government, food services, and other essential industries. The number of confirmed cases in LA County jumped by 40 overnight to 231 and a second person has died.
- To respond to the growing spread of coronavirus among the homeless population the City of San Francisco is adding 2,500 new shelter spaces for homeless people and identifying a minimum of 3,500 hotel rooms to house people who need to be isolated. Late in the day, San Francisco reported an increase in confirmed cases to 70. In anticipation that the numbers will increase, city officials ordered everyone to stay home, and have instituted a ban on elective surgery and are planning to hire more nurses.
- Rural regions are starting to report increases in cases of coronavirus and are taking actions to limit activity and mitigate impact of lost productivity. Fresno has a shelter in place order through the end of March and on Thursday announced the passage of a measure to give residents a six month deferral from evictions and foreclosures. Fresno also approved an emergency measure ensuring water service to every resident. Tulare county has the highest number of confirmed cases (7) in the Central Valley.
- Late Wednesday the City of West Hollywood announced that the Mayor tested positive for coronavirus. City staff are working remotely as its City Hall is sanitized. There have been 12 confirmed cases in West Hollywood.
- To share the number of coronavirus cases, I have been using numbers from the California Department of Public Health, local public health departments and credible media and coronavirus tracking systems. However, because testing is happening all the time, depending on when the numbers are collected and I send this out there will be slight differences in confirmed cases.
- Here is a good article on which workers are most vulnerable to the economic costs of coronavirus.
- I found this article to be an easy to understand informative overview on social distancing and why it’s effective and necessary.
Wednesday, March 18
The coronavirus crisis continues to grow in nearly every region in the country. Currently, New York with 2,495 confirmed cases, has the highest number, followed by the state of Washington with 1,076 confirmed cases, and California with 869 cases. In California there are reported cases in 34 of the state’s 58 counties. Numbers have increased largely due to the wider availability of testing; however a growing share are being attributed to community spread.
- On Wednesday evening Trump signed into law the latest coronavirus aid package. This is the second package within the last few weeks. This legislation passed will provide paid sick and family leave for some workers impacted by the disease, expands unemployment assistance and increases resources for testing. It also suspends evictions in federal public housing and foreclosures until the end of April. The Senate also approved another round emergency funding earlier in the day. There will likely be a third larger relief measure that could total $1 trillion.
- Stock market continued to be extremely volatile. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 1,334 points at the end of the day following President Trump announced emergency steps to be taken to address the coronavirus crisis. The NY Stock Exchange also announced it would temporarily shift to all-electronic trading beginning on Monday March 23, 2020.
- Today there are 7,769 confirmed cases and there have been 118 deaths in the United States.
It has been a busy few days for Governor Newsom with major announcements protecting renters and homeowners, emergency funding to address homeless populations in California, safety net services, and education.
- Renters and Homeowners. Governor Newsom issued an executive order authorizing local government to halt evictions, slow foreclosures and protect against utility shut offs responding to concerns many are already experiencing with wage loss and layoffs that will make it hard to pay rent, mortgage and utility bills.
- Homelessness. Late Wednesday, the Governor also announced $150 million in emergency funding to quickly move homeless people indoors , to protect this vulnerable population and the larger medical system that will need to respond and is at risk of being overwhelmed as crisis grows in California. Of the total, $100 million will go directly to local jurisdictions to boost shelter capacity and increase emergency housing.
- K-12 education. An executive order was signed to suspend standardized testing for students for the more than 6 million K-12 students in the state.
- Safety Net Services. The Governor also issued an executive order today to extend the eligibility period for important safety net services. The order waives eligibility re-determinations for 90 days for Californians participating in the following programs:
- Medi-Cal health coverage
- CalFresh food assistance
- Cash Assistance for Immigrants
- In-Home Supportive Services
- There are 869 cases, 17 deaths, 11,900 people who are self-monitoring in California.
Different parts of the state are seeing an increase in numbers of confirmed cases.
- On Wednesday Orange County reported 42 cases, up from 29 on Tuesday.
- The numbers in Los Angeles continue to grow, on Wednesday there were 46 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases in Los Angeles to 190.
- Late Wednesday Mayor Garcetti announced the city would convert 42 recreation centers into temporary shelters for homeless residents to try and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- New CDC data on coronavirus is showing that there is a risk of coronavirus to adults of all ages. Nearly 40% of those sick enough to be hospitalized were between the ages of 20-54, however the risk of dying was significantly higher for older people.
- If you like to geek out on economics and health here is a short and very understandable article about the economic rationale for a strong response to COVID-19.
Tuesday, March 17
Things continue to evolve in the state and nation. As of today, Tuesday, every state in the nation has reported a case of coronavirus and deaths have surpassed 100. California cities and counties have passed some of the most serious public health measures in the country with an estimated 8 million Californians living under shelter in place orders.
- The White House is pushing an economic stimulus package that will include checks to all Americans. Details on the proposed package can be found here.
- The federal government also announced that an extra 90 days will be given to pay your taxes. Filing day remains the same but if taxes are owed, payment will not be required until the new deadline. Details can be found here.
- Today there are 6,362 confirmed cases and there have been 108 deaths in the United States.
- Ten counties and one city have shelter in place orders (Counties: Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito; City: Palm Springs). Ventura County has a shelter in place order for those 75 and older.
- A summary of what is happening throughout the state can be found here.
- There are 473 cases, 13 deaths, 11,750 people who are self-monitoring in California.
- Los Angeles is seeing increasing numbers. According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer today there are 144 cases in Los Angeles, with 75 new cases in 48 hours. This is largely due to increased availability of testing. A week ago 30-35 people a day were being tested now, hundreds a day are being tested.
- The LA City Council today passed 101 motions, 56 of them were related to COVID-19—some of the motions were:
- a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for non-payment,
- motions to support workers and protect workers, boost sick pay and support those most affected economically
- street vending restrictions (permit money will be refunded),
- formally request for stores in the city to provide hours for seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities to shop for the first hours;
- meal delivery for seniors due to closure of senior centers,
- motions to reduce risk among the homeless population; and
- measures to minimize harsh responses to non-compliance with new rules in place (e.g. arrest is a last resort).
- The City of Los Angeles is also taking steps to request the federal government to extend the census count by 6 months due to concerns about getting an adequate count due to the current crisis.
- Orange County has joined the growing number of counties to restrict restaurants and bars. On Tuesday, the health officer issued new restrictions for its more than 3 million residents, directing the bars and other alcohol-serving establishments that don’t serve food closed. The order also prohibits restaurants form providing on-site dining, allowing only curbside and takeout. Orange County’s order can be found here.