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California joins 4 western states to request $1 trillion in aid

On Tuesday, Governor Newsom will release new updates around COVID-19 testing and more formalized guidelines for businesses to reopen in 'phase 2'.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom and health officials provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Monday at 12:00 p.m. You can watch the complete update here.

The governor began by pointing out that only 90 days ago, California had a projected $6 billion surplus in the state. 

“Now those numbers have completely flipped,” Newsom said. “There have been 4.5 million Californians that have filed for unemployment insurance and pandemic unemployment assistance just since March 12.”

Newsom announced a "Western Pact" request for $1 trillion in financial aid.  The leaders of five western states - California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Colorado - have all sent consistent letters to the federal government requesting the aid.

“It’s not just states asking for bail out, quite the contrary,” Newsom stated. “It’s requesting that we support those that we need the most at this time, our public safety officials, our public health officials, and that we do justice to our public education system.”

On Friday, the state released 11 million procedure masks for distribution to critical industries:

  • 5 million masks went to the Department Social Services
  • 4.2 million masks were distributed to farm workers and the agricultural community
  • 750,000 masks went to grocers and food supply chain workers
  • 500,000 masks were distributed to the Department of Education

Newsom said he has had very constructive conversations with 19 engaged counties about self-certifications and variations. He said there will be more formalized guidelines that will come out Tuesday specific to businesses reopening.

The letter sent to Congressional leadership can be read in its entirety here:

Keep your distance, California

CA is moving into stage 2 of modifying the stay-at-home order. 👏🏾 #COVID19 is still spreading. 🙇🏾‍♂️ Let's keep flattening the curve by practicing physical distancing and staying home. #YourActionsSaveLives covid19.ca.gov

Posted by California Governor on Friday, May 8, 2020

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View all News 8 coverage of coronavirus / COVID-19  
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We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page we will continue updating with the latest information and reports.  

Click here to watch "Facts Not Fear," a News 8 Special on coronavirus from March 26, 2020. 


According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.  

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:  

Know how it spreads 

  • There is no vaccine  

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus 

  • It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact 

  • And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes 

Protect yourself 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds 

  • If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Put distance between yourselves and others 

Protect others 

  • Stay home when you are sick 

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash 

  • If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow 

  • Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing  

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe 

You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page. 

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  

The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses. 

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders. 

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