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Governor Newsom discusses contact tracing and churches during Friday's briefing

The update included his plans to issue guidelines on houses of worship on Monday and the executive order he signed to increase contact tracing.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Newsom addressed a myriad of issues in his address Friday afternoon. He began by bringing the Secretary of Veteran Affairs in California to talk about what they did to keep such a vulnerable population safe from coronavirus.

Newsom then discussed the 43 of 58 California counties who have provided attestation of containment and protection plans that will allow them to open more phase two businesses.

“Our commitment is to work with city and county leaders to address concerns and their particular issues,” said Newsom.

One county he said was of great concern was Imperial County. Newsom said at the peak of the virus, Imperial County was using nearly 80 percent of available ventilators in the hospitals. That number is now down to just over 50 percent. The state has sent help to Imperial County in the form of PPE to keep the frontline workers as safe as possible.

Newsom then went on to talk about the issues of churches reopening. He did not directly respond to President Trump’s comments about churches needing to reopen this weekend, but Newsom did say they state will issue guidelines for churches to reopen on Monday.

The governor also addressed getting PPE into the hands of people who need it the most. He said the state has handed out over 86.4 million procedure masks to frontline workers. 

Newsom said, “These large contracts that are getting so much attention are getting results.”

The final thing the governor talked about was the executive order he just signed on contract tracing in the state of California. As part of the program called “California Connected,” public health workers from communities across the state will connect with individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and people they have been in close contact with, to make sure they are tested and quarantined appropriately.

The state’s program is led by the Administration in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health, local public health departments and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Los Angeles (UCLA)

Public health workers across the state – identified on caller ID as the “CA COVID Team” – will call, text and email individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and people they may have exposed to the virus.

The recent state numbers showed that there were 88 deaths in the last 24 hours. The trends over the last 14 days show very optimistic trends. There has been a nearly 10 percent decline in hospitalizations, and a nearly 7 percent drop in those needing ICU beds.

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