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Governor Newsom sticking with mid-May as COVID-19 peak

While confirmed cases and deaths are rising in California, the rate of hospitalizations and intensive-care placements have been increasing more slowly.

SAN DIEGO — Governor Gavin Newsom provided his daily update on COVID-19 in California Tuesday. Newsom is sticking to a mid-May projection of when the COVID-19 outbreak will reach its peak in California. 

While confirmed cases and deaths are rising in California, the rate of hospitalizations and intensive-care placements — a key indicator of resources the state needs — have been increasing more slowly.

Newsom said they rose less than 5% over the weekend. A new analysis by researchers at the University of Washington shows California will hit its peak of COVID-19 deaths on April 17. 

Newsom isn't changing his forecast for the state but he and the researchers agree things will worsen if people stop social distancing.  

“Our modeling shows we’re rising at a slow and steady increase that’s moderate because of everyone practicing physical distancing – let’s bend the curve, let’s get to the light at the end of the tunnel,” Newsom said.

California Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, discussed some of the things families can do to help ease the stress and anxiety that children may face during this time.

“It’s really important to explain to kids in age-appropriate language what’s happening, and what will happen next. Kids need a sense of safety and security, so give yourself and your kids a break and not have too high expectations during times of transition,” Dr. Burke Harris said.

Five-hundred ventilators on loan from California will be deployed to four states and two U.S. territories as they battle the coronavirus. Newsom announced plans to lend the ventilators on Monday to the national stockpile even as the state hunts for more of its own supplies. Vice President Mike Pence said the ventilators will be sent to Nevada, Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. 

Newsom suggested some of the ventilators may go to hard-hit New York. But he said the federal government should decide where they were needed most.

As of Tuesday's update from the state, there are 15,865 confirmed cases in California and there have been 374 deaths.

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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.

BACKGROUND

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.