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Governor Newsom updates state initiative on keeping homeless safe from COVID-19

Project Roomkey is a state initiative to provide safe isolation capacity for the homeless in order to protect them from COVID-19.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom gave an update on Project Roomkey on Saturday. He said the state's goal was to find 15,000 hotel rooms to house homeless individuals and those individuals who are at the highest risk of catching COVID-19. 

The state had procured 10,974 hotel rooms in the previous weeks. Over 4,000 people have occupied said hotel rooms which marked a 38% usage rate. On Saturday, the governor announced a partnership with Motel 6 in which the chain would set aside 47 buildings in 19 counties across the state. This represents over 5,000 additional rooms, which puts the state over the goal that they initially set for themselves. 

Over the past 24 hours, California saw 87 additional deaths, bringing the total to 1,072. The number of people hospitalized went up a small 1.3% and the number of people in ICU's went down .1%.

The update comes a day after the governor announced a task force that is charged with coming up with guidelines for reopening the state and to navigate the state out of the pandemic induced recession.

The committee will be chaired by Tom Steyer, and others will include the four living former California governors, Chief People Officer of Square - Jacqueline Reses, Angela Glover Blackwell from PolicyLink, and Bob Iger from the Walt Disney Company.

Steyer said the committee will use California’s ideals of diversity, inclusion, and innovation as their core values. The governor also stressed this will not end up with a report in six months, but there will be real-time and meaningful updates that will lead to reforms and changes to get California on the road to recovery.

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