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Governor Newsom signs executive orders expanding worker's comp, putting off property tax late fees

The governor gave a coronavirus update on Wednesday.
Credit: AP/AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File
FILE — In this April 9, 2020 file photo Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the state's response to the coronavirus during his daily news briefing at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Newsom said Monday, April 13, 2020 that he will announce a detailed plan on Tuesday for how the state will eventually lift coronavirus restrictions. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File )

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Wednesday at noon Governor Newsom gave a COVID-19 update for the state of California.

California is launching a new website that will help people schedule coronavirus tests. California has tested more than 800,000 people as of Wednesday. 

“We’ve been able to increase our testing capacity substantially,” said Newsom. 

California is turning its attention to expanding testing sites in two distinctly different areas: rural areas and inner-cities. Newsom said the state is working to eliminate “testing deserts” where people have to drive further than 30 to 60 minutes away to get tested. 

Californian's can see the nearest location of the testing sites by entering their zip code at Covid19.ca.gov. Newsom said this doesn’t include private hospitals.

Newsom also announced a new statewide executive order to extend worker’s compensation benefits to workers. This comes with a rebuttal presumption, which means the benefits can only be rebutted by an employer under strict, proven conditions. The executive order is retroactive to March 19 and extends 60 days from Wednesday, May 6.

Most notably, this executive order applies to healthcare workers, such as nurses to serve “justice to the incredible heroism” according to Newsom. 

“This is the least we could do in terms of targetting that protection,” said Newsom. 

Newsom hopes that workers will not have to choose between possibly coming to work sick and receiving compensation. 

“Workplace health and safety is public health and safety,” said Chief Deputy Director Victoria Hassid Department of Industrial Relations.

Hassid said this order means workers will have proper medical coverage and benefits in the event they're diagnosed with COVID-19. This order assumes the employee likely contracted the virus at work unless proven otherwise.

"Newsom’s order today adds a vital layer of protection to essential workers putting their lives at risk to provide for our families during this pandemic. We commend the governor for taking action to ensure workers on the frontlines of this crisis are able to access health care and other benefits from workers’ compensation without costly delays that could acutely endanger their health and safety," said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski.

Next, Newsom announced a property tax relief executive order, which waives 10% late penalty fees through next May for personal properties, like a home. The May 7 deadline is extended until the end of the month for businesses.

Newsom urged people that it will take years worth of teamwork to recover from the pandemic-induced economy crisis in United States.

“These numbers are jaw-dropping,” said Newsom of unemployment. 

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