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  • Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:28 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    New California OSHA Standard Applicable to Storage Operators Effective November 30, 2020

    The California Occupational Safety & Health Board approved a new standard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces in the state, including at self storage facilities. The standard will become effective upon formal approval by the Office of Administrative Law, which is anticipated to occur soon, and the standard is expected to become operative on November 30, 2020.  Below is a summary of most of the core provisions of the standard.

    First, employers must implement a written COVID-19 Prevention Program that must contain several required provisions. As one example, employers must develop a system for communicating information about COVID-19 such as asking employees to report to the employer, without fear of reprisal, COVID-19 symptoms, possible COVID-19 exposures, and possible COVID-19 hazards at the workplace.

    Further, storage operators and owners must develop and implement a process for screening employees for and responding to employees with COVID-19 symptoms.  Employers must have an effective procedure to investigate COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and if a case is confirmed, take several additional steps. Operators must implement effective procedures for correcting unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

    Additionally, there are several training requirements that employers must implement, including, but not limited to, training regarding the employer’s COVID-19 policies and procedures to protect employees from COVID-19 hazards.

    There are also social distancing and mask mandates. Generally, all employees must be separated from other persons by at least six feet, with limited exceptions, and employers must provide face coverings and ensure they are worn by employees.

    Storage operators must implement other engineering and administrative controls. For example, employers must identify and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, equipment, tools, handrails, handles, controls, and bathroom surfaces. The standard also outlines several recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, employees may not return to work until at least 24 hours have passed since a fever of 100.4; COVID-19 symptoms have improved; and at least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.

    The standard also includes a provision that covers employer-provided housing, which some storage owners may provide to live-on-site managers. However, most provisions of that section are not applicable if the occupants maintained a household together before living in the employer-providing housing, such as family members in an apartment at a self storage facility.

    Finally, there are additional requirements that attach if a workplace experiences three or more cases within a 14-day period as well as further requirements for “major” outbreaks which are 20 or more cases within a 30-day period.

    All California operators should review the entire standard as soon as possible given that the requirements become effective on November 30, 2020. The SSA recommends that you consult with your legal counsel as well as occupational safety / industrial hygiene experts to ensure compliance with all of the required measures.

    If you have any questions, please contact: 

    Joe Doherty or Daniel Bryant 

       

    Thank you, 

    Ross Hutchings, CAE
    Executive Director
    California Self Storage Association
    ross@californiaselfstorage.org
    Office: (888) 277-2207 / Cell: (949) 554-3292



  • Monday, November 23, 2020 3:52 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, November 23, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Yesterday, Newsom announced that late Friday evening, he and the First Partner of California, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, learned that 3 of their children had been exposed to an officer from the California Highway Patrol who had tested positive for COVID-19.  He said the entire family tested negative for the virus.  However, consistent with local guidance, they will be quarantining for 14 days.  As a result, Newsom conducted today’s press briefing “remotely.”

    At the start of the briefing, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, there were 8,337 new COVID-19 cases on November 22nd and California's seven-day average has increased to 11,591 new cases.  Newsom reported that people ages 18 - 49 make up nearly 60 percent of all cases.  He also said that the state is increasing testing, which means we will see more cases.  However, over the last 14 days, the positivity rate has also jumped— it is now at 5.5 percent.   California was at 2.5 percent on October 19th.  Notably, California is still doing better than the rest of the nation.  Nationally, the positivity rate is 9.8 percent over 7 days.  Finally, hospitalizations and ICU patients are continuing to trend upward in the state— a 77 percent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and a 55 percent increase in COVID-19 ICU admissions over 14 days.   California has 11 surge facilities throughout the state, and also PPE inventory is in the millions for N95 and surgical masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, etc.

    The Governor then briefly discussed the limited stay-at-home order, or curfew, where the state has ordered all non-essential activities to stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.  Recall, it applies to all purple counties and is effective through 12/21/2020.  He also noted the state has issued a travel advisory.

    Further, Newsom provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework, as follows:

     PURPLE: 41 counties 

    • RED: 11 counties 
    • ORANGE: 4 counties 
    • YELLOW: 2 counties 

    **Recall, there are 4 colored tiers – widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange, and minimal is yellow.

    Finally, he addressed California’s COVID-19 approach of prevention, testing, isolation, and a vaccine.  Newsom provided additional detail as it related to a vaccine – noting that the state is building off existing infrastructure.  He used the approximately 19 million flu vaccine doses which were given last season as an example.  Also, Newsom said his Administration has been working to identify allocation priorities with limited vaccine ability.  Initial groups for allocation are healthcare workers, individuals in congregate care and medically vulnerable, and medical first responders. 

    Today, AstraZeneca announced a third possible vaccine.  Newsom reported that it is likely that FDA approval of one or more of the vaccines will come in early December.  However, mass distribution is still a ways off, he said.

    More regarding California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, three groups are working toward vaccine distributing and planning including a Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, Drafting Guidelines Workgroup, and Community Advisory Vaccine Committee.  The Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has reviewed Phase I and II study data on both vaccines and thus far has no concerns.  Members hope to access Phase III data close to when the FDA and CDC receive information to expedite review and avoid any delay.  The Drafting Guidelines Workgroup meets every Friday, and they are developing detailed guidance for Phase 1a.  The Community Advisory Vaccine Committee brings together diverse community groups, school leaders, nonprofits, and more to advise on distribution and allocation.

    Newsom also stated that California has had direct engagement with both Pzifer and McKesson (distributor of the Moderna vaccine).  The vaccine will ship directly to providers.

    In terms of the COVID-19 Vaccine Plan Budget, Newsom said the state has received $28 million from the CDC for planning and staffing.  The CDC is expected to release a second round of funding soon.  Additional funding will be needed for a COVID-19 vaccine campaign including media; supplies and materials needed to support distribution such as PPE; and IT systems/data management.   Newsom said the state is already working on a public information campaign about the vaccines.

    Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's Health and Human Services secretary, was also provided some remarks.  He spoke regarding Thanksgiving gatherings.    "Our hospitals are seeing a surge that they've never seen before," Ghaly said.  He encouraged people to celebrate with their own household and drop off meals to high-risk individuals.

    As always, Ghaly and Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.   

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked if he lost his credibility after photos circulated of him socializing without a mask at a birthday dinner with other households at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant.  In response, the Governor reiterated his apology, said he made a mistake and won’t make it again.

    When asked about his quarantine, Newsom called the isolation "challenging and trying.”  He also said he empathizes for those who do not have access to resources he does in his position.  He also used the question as an opportunity to call for additional federal support. 

    In terms of the details, Newsom said he began quarantining over the weekend with his family after three of his children were exposed to COVID-19. The entire family has so far tested negative, and the Governor said he has "no expectations" that he will test positive in the coming days.

    Newsom noted that his legal team is appealing the decision by a court related to restricting the scope of his executive orders.  Specifically, he said, "I'm confident in our legal standing and our legal position."

    Regarding filling Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris’ seat—  Newsom said progress has been made, but no decision yet.

     The briefing concluded at approximately 2:52 p.m. PDT. 

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There is now a total of 1,110,370 (+0.8 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 18,726 (+0.3 percent) deaths in California.  As of November 15thth, there have been 22,457,544 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here 

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Thursday, November 19, 2020 4:21 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. PDT, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly hosted a video conference to provide an update on COVID-19 in California.

    Prior to the video conference, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced a limited Stay at Home Order requiring generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the most restrictive (Purple) tier.

    More specifically, the order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 21st and remain in effect until 5 a.m. December 21st.  This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applies only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations. 

    A copy of the Governor’s office press release can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/11/19/state-issues-limited-stay-at-home-order-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19/.

    At the start of the video conference, Dr. Ghaly offered some insights regarding COVID-19 cases across the nation.  Also, cases in California are growing and we are in midst of surge, he said.

    Specifically, there were 11,478 new COVID-19 cases on November 19th and California's seven-day average has increased to 9,665 new cases.  The positivity rate has also jumped— it is now at 5.0 percent over 14 days and 5.6 percent over seven days.  California was at 3.3 percent on November 5th, which is a 52 percent increase in the last two weeks.  Additionally, hospitalizations and ICU patients are trending upward— a 63.6 percent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and a 40.5 percent increase in COVID-19 ICU admissions over 14 days.  At this rate, Dr. Ghaly said daily case numbers are increasing at a faster rate than what we saw during the summer's surge.  As an example, Los Angeles County has seen a 147 percent increase in cases since the start of the month. 

    Dr. Ghaly said that there is no single culprit for why cases have risen so high so fast.  He said it is a combination of factors: cold weather, more mixing, more opening, and greater travel.  Also, COVID-19 levels are high across the state which makes normal activities higher risk today than a month ago.  Finally, he said, today’s collective actions target activities that are particularly high risk while minimizing disruptions in social connections.

    Dr. Ghaly then went over additional details related to the curfew announced today.  As previously noted the curfew applies to counties that are in the Purple tier.  The curfew states Californians should  be home by 10 p.m. and stay home until 5 a.m. and it is effective from November 21st until December 21st. Practically speaking, Dr. Ghaly specifically said individuals can still go to the grocery store or drug store; walk their dog; and get takeout from a restaurant.  Finally he said, this is being instituted to avoid further restrictions.  Further, he noted that the data indicates that focusing on the time period from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. is a smart choice. 

    At the conclusion of the video conference,  Dr. Ghaly took questions from the press.  When asked about enforcement, he noted that local governments can enforce.  However, already some local jurisdictions have said that they would not.  Sacramento County Sherriff Scott Jones, as an example, issue a statement saying his office will “not be determining – including entering any home or business— compliance with, or enforcing compliance of” the curfew.

    Dr. Ghaly was also asked why he, instead of Newsom, is making today’s curfew announcement.  In response, Ghaly said it is because he's here to talk about the "data and science."

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There is now a total of 1,059,267 (+1.1 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 18,466 (+0.6 percent) deaths in California.  As of November 15thth, there have been 21,552,528 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here 

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Monday, November 16, 2020 1:31 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, November 16, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    At the start of the briefing, Newsom announced that California is “pulling an emergency brake” on the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan.  Effective tomorrow, 28 counties will go back to the Purple Tier (most restrictive).  This covers 94.1% of the population.  Nine counties will move back to the Red Tier and two counties will move back into the Orange Tier.

    The state is sounding emergency alarms based on a "significant" increase in new cases, Newsom said.  Daily cases have doubled in the last 10 days.  This is the fastest increase California has experienced.  Additionally, now counties will move back into a more restrictive tier after just one week if their numbers are concerning.  Also, no more 3-day grace period for counties and sectors to close.

    The Governor also provided an update on how counties will fare under the state’s reopening framework with the Emergency Brake as follows:

    • PURPLE: 41 counties 
    • RED: 11 counties 
    • ORANGE: 4 counties 
    • YELLOW: 2 counties 

    **Recall, there are 4 colored tiers – widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange, and minimal is yellow.

    Newsom said that California is prepared for this moment.  The state has 11 surge facilities with a total of 1,872 beds.  Additionally, personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory includes millions of N95 and surgical masks, gloves, face shields, gowns, and collection kits. 

    The Governor also provided an overview of California’s COVID-19 approach, including ongoing prevention, testing, isolation, and vaccine efforts.  In terms of the vaccine, Newsom noted Moderna’s announcement about its vaccine being nearly 95% effective.

    Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's Health and Human Services secretary, was also present at the briefing and provided some remarks.  He noted that sounding this alarm will help keep transmission low and prevent flooding the health care system.  Dr. Ghaly also said the state has issued gathering guidance and urged people who live in purple and red counties NOT to gather indoors.  He also referenced the travel advisory issued last week, which discourages out-of-state travel, encourages two-week quarantine after returning to California and staying local instead.

    Additionally, Newsom announced strengthening of mask mandate.  Now everyone statewide MUST wear outside home, with very limited exceptions.

    Please find the Governor’s office press release on today’s actions here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/11/16/governor-newsom-announces-new-immediate-actions-to-curb-covid-19-transmission/.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, there were 9,890 new COVID-19 cases on November 15th and California's seven-day average has increased to 8,198 new cases.  The positivity rate has also jumped— it is now at 4.6 percent over 14 days.  California was at 2.5 percent on October 19th.  Additionally, hospitalizations and ICU patients are beginning to trend upward— a 48 percent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and a 38.8 percent increase in COVID-19 ICU admissions over 14 days.

    Finally, Newsom stated considering curfews but noted that he needs to review studies on the efficacy of those restrictions before he implements such a policy in California.

    The Governor also addressed his attendance at a birthday dinner with other households at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant.  In a statement, Newsom previously said, “While our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner.”  Today, he apologized again and said, “I made a bad mistake, instead of sitting down I should have gotten up and gone back to my car and driven home.”  

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about the effect of this rollback on businesses, especially given that a lot of transmissions occur during private gatherings.  Newsom acknowledged the plight of business, but Dr. Ghaly said that we must have a duel approach (both in private and business settings) to stop the spread of the virus.  He intends to do more to help and support small businesses.

    More on Newsom’s attendance at a birthday dinner— the Governor was asked if he was worried about losing the moral high ground on asking Californians to stay away from gatherings when he chose to attend one himself.  Newsom again acknowledged he was concerned and that he should not have been there.

    The Governor was asked about working with the incoming Biden Administration on a stimulus plan.  In response, Newsom said he is doing do and also working them on a vaccine distribution plan.

    On youth sports – Newsom also said he was close to authorizing youth sports but is now tabling those rules due to the surge. Ghaly also addressed this question and noted "the timing right now with case rates going up quickly" is a concern and doesn't want to start, then shut sports.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.   

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There is now a total of 1,019,345 (+1.1 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 18,253 (+0.2 percent) deaths in California.  As of November 15thth, there have been 20,866,785 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here 

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020 11:25 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Peter Watson, Chair of CSSA Legislative & Legal Committee responded to the CSSA Board with an explanation of SB 1196:

    SB 1196 was passed into law by the Gov. Newsom on 9/30/20, and amends certain parts of Cal. Penal Code Section 396 (which is CA’s price gouging law).  The rules still prohibits a price increase above 10%, however, the threshold for determining that 10% calculation has potentially changed slightly, to be reviewed on a case-by-case (or unit by unit) basis.  The specific revision relevant to our industry relates to the incorporation of the words “or a service,” in subsection (l).  Specifically,

    (l) A business offering an item for sale, or a service, at a reduced price immediately prior to the proclamation or declaration of the emergency may use the price it normally charges for the item or service to calculate the price pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c).”

    Prior to SB 1196, PC 396 only allowed for “items” (aka goods) to be considered for purposes of utilizing this exception.  Now, with the inclusion of services, operators can look at the rental rates being offered immediately prior to the proclamation of emergency, and if such services was being offered for a reduced price, can arguably rely on this provision to increase the threshold to the amount “it normally charges for the … service to calculate the price…”

    Hope this helps.

    Also, here is a great resource for determining what counties are under a proclamation and when such proclamation will expire (https://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/legal-affairs/price-gouging).  Remember to always check back – it seems like every time I take a look there is a new row or an extended date.  This resource link is on the CSSA website as well.

    Finally, a quick CYA - I do legally not represent any of you individually, or the CSSA, so please be sure to make your own determinations on price gouging based on review with your counsel.

    As always, feel free to reach out with any other questions on this topic.

    Peter Watson | General Counsel

    Westport Properties, Inc.


  • Monday, November 09, 2020 11:06 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, November 9, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    The Governor opened by stating that nationwide we are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 case rates.  As cases spike across the county, California cases are also trending up, he reported.  Specifically, there were 7,212 new COVID-19 cases on November 8th and California's seven-day average has increased to 5,889 new cases.  The positivity rate has also jumped— it is now at 3.7 percent.  California was at 2.5 percent on October 19th.  The Governor said the state is getting close to being able to conduct 200,000 tests per day.  He conveyed that when you're testing more, of course, you'll see many more cases but it is the positivity rate that is causing concern.  Additionally, hospitalizations and ICU patients are beginning to trend upward— a 28.6 percent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and a 27.3 percent increase in COVID-19 ICU admissions over 14 days.

    The Governor also provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers – widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange, and minimal is yellow. Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:  

    • PURPLE: 10 counties 
    • RED: 20 counties 
    • ORANGE: 19 counties 
    • YELLOW: 9 counties 

    Newsom said during Dr. Mark Ghaly's update tomorrow, there might be some announcements of counties sliding back into more restrictive tiers.

    Shifting gears, Newsom noted that California will be defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the Supreme Court of the United States tomorrow.  He noted that the ACA protects 6.1 million with preexisting conditions; limits higher premiums due to age or gender, and allows children to remain on parent’s coverage until age 26.  Without the ACA, California would lose $20 billion in federal funding for 3.5 million Californians in Medi-Cal expansion and $7 billion in federal premium assistance for 1.35 million Californians in Covered CA. "These are jaw-dropping numbers," he said.  "Tomorrow's oral arguments are profoundly significant to each and every one of you."

    In terms of what the state has done to make health care more affordable, the Governor highlighted first-in-the-nation subsidies for middle-income families, record low premium changes; and coverage for all young adults regardless of immigration status. Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee was at the briefing and offered remarks.  Lee said that California has gone from 17.2 percent uninsured to 7.7 uninsured thanks to the ACA.  However, he also noted, there is more work to do and encouraged Californians to get covered and stay covered.  More information regarding Covered California can be found here https://www.coveredca.com/.

    Finally, Newsom addressed Pfizer’s vaccine announcement.  Early data shows Pfizer’s vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.  He said it's great news, but cautioned that mass distribution is still a ways off.  The Governor is concerned Californians might be “over-exuberant” about this news and let their guard down.  He said that would be a mistake and we must stay vigilant.  California continues to work on drafting guidelines for prioritization and allocation of vaccine supplies.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.   

    The briefing concluded at 1:00 PM PDT. 

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There is now a total of 964,639 (+0.8 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 17,963 (+0.1 percent) deaths in California.  As of November 7th, there have been 19,724,628 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here 

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Friday, October 30, 2020 10:18 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Renowned self storage attorney, Carlos Kaslow on AB 1867 - Covid-19 CA Sick Leave Law:

    First, the good news about California’s new Covid-19 paid sick leave law (AB 1867):  unless a business  has 500 or more employees it does not apply.  The bad news is that the number of employees is determined by counting all employees, not just those who work in California.   For supplemental sick leave purposes, the company must include workers anywhere in the U.S. and its possessions.  Benefits are only paid to California based workers, but all employees are counted, even those retained through a hiring agency.

    The vast majority of California self storage facility operators are not covered by the supplementary sick leave pay requirement. We assume that those large operators who are covered have their human resource departments hard at work on implementing its requirements.  Figuring out which employees are and are not covered, the maximum benefit workers may collect, and exactly when the supplemental leave expires is not as simple as employers may think. The law could sunset on December 31, 2020 but may be extended if the Covid-19 emergency continues.       



  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020 5:24 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the pandemic. Newsom highlighted his announcement that Washington, Oregon and Nevada have joined California’s Scientific Safety Review Workgroup that was established to review COVID-19 vaccine safety, equity and transparency in an objective and scientific way.  The Workgroup is monitoring the vaccine trials closely.  He also announced the establishment of a new 16-member Drafting Guidelines Workgroup focused on ensuring an ethical and trustworthy approach for prioritizing and allocating vaccine supplies made up of experts in immunization, geriatrics, ethics, epidemiology, health equity and pharmacy practice.  The Workgroup will look at prioritizing vaccine distribution for the most vulnerable. 

    The Governor also provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers – widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange, and minimal is yellow. Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows: 

     PURPLE: 12 counties 

    • RED: 23 counties 
    • ORANGE: 14 counties 
    • YELLOW: 9 counties 

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,188 new COVID-19 cases on October 26th, with a 0.4 percent case increase from the previous day.  The positivity rate is at 2.9 percent in the most recent 14-day period and a slight increase to 3.2 percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients are beginning to trend upward slightly — 0.3 percent increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions in the prior 24 hours and 5 percent increase in COVID-19 ICU admissions in the last 24 hours.  

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about the COVID-19 data and its reliability.  The Governor aimed to assure Californians that the information is accurate and reliable, despite some glitches with recent data from Los Angeles County.  Dr. Ghaly, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, noted that the Los Angeles County glitch was caught by the data system and corrected quickly as part of the rigorous quality assurance protocols put in to place earlier this year.  They also spent a great deal of time with Los Angeles County to ensure accurate reporting and that all data points are properly accounted for and complete.  The Governor also mentioned the official transition to a new data system outlined a few months ago that occurred over the weekend. 

    Newsom was also asked to further detail the California Vaccine Safety Workgroup’s charge and whether the effort will result in delays in vaccine availability in the state.  The Governor assured Californians that they are focused on objective review and providing a safety stamp of approval, not merely taking others’ word for their safety.  He does not anticipate any delays resulting from the Workgroup’s efforts. 

    He was also asked about the frustration and anger over the challenges facing theme parks and their inability to reopen under the state’s stringent reopening guidelines, particularly amid park reopenings in other states and countries.  The Governor noted the trend of increasing case rates in the state and around the world as a basis for self-evident concerns for opening up such parks where people inevitably will mix and exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.  While not calling the park out by name, he noted that the Anaheim-based park referenced by the reporter does not operate in the same manner as others and as such all have to be cognizant of their community’s case rates and trends, much less experts’ expectation of yet another wave of cases.  California will be driven by data, science and public health. 

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.   

    The briefing concluded at 12:45 PM PDT. 

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There is now a total of 904,198 (+0.4 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 17,400 (+0.2 percent) deaths in California.  As of October 26th, there have been 18,127,049 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.  

    Also please note that the https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com

     

  • Monday, October 19, 2020 6:02 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, October 19, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The Governor opened today by discussing California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan.  He said California is 1 of 5 jurisdictions in the U.S. doing advance planning for vaccine distributions with CDC and DOD.  Further, Newsom noted that the state has vast experience in mass vaccinations— citing annual flu vaccines (19 million), H1N1, HepA, and childhood vaccinations as examples. 

    His Administration recently put together a vaccine steering committee and logistics taskforce.  Today, California is launching the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.  These top health experts will independently review FDA-approved vaccines, Newsom said.  The group will also be closely monitoring vaccine trials. 

    Additional information on the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/10/19/governor-newsom-names-scientific-safety-review-workgroup-to-advise-state-on-covid-19-vaccines/.

    In the first phases, Newsom stated, there will likely be a limited supply of vaccines.  "These limited doses will be for a limited number of people and we don’t anticipate mass availability until 2021,” he said.

    Building on existing immunization infrastructure,  the state is now preparing for the unknowns including supplies needed for distribution such as needles/syringes, alcohol pads, etc.; storage requirements particularly cold storage/dry ice; data management CAIR: California Immunization Registry; and community education & engagement.

    The Governor also took a moment to note that vaccines will not end COVID-19 overnight.  However, he said, they are a key tool to help us manage this pandemic.  Prevention efforts such as wearing a mask, physically distancing, washing hands, limiting mixing, and slow & stringent reopening remain important.  Containment including testing and isolation is also important, as well as treatment.  Next Monday, Newsom will provide an update on testing.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,474 new COVID-19 cases on October 18th, with a 2,966 case average for the past week.  The positivity rate is 2.5 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.4 percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— a 4 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and a 3 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days.  Newsom said despite progress,  the COVID-19 numbers are beginning to plateau.

    Tomorrow (and every Tuesday), Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:

    • PURPLE: 10 counties
    • RED: 27 counties
    • ORANGE: 13 counties
    • YELLOW: 8 counties

    Newsom said Dr. Ghaly is set to announce interventions for counties struggling with COVID-19 rates tomorrow.  He will also release updated guidelines on theme parks.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about vaccine verification.  In response, he said the state will proceed with independent verification of any COVID-19 vaccine regardless of who is elected.  "We have to make sure they're safe, and they're effective."

    When asked, Newsom said his Administration is "not yet" considering quarantine restrictions on travelers from states with high COVID-19 case numbers.

    Regarding the distribution plan, Newsom reiterated, “we will not have a widely available COVID-19 vaccine in this calendar year.”  In 2021, we'll be "slogging our way through the distribution of millions and millions of doses of this vaccine."  California intends to focus its efforts on first vaccinating its critical populations, including healthcare personnel, essential workers, and other high-risk groups.  Further, he confirms that the state will demand its own review of any COVID-19 vaccine before allowing it to be distributed.

    The briefing concluded at 1:00 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 867,317  (+0.3 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 16,943 (+0.3 percent) deaths in California.  As of October 17th, there have been 16,892,062 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    Also please note that the https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously. 

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Monday, October 12, 2020 1:04 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, October 12, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts.  He reported that the state is better positioned than ever to find, track, and isolate outbreaks.  California is averaging 125,000+ tests every day.  Further, 90 percent of individuals get their results back within 24-48 hours, which allows contact tracers to more efficiently and quickly do their jobs. 

    Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency Dr. Mark Ghaly offered additional details including the following figures: 10,982 total contact tracing staff trained, 1,800+ bilingual staff, and statewide remote support.   Additionally, 95 percent of local health departments can begin contact tracing investigations the same day as a department receives word of a positive case and 97 percent of local health departments are contacting all contacts exposed the same day.  He also said state teams are helping locals with school based modules and outbreak investigations. 

    The Governor then covered resources for isolation, including job-protected paid sick leave for California’s workforce; Housing for Harvest; Project Roomkey; 150M in federal funds to support counties; and 83M in philanthropic support to counties.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,449 new COVID-19 cases on October 11th, with a 3,321 case average for the past week.  The positivity rate is “holding steady” at 2.6 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.6 percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— 8 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and 13 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days.  Newsom said despite progress on COVID-19, it would be a mistake to assume this virus is less deadly.  "Quite the contrary," he stated.

    Tomorrow (and every Tuesday), Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:

    ­        PURPLE: 16 counties

    ­        RED: 24 counties

    ­        ORANGE: 11 counties

    ­        YELLOW: 7 counties

    Some counties are "teetering," Newsom said, adding that it is because this virus is "stubborn."  However, expect further updates tomorrow.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  He said also Dr. Ghaly will issue Halloween COVID-19 guidelines tomorrow. Further, on theme parks, he said he'll be visiting "several large theme parks" this week to talk about reopening -- but "we need to do so with a health-first frame.  A lot of that work will be advanced even further later this week with inside visits and deeper collaboration."

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked tattoo parlors.  In response, Dr. Ghaly noted the state is working with tattoo parlors to potentially ease COVID-19 restrictions, more coming at a later date.

    Regarding new “Guidance for Private Gatherings” which was issued last week, Dr. Ghaly said the guidance is meant to explain that anything "more than three households" elevates risk  and spread of disease.  Further, he framed it as harm reduction approach, with cooler temperatures and Halloween/other holidays approaching.  A copy of the guidance can be found here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Guidance-for-the-Prevention-of-COVID-19-Transmission-for-Gatherings-10-09.aspx.

    On reopening, Newsom said he is walking a fine line, wants to continue reopening, but "with modifications" and with safety at top of mind.  "I want to make sure we get this right."

    The briefing concluded at 12:42 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 846,579  (+0.5 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 16,564 (+0.4 percent) deaths in California.  As of October 10th, there have been 16,047,004 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993


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