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  • Wednesday, August 12, 2020 2:45 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, August 12th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic.

    The Governor opened by discussing jobs, the economy, and his own experience as a business owner.  He said the most urgent economic recovery tool the business community needs is stabilizing the virus, bending the curve, and mitigating the spread.  In addition, he noted, “we need a more inclusive, resilient, future-proofed economy focused on near, medium, and long term.”

    In terms of actions taken to support the economy, Newsom mentioned the Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force and its work.  He says the Task Force has helped with sector specific guidance for safer reopening; developed the “Wear a Mask” campaign; launched #ShopSafeShopLocal; 90 members signed a letter advocating for more federal funding; and produced dozens of recommendations from 5 subcommittees.

    Further, Newsom said the state has also simplified accounting methods to reduce tax liabilities for small businesses; eliminated the minimum franchise tax for all first year businesses; allowed small businesses to defer sales tax payments for 12 months, up to $50,000; extended sales tax deadlines; provided $1 billion in tax credits for 3.6 million working families; $1 billion in additional low-income housing tax credits over the last two years; signed major housing production package which included 18 bills to address the housing shortage and create jobs.

    Additionally, Newsom went over state pandemic supports for businesses, including over 5.6 million meals served and over 8,000 jobs supported through the first in the nation Great Plates Delivered Program; waived property tax penalties for small businesses; $75 million for small businesses that may not have qualified for federal relief; supporting manufacturing and small businesses through SafelyMakingCA.org; over 8,500 employers and 54,000 employees benefiting from workshare program; CA network Small Business centers: 86 active,31 languages, 10-fold increase in finance assistance.

    More specifically, on manufacturing, Newsom said we're still the biggest manufacturing state in the U.S. It gets talked about elsewhere, but it should be talked about here. Further, on unemployment, Newsom said its “complete garbage” to say people would rather collect unemployment than work.

    As it relates to pandemic supports for the workforce; Newsom highlighted workers’ compensation for essential workers; paid sick leave for food sector workers; paid family leave for those caring for ill or quarantined family members; ensuring childcare for frontline workers; hotels for health care and agricultural workers; cash assistance for skilled nursing facility workers; PPE for essential workers; evictions moratorium; mortgage forbearance negotiated with big banks.

    Newsom also thanked Legislative leadership.  Specifically noting, that Legislature has done great work elevating ideas to help spur growth.  With two weeks left, the governor said its time to get an economic recovery package across the finish line.

    Some specific ideas highlighted using a slide deck included:  accelerating state funded infrastructure (unspent bonds and shovel ready projects); accelerating wildfire and green infrastructure projects (hardening energy grid) ; expanding workforce training; streamlining permitting in the hardest hit sectors; and upgrading technology (Office of Digital Innovation).  Lifelines for small businesses mentioned were as follows:  main street hiring credit (partnering with Legislature to revamp the state hiring credit); and state tax exemption on PPP awards (conform to federal PPP taxation).  Also promoted were worker protection ideas needed to reopen including job protected paid family sick leave; paid sick days; workers’ comp; helping workers isolate and quarantine; stronger enforcement tools to protect worker health and safety; expanded outreach and training to employers and workers to reduce the risk of COVID-19; continuing major public awareness campaign; analysis of pandemic’s impact on caregiving; enact stronger consumer protections. 

    On evictions and housing market stabilization; Newsom noted enacting eviction protections for vulnerable renters and assistance for struggling property owners impacted by COVID-19; accelerating $300 million in National Mortgage Settlement funds, targeted to the most in-need homeowners and renters; more quickly building housing through Infill Infrastructure Grant Program (accelerate bond funds); and building on housing production laws (get more housing built faster).

    Finally, reforms to adapt to pandemic conditions noted included closing the digital divide (expanding broadband infrastructure); and looking at telework rules.  Regarding the digital divide, Newsom said that he would provide a more detailed plan later this week.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 5,549 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,725 patients are in the ICU.  Trend lines for both hospitalizations and ICU patients are going down.  Newsom is hopeful we are “turning a corner on this pandemic.”

    Currently, there are 38 counties on the state’s monitoring list.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked from the onset if he has considered who he might appoint to replace Kamala Harris if she is elected Vice President of the United States.  He did not respond to the question, saying he is focused on pandemic response.   Newsom also made it clear that people are already pitching potential replacements for Harris: “You may be the only one who hasn’t,” he told the reporter that asked the question.  He also said her being the VP nominee is a “proud moment for California.”

    On unemployment – Newsom said it would be a “historic blunder” if Congress and White House do not find a way to extend extra UI benefits.

    The briefing concluded approximately at 1:15 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 574,411 (+2.2 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 10,468 (+1.1 percent) deaths in California.  As of August 10th, there have been 9,186,279 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 187,926 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    On August 10th, Newsom announced $81.8 million in additional commitments from private and philanthropic partners to provide resources and services for individuals needing to isolate or quarantine.  The partnership is led by Kaiser Permanente, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ballmer Group, The James Irvine Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, California Health Care Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, The California Endowment and the Skoll Foundation.  A copy of the Governor’s office press release 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

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Monday, August 10, 2020 2:32 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, August 10th, at 12:36 PM PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic.

    The Governor opened by discussing unemployment.  He addressed President Donald Trump’s executive order that would extend unemployment benefits at a reduced rate of $400 a week, down from the $600 a week that expired July 31st.  Under the order, the federal government would cover $300 in enhanced aid per person per week, and states would be responsible for the remaining $100.  Newsom said his administration analyzed the proposal and it would cost the state at least $700 million per week.  Further, existing CARES Act funding has already been allocated for pandemic response.  "There is no money sitting in the piggy bank" from that fund, Newsom said.

    Newsom noted that the state simply cannot shoulder this burden without cutting important services or further burdening businesses and individuals.  Usually, he said, in times of emergency the federal government fronts the money but this is not the case with the latest Trump proposal.

    Newsom then spoke about the state’s actions related to evictions.  He noted that the first executive order regarding evictions was signed on March 16th.  The second executive order was signed on March 27th.  Further, the Judicial Council adopted a rule to halt evictions statewide on April 6th and the state extended local government authorities through September 30th.  He said his Administration is working with the Legislature, the Judicial Council, and other stakeholders to continue protecting vulnerable tenants.

    Additionally, according to a slide deck Newsom was using, more than half of Californians live in the 80 cities and 10 counties with eviction moratorium protections.  The slides also depicted that three-quarters of the renters who've fallen behind on payments are Latino or Black.  "It underscores this lens of equity, issues of disparity," Newsom said.

    Further, the Governor announced new partnerships to support contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine efforts including $63 million in grant funding from Kaiser Permanente to provide community-based supports and services, as well as $18.8 million from philanthropic partnerships to support local public health efforts.

    Finally, Newsom addressed the looming issue— the deficiencies of the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE), a clearinghouse for state testing data.  "It is clear based upon what has been reported over the last week that we have had a little bit of trouble" with the database, Newsom said.  He framed these challenges as part of California’s lack of attention to "large-scale IT procurement."  As he spoke on this topic, Newsom’s slide read: California is committed to ensuring accurate COVID-19 data.

    Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly also spoke at the briefing.  He addressed the outgoing California Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell and thanked her for her service.  Yesterday, Dr. Sonia Angell abruptly resigned from her role as director and state public health officer at the California Department of Public Health.  Her departure follows the state’s discovery of a computer system failure that resulted in the undercounting of COVID-19 cases.  Dr. Angell held the position for less than a year and announced her resignation in an email sent to department staff that was released by the California Health and Human Services Agency.  Sandra Shewry, who led the Department of Health Services under former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be appointed acting public health director.   Erica Pan, the state's epidemiologist, will take on the role of acting state public health officer.

    Dr. Ghaly then addressed changes that are being made to ensure "data is timely and high quality." He also stated the CalREDIE backlog has now been eliminated with 295,000 records processed over the weekend.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 5,636 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,731 patients are in the ICU.  COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased 19 percent and ICU admissions have decreased by 13 percent in the last two weeks, Newsom reported.  The 14-day positivity average is now 6.1 percent statewide. 

    Currently, there are 38 counties on the state’s monitoring list.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked directly about Dr. Angell.  “I try not to have personnel conversations in public.  I don’t know that it serves a larger good,” Newsom said in response.  "At the end of the day, the buck stops with me. I'm accountable," he continued.

    Newsom was also asked whether he knew about the data glitches last Monday.  "We learned about it after the presentation," Newsom said. "We would not have put out those data points if we'd known that...I was made aware later that evening." 

    Following several prodding questions regarding Dr. Angell’s departure and the COVID-19 data issues, Newsom did seem to confirm that CDPH knew about the CalREDIE problems.  He then went on to say, "We made adjustments to our team."  Newsom also declined to expand on Dr. Angell's resignation.  "I accepted her resignation.  We're all accountable in our respective roles for what happens underneath us."

    The briefing concluded approximately at 1:40 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 554,160 (+1.5 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 10,293 (+1.0 percent) deaths in California.  As of August 2nd, there have been 8,826,119 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 118,592 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    On August 7th, statewide interim guidance for institutions of higher education was released. The institutions of higher education guidance is available in the COVID-19INDUSTRYGUIDANCE:Institutions of Higher Education.  A copy of the CDPH press release 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

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Monday, August 03, 2020 1:50 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, August 3rd, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic.

    The Governor opened by discussing Imperial County.  He reported that the state partnered with locals there to fight the rapid rise of COVID-19 infections and that those interventions have worked.  Now, California is looking to take similar action in other parts of the state.  Newsom is deeming the approach— “the Imperial Model”.

    The Central Valley is now the state's biggest area of concern, Newsom said, even as other regions are seeing COVID-19 numbers stabilize.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 6,383 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,909 patients are in the ICU.  These figures of decreasing and Newsom said he feels confident in the state’s critical care capacity at this point.  More generally, Newsom said, California’s number of positive cases was 5,739 yesterday. The 7-day average was 7,764 –which down roughly 21.2 percent from last week. That is good news.  Also, the positivity rate is trending down.  The 14-day positivity average is now 7.0 percent statewide.  Previously, it was around 7.5 percent.  Further, the 7-day positivity rate is lower at 6.1 percent.

    Currently, there are 38counties on the state’s monitoring list.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked whether he thinks teachers should be required to work from their classrooms even if students are not there.  Without directly answering the question, Newsom stated, "I don’t believe anyone should be forced to put their life and their health at risk."  He also said the state has given a lot of discretion to individual schools districts to make these type of decisions. 

    On rent relief – Newsom said he is “actively engaged” on rent relief bills moving through the Legislature.

    Regarding school waivers – Newsom promised guidelines this afternoon for elementary schools that want waivers to reopen.

    Asked why California is finally seeing some declines in COVID-19 case numbers, Newsom said a combination of factors including masks, social distancing, hard work by workers and businesses, are all helping.  However, he also warned that "we can quickly find ourselves back to where we were."  Further, his Administration predicts there will be a second wave in the Fall.

    Newsom said he would "consider" a California quarantine on out-of-state visitors, but thinks the numbers presented today prove that the state can get a handle on the pandemic without blocking visits from other states.  “The key is that when people come in they need to abide by the rules.”

    Regarding businesses that have had to close, reopen, and then close again –  Newsom directed those establishments to the https://covid19.ca.gov/ website for resources.

    On whether he will call a special session – "If it's necessary to have a special session... we'll consider a special session," Newsom said.

    The briefing concluded approximately 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 514,901 (+1.1 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 9,388 (+0.3 percent) deaths in California.  As of August 2nd, there have been 8,184,696 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 148,721 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On July 31st, Newsom signed an Executive Order that extends the deadline for county assessment appeals boards to issue a decision on pending tax assessment appeals filed on or before March 4th.  The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.  For a copy of the Governor’s Office press release, please see here.

    On July 29th, Newsom announced a series of actions to better serve workers that have experienced job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the formation of an Employment Development Department (EDD) strike team, and a renewed focus on processing unpaid claims.  For a copy of the Governor’s Office press release, please see 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

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Monday, July 27, 2020 1:29 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, July 27th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing at a Diamond Almonds facility in Stockton to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic.

    The Governor opened by discussing the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 in the Central Valley.  In response, he announced $52 million in federal grant funding for eight Central Valley counties.  The monies will be aimed at “improving isolation, quarantine and testing protocols”, as well as “enhancing health care workers by providing more support and personnel.”  Notably, the Legislature has to approve distribution of these funds.  The Newsom Administration is also deploying three strike teams in the Central Valley, just like the state did in Imperial County.  

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 6,912 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,993 patients are in the ICU.  Further, he said, the positivity rate is important to consider.  The 14-day positivity average is 7.5 percent statewide.  However, test positivity rates vary from county to county.  As an example, in the Central Valley, Newsom reported Fresno is over 10 percent and Tulare is over 17 percent.

    Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly was present at the briefing and offered some additional remarks regarding transmission rates in the Central Valley.  Some hospitals in the region are overwhelmed, with nearly two-thirds of some ICUs filled with COVID-19 patients, he said. 

    Dr. Gil Chavez, a recently retired state epidemiologist who will serve as one of two co-chairs for state’s testing task force, also spoke at the briefing.  He offered his presentation in Spanish and noted that Latinos and essential workers have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

    Currently, there are 37 counties on the state’s monitoring list.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about whether he is considering calling a special session.  In response, he said, "As needed, we'll consider it."  At this time, he has not decided that's necessary.  He was also asked about the newly unveiled legislative Economic Stimulus Package, but said he is still reviewing the latest details.  The plan can be found here.

    Regarding testing— California is no longer encouraging everyone who wants a test to get one because of testing shortages and delays, Dr. Chavez said.

    The briefing concluded approximately 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 453,659 (+1.9 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 8,416 (+0.9percent) deaths in California.  As of July 26th, there have been 7,168,139 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 120,784 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On July 24th, Newsom announced a host of new safeguards for California workers who face the greatest risk of COVID-19. He also committed to working with the Legislature and key stakeholders to expand critical protections like paid sick leave. For a copy of the Governor’s Office press release, please see 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

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Friday, July 24, 2020 1:30 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Friday, July 24th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic.

    The Governor opened by discussing COVID-19's effects on essential workers.   As depicted in the slide below, Newsom said the "overwhelming majority" of California's essential workforce is Latino, Black, and Asian. 


    In response to the data above, today’s announcement was about additional worker safeguards, including preventative measures; employer education; and long lasting protections.

    In terms of preventative measures, Newsom aims to ensure workers can isolate and quarantine when sick or exposed; provide safe, temporary housing for COVID-19 positive and exposed agriculture and farmer workers; and build on public awareness campaign to reach employers, workers, and families.

    Regarding employer education— Newsom said the state is releasing a new Employer Safety Handbook that will include guidance for safe, clean environments; best practices for an outbreak; proactive education efforts to help businesses comply; and testing information for employees.  A copy of the handbook can be found here.

    Finally related to ensuring long lasting protections, Newsom said he wants to expand worker protections and build on existing Executive Orders including: COVID-19 paid sick leave; workers’ compensation for at risk workers; strategic enforcement of labor laws; and strengthen employer reporting of outbreaks.  Newsom referenced (multiple times) partnering with the Legislature on these efforts through bills, however, no other details were provided.

    Additionally, Newsom did note that there is going to be more "very specific" strategies related to compliance and enforcement efforts.  He does not want to be punitive, but rather, wants to pursue an "open hand, not closed fist" approach to enforcing COVID-19 rules.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 6,825 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,978patients are in the ICU.  Hospitalization rates continue to increase, but "there is a decrease in the increase," Newsom said.  The rate of growth is "declining modestly."  California has 11,932 ventilators still available.  Further, he said, the positivity rate is important to consider.  The 14-day positivity average is over 7.5 percent. “New surprise” regarding a “new strategy” with testing coming next week, Newsom said in hinting about “pool testing”.

    Currently, there are 36 counties on the state’s monitoring list.  A couple of those counties have been on the list for less than 3 days.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    In closing, the Governor said it is imperative to wear a mask, physically distance, and wash your hands.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about unemployment benefits and the issues at EDD.  In response, he said  EDD has been a focus and next week we'll hear more about a long-term strategy to fix technology problems at EDD as many people struggle to get their unemployment checks.

    Regarding evictions, Newsom is working with the Legislature  and specially Assemblymember David Chiu and Senator Anna Caballero on to address this issue.

    The briefing concluded approximately at 1:00PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 425,616 (+2.9 percent) confirmed positive cases and 8,027 (+2.0 percent) deaths in California.  As of July 22st, there have been 6,778,304 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 113,306tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On July 22nd, Newsom announced that the state will maintain a stockpile of 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks to increase preparedness heading into the fall.  For a copy of the Governor’s Office press release, please see 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

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020 3:04 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, July 22nd, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic and the state’s efforts to secure more PPE. 

    Newsom opened his comments at a state warehouse in Sacramento amid a backdrop of stacks of boxes of PPE with a focus on providing an update on the state’s efforts to procure adequate PPE for critical needs as well as providing key COVID-19 statistics regarding the continued increase in the positivity rate leading the state to be on the verge of the highest number of cases in the nation.  Additionally, the Governor highlighted efforts to establish a workable strategy to address surge within hospitals; the state’s ability to support alternative care sites; identifying key needs related to key personnel via the Health Corps Program established earlier this year; efforts to support contact tracing; and more.

    The main focus of his comments, however, pertained to the state’s PPE strategy, “a success predicated on the lack of a federal strategy recognizing the competition with other states and the federal government itself.”  Because of the sheer size of California, California “decided to change the name of the game and how we procured PPE.” 

    In this regard, Newsom highlighted the state’s efforts to develop key contracts, such as the “bold” decision to contract with entities like BYD with the goal of maintaining a consistent supply chain for N95 masks through May and June, with 193 units of surgical masks out of 200 million already having arrived in California.  He expects to see fulfillment of an additional 150 million more N95 masks in the next few weeks as part of the contract with BYD.  He also acknowledged that although there was a delay with the NIOSH certification of the masks, the state was nevertheless able to work through the certification challenges and delays with federal partners.

    In terms of next steps on PPE procurement, Newsom spoke to a clear need to maintain a level of safety and confidence among first responders, medical professionals, farm workers, grocery workers and more to support the essential services and needs in our society.  To that end, he highlighted the broader efforts to distribute 297 million procedure masks into essential sectors within counties large and small.  The state currently has an inventory of 111 million units of N95 masks and 147 million procedure masks still in inventory to distribute.  However, he was clear that this is not adequate and demonstrative of where the state needs to be.  To that end, Newsom announced a commitment just made to extend, as a bridge contract with BYD, the procurement of an additional 120 million masks and 300 million N95 masks for surgical and procedure efforts.  He shared that statewide we are burning through 46 million masks a month, making it clear that the current inventory will dwindle quickly.  “We need to go big and continue to be bold.” 

    Additionally, Newsom highlighted the state will be putting out a new RFP seeking a larger master contract to get more bidders for PPE and to try to get prices down over the next few months.  With such a goal in mind, Newsom highlighted conversations his team has had with companies like Honeywell, 3M and other California-based manufacturers entering the market that can scale and retool to address the state’s PPE needs.  He wants to see more competitive bids and ensure opportunity for more California-based manufacturers to be in the mix for providing PPE.  Specific to his interest in working with California-based manufacturers, he reiterated the work that the state has underway with the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) on the Safely Making California site and with California manufacturers who are stepping up and retooling to help address the state’s needs with a deep focus on domestic manufacturers and creating California jobs.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 8,820 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 2,284 patients are in the ICU.  Over 14 days, there has been a 14.5 percent hospitalization increase, representing 9.2 percent of all available hospital beds statewide.  Further, he said, the positivity rate is important to consider.  The 14-day positivity average is over 7.4 percent.  

    Currently, there are 33 counties on the state’s monitoring list.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    The briefing concluded approximately at 12:59 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 413, 576 (+3.2 percent) confirmed positive cases and 7,870 (+1.5 percent) deaths in California.  As of July 21st, there have been 6,536,932 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 122,611 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  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

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Monday, July 20, 2020 12:59 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, July 20th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Today, Newsom opened by speaking about personal responsibility.  He implored Californians to wear masks, socially distance, and minimize mixing.  This behavior, the Governor said, will help reduce the spread of the virus.

    He also went over the “dimmer actions” recently taken, including closing indoor operations of certain businesses statewide and additional sectors in counties that are on the County Monitoring List.  Newsom also announced the state is issuing new guidance for the personal services industry regarding outdoor operations. 

    Currently, there are 33 counties on the County Monitoring List.


    Per usual, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 figures, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient numbers.  There are 6,921 (+0.3 percent) positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,943 (+1.1 percent) are in the ICU.  For additional context, there was a 16 percent increase in hospitalizations over the last 14 days – but the rate of increase is declining.   Two weeks ago, hospitalizations increased by 50 percent over 14 days, last week it was 28 percent, and now it's 16 percent.  That is an encouraging sign, Newsom said. 

    Finally, Newsom reported that California's positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is holding at 7.4 percent, while the 7-day rate has declined to 7.2 percent.

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked if he has received any heads up from President Trump about the prospect of sending federal law enforcement into Oakland.  "The answer is no and we would reject it," he said. 

    Newsom was also asked about a New York Times report which stated: "Governor Gavin Newsom of California was told that if he wanted the federal government to help obtain the swabs needed to test for the virus, he would have to ask Mr. Trump himself — and thank him."  Newsom said the report is not true. “We were grateful and I expressed gratitude, but no one told me to express it."

    When asked about why some counties were allowed to reopen even if they did not meet criteria around contract tracers, Newsom punted the question to Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly.  Dr. Ghaly said counties allowed to reopen had "a credible plan" to meet the metric.

    Newsom was also asked about pending legislation and specifically whether he would sign non-COVID-19 related bills.  "We're not backing off on any of our responsibilities in this state," Newsom said about the Legislature passing legislation that is not necessarily COVID-related.  "I look forward to signing many bills."  He also complimented Legislative Leadership for how they have handled this session thus far. 

    Regarding whether there is any consideration being given to letting schools operate outside, Newsom stated, "Not currently in terms of the guidance we put out."

    The briefing concluded approximately at 12:40 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 391,538 (+1.8 percent) confirmed positive cases and 7,694 (+0.1 percent) deaths in California.  As of July 18th, there have been 6,286,852 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  This represents an increase of 119,634 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  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

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Friday, July 17, 2020 1:49 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Friday, July 17th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide COVID-19 guidance for schools and provide an update on the state’s response to the pandemic. 

    Using a slide deck, Newsom opened by stating that learning is non-negotiable; schools must provide meaningful instruction during the pandemic whether they are physically open or not; and that we all prefer in-class learning, but only if it can be done safely.

    Today, he announced that all K-12 public and private schools in counties on the state’s monitoring list will be required to close for in-class instruction and must meet precise criteria to reopen.  Specifically, schools in counties on the list must stay closed until they are off the list for 14 consecutive days.  Schools that do not meet this requirement must begin the school year distance learning.  There is a single exception.  A waiver of this criteria may be granted by the local health officer for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction.  A waiver may only be granted if one is requested by the superintendent (or equivalent for charter or private schools), in consultation with labor, parent, and community organizations.

    Additionally, the guidance makes masks mandatory for students in 3rd grade and up, as well as for all school staff.  Students in 2nd grade and below are only encouraged to wear masks or face shields.  Staff must maintain 6 feet between each other and with students.  Students should maintain 6 feet of distance when possible. There will also be a requirement to test staff regularly and the contact tracing workforce will prioritize schools.  Finally, Newsom outlined new statewide requirements for rigorous distance learning, including access to devices and connectivity for all kids; daily live interaction with teachers and other students.  In the budget, Newsom said $5.3 billion was set aside to prioritize equity.  That money will help finance education resources for distance learning.

    Newsom also went over the following question: “When should in-person learning close?”  He said schools should consult with a public health officer first, a classroom cohort goes home when there is a confirmed case; a school goes home when multiple cohorts have cases or more than 5 percent of the school is positive; a district goes home if 23 percent of their schools are closed within a 14-day period.

    More on schools –  the Governor conveyed he wants to allow schools in counties on the watch list to be able to reopen, in consultation with public health officers, when conditions improve.  He also noted school staff is at risk too— "We cannot deny the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of adults who are responsible for taking care of and educating our kids, and their health has to be considered as well."

    The California Department of Public Health's new guidance for the safe re-opening of in-person learning at schools can be found here:  https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf.

    Also, from the COVID-19.ca.gov website, more about the requirements for safe in-person learning at schools can be found here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Schools%20Reopening%20Recommendations.pdf.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 6,777 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,897 are in the ICU.  Over 14 days, there has been a 22 percent hospitalization increase, representing 9.2 percent of all available hospital beds statewide.  Further, he said, the positivity rate is important to consider.  The 14-day positivity average is over 7.4 percent; the 7-day positivity rate is actually lower at 7.1 percent.  

    Currently, there are 32 counties on the state’s monitoring list.   The list can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    In closing, Newsom stated, “None of us want to see education virtualized.  At least, I don't.  I believe profoundly in the power of individuals and the cohort and the connectedness of being with others and developing intellectually and emotionally, and maturing, that's difficult to do online.”  He said our individual acts can help get kids back in school, while again imploring Californians once more to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and minimize mixing.   

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about the impact students staying home would have on working parents and the economy.  In response, he said the increasing number of cases is a concern and that is why we have the new guidance.  However, he said his Administration will be looking to offer additional supports for parents, but did not provide specifics.

    Newsom was also asked about Monday’s press briefing when he seemed to suggest updated statewide action on schools was not needed.  In response, he said that impression was incorrect. "Forgive me for leaving you with that impression on Monday, certainly was not my intention, quite the contrary."

    He was also asked if more school districts would be in the position to offer in-person instruction had the state moved more slowly through its reopening phase.  Newsom said he wasn't able to "hypothesize" on that.  "No shoulda, woulda, coulda," he said.

    Regarding devices for students—Newsom said the state was able to get over 70,000 laptops and Chromebooks.  Additionally, the CPUC has been doing more targeted mapping of areas that don't have robust connectivity.  Specifically, he also noted, “My wife has been working overtime to get devices donated and to have Wi-Fi hotspots and connectivity in public schools.  California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has also been leading in this space.  Google really led in this space also— we advanced 100,000 hotspots them, Microsoft, Amazon, and Verizon.”

    Newsom was also asked about students with special needs.  In response, President of the State Board of Education Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond said, “We’re very concerned about meeting the needs of the full range of students.  All the districts have been aware that they need capacity for distance learning and begin to adapt for students with special needs." She said when schools first closed, they thought it would be for two weeks, therefore the state was not as prepared as it needed to be.  However, now, the state is much better positioned going into this semester to handle the needs of kids than we were in spring."

    When asked about Trump’s statements regarding the need to open schools,  Newsom reiterated an earlier portion of his presentation that highlighted “California’s Bottom Line” as the following:  “Students, teachers, staff, and parents prefer in-classroom instruction – but only if it can be done safely.  Safety is determined by local health data.”

    The briefing concluded approximately at 1:05 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 356,178 (+2.5 percent) confirmed positive cases and 7,435 (+1.6 percent) deaths in California.  As of July 15th, there have been 5,915,508 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 122,232 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    Yesterday, July 16th, Newsom announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.  A copy of the Governor’s office news release can be found here.

    Also on July 16th, Cal/OSHA issued a news release urging all employers in California to carefully review and follow the state's COVID-19 workplace safety and health guidance to ensure their workers are protected from the virus.  A copy of the Cal/OSHA news release can be found here.

    On July 14th, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced new plans for COVID-19 testing in California, including updated testing guidance, new requirements for health plans to cover testing, and the new co-chairs of the state's COVID-19 Testing Task Force.  A copy of the CDPH news release 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

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Friday, July 17, 2020 11:15 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    California Office of Emergency Services has a chart of various counties "state of emergencies" to avoid price gouging:

    https://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/legal-affairs/price-gouging

  • Monday, July 13, 2020 1:11 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, July 13th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press briefing to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Newsom opened by reporting that the COVID-19 trendlines continue to raise concern.  In response, he announced modifications to the statewide stay-at-home order.  Effectively immediately, all 58 counties are being directed to close indoor operations in the following sectors: restaurants; wineries and tasting rooms; movie theaters; family entertainment centers, zoos and museums; and cardrooms. Further, bars must close all operations.

    Counties on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days, will be required to close indoor operations in additional sectors.  These sectors include fitness centers; worship services; offices for non-critical centers; personal care services (like nail salons, body waxing, and tattoo parlors); hair salons and barbershops; and malls.

    Currently, there are 31 counties on the County Monitoring List, representing 80 percent of all Californians.  Newsom said he expects more counties will be added later this week. 

    Additional information on today’s announcements can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers, including the hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) patient figures.  There are 6,322 positive COVID-19 hospital patients.  Of those patients, 1,806 are in the ICU.  Further, he said, the positivity rate is important to consider.  The 14-day positivity average is over 7.5 percent.  Tomorrow, Newsom will have an update on testing.

    In closing, Newsom reiterated that COVID-19 is not going away time soon and Californians must adapt to new behaviors to slow the spread.  He implored Californians once more to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and not to mix with people you do not live with.   

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was repeatedly asked about schools and if the state intends to issue additional guidance for school districts.  In response, he said the state has previously issued guidance.  His administration is in the process of announcing new guidelines around masks, contact sports, choirs, busing, and distance learning efforts.  He also suggested that school districts can make their own determinations as it pertains to the coming school year and highlighted  Los Angeles and San Diego. "Both Los Angeles and San Diego school districts will begin the fall semester the way they ended last school year, by utilizing distance learning until we deal with the background of infections. I applaud the leadership of those districts for leaning in and recognizing responsibility."

    On testing—Newsom said tomorrow, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly will introduce our new testing task force. 

    Newsom was also asked about the frustrations/confusion of business owners who were allowed to open, only to then have to close.  In response, he simply stated that the virus is dynamic and needs to be monitored in real-time.

    The briefing concluded approximately at 12:45 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 320,804 (+2.7 percent) confirmed positive cases and 7,017 (+1.0 percent) deaths in California.  As of July 11th, there have been 5,406,599 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 130,904 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here.

    On July 10th, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced the early release of incarcerated persons.  Specifically, an estimated 8,000 inmates could be eligible for release by end of August, in addition to the state’s reduction of about 10,000 persons since the start of the pandemic.  A copy of the CDCR news release can be found here.

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.   Additional information regarding open sectors in counties with variance can be found here.  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

    www.mchughgr.com



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