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CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

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  • Friday, May 21, 2021 9:23 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On May 21, 2021 Governor Newsom narrowed the pricing restrictions in place from the 2020 wildfires. Below is a list of counties split into three categories based on the status of pricing restrictions applicable to storage services provided in those counties.

    Restrictions end on May 22: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, Plumas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sierra, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba.

    Restrictions extended until at least September 22: Fresno, Lassen, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Trinity, Tulare.

    Restrictions in place until at least December 31, per previous orders dating back to 2017-19 wildfires: Butte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Ventura.

    These three lists include a total of 33 counties. The remaining 25 counties in the state do not currently have any pricing restrictions applicable to storage services.

    Submitted by 

    Joe Doherty

    SSA SVP, Chief Legal & Legislative Officer

    (703) 575-8000 x.123


  • Thursday, May 20, 2021 3:56 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Contact: Governor's Press Office

    Thursday, May 20, 2021

    (916) 445-4571

    Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order to Support Communities Recovering from Wildfires

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order to assist communities recovering from devastating wildfires last year.

    The order extends the state’s prohibition on price gouging for the following counties impacted by wildfires in August and September 2020: Butte, Napa, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Fresno, Lassen, Mendocino, Monterey, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Trinity and Tulare.

    The text of today’s executive order can be found here

    ###

    Governor Gavin Newsom
    State Capitol Building
    Sacramento, CA 95814


  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:18 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    OES Price Gouging Chart:

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


  • Wednesday, April 07, 2021 1:30 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update in San Francisco on the state’s plan to fully and safely reopen. 

    Specifically, it was announced that California aims to “fully reopen its economy” by June 15th if there is enough vaccine supply for Californians 16+ who want to be vaccinated and if hospitalizations remain stable and low.  The mask mandate will continue.  This will mark an end to our color-coded tier system.  “We are moving beyond the blueprint,” Newsom said.  

     

    The Governor’s press release can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/04/06/governor-newsom-outlines-the-states-next-step-in-the-covid-19-pandemic-recovery-moving-beyond-the-blueprint/.

    The announcement comes as the state reaches 20 million vaccines administered – with 4 million to Californians in the hardest-hit communities. Over 70 percent of the state’s 65+ population has received at least 1 dose and over 40 percent of the 16+ population has received at least 1 dose.

    Also, the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate is down to 1.6 percent (the lowest positivity rate in the US) and vaccine eligibility is expanding April 15th.  Notably, Newsom said he anticipates more than 30M people will get at least one vaccine dose by the end of April.

    Despite the optimistic news, Newsom said the coronavirus is "still prevalent, still deadly, and still a challenge that we need to tackle.”  He urged Californians not to let their guards down.  He continued, "This is really a race. These vaccines against the variants."   The state has been tracking several concerning variants spreading through the state.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about schools.  In response, he said he wants kids back for in-person instruction and that on June 15th he anticipates "no barrier to getting all of our kids safely back into the classroom.” 

    Regarding mass vaccination sites, Newsom said the sites in Oakland and Los Angeles will remain open. “The only difference is that the vaccines will not be coming directly from the federal government,” he said.

    "We are not anticipating in the short run lifting the mask mandate," Newsom said, adding that it is one of the most effective tools to mitigate the spread of the virus.

    Asked about bills being proposed and priorities of the Legislature including issues such as single payer and banning fracking, Newsom said he is supportive of  “transformational change but that California must maintain fiscal prudence because the state’s surplus is limited.”

    The press conference concluded at approximately 11:43 a.m. PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There is now a total of 3,583,830 (5 new cases per 100K) confirmed positive cases and 58,541 (+0.01 new deaths per 100K) deaths in California.  As of April 5th, there have been 55,377,325 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. A total of 20,267,689 vaccines have been administered. 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, March 26, 2021 3:30 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Contact: Governor's Press Office

    Thursday, March 25, 2021

    (916) 445-4571

    State Expands Vaccine Eligibility to 50+ Californians Starting April 1 and All Individuals 16+ on April 15 Based on Expected Supply Increases

    Even with increased vaccine supply, vaccination of willing Californians will take several months 

    State supporting trusted providers and counties for non-traditional outreach in hard-to-reach communities 

    SACRAMENTO – With supply of vaccines expected to significantly increase in the coming weeks, the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to more Californians. Starting April 1, individuals aged 50+ will be eligible to make an appointment, and individuals 16+ will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated starting on April 15.

    “With vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,” said Governor Newsom. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility to those older than 50 starting April 1, and those older than 16 starting April 15. This is possible thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and the countless public health officials across the state who have stepped up to get shots into arms.”

    Based on the current estimates, California expects to be allocated approximately 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, and more than 3 million doses in the second half of April. California currently receives about 1.8 million doses per week. These estimates may be adjusted as time goes on. The state has the capacity to administer more than 3 million vaccines per week, and is building the capacity to administer 4 million vaccines weekly by the end of April.

    “We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead," said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. "However, we are not there yet. It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance."

    In addition to increased allocations of vaccines to providers serving the hardest hit communities, the state has embarked on a series of initiatives to vaccinate those populations that have faced the highest rates of COVID infections before vaccines become available to the entire 16+ population. These efforts include:

    ·         Provider funding for programs to reach and vaccinate communities facing the biggest health disparities

    ·         Working with organized labor to reach essential workers

    ·         Partnering with agricultural organizations and community-based organizations to vaccinate agricultural workers

    ·         Allowing providers to target by ZIP code via My Turn with single-use codes (scheduled to launch at the end of March)

    ·         Supporting a subset of community-based organizations currently partnering with the state on COVID-19 education to provide direct vaccination appointment assistance

    ·         Prioritizing currently eligible populations and allowing providers the discretion to vaccinate those who live in high-impact areas (County Healthy Places Index Quartiles 1 and 2), including families

    Even with expanded vaccine supplies, it is expected to take several months for willing Californians to be vaccinated. Based on public information shared by vaccine manufacturers and the federal government, California expects to receive several million vaccine doses per week starting sometime in April.

    Along with the expanded eligibility and to align with upcoming federal guidance, California will update its vaccine allocation methodology. This will transition over four weeks, beginning with the March 22 allocation (delivered to providers the following week), from one based on the distribution of the 65+ population, workers in the agriculture and food, education and child care, and emergency services sectors to one based on the distribution of the 16+ population across California. This will be done in conjunction with completion of the shift to the state directly allocating vaccines to providers. The state will continue to double the amount of vaccine allocated to the lowest Healthy Places Index (HPI) quartile as announced on March 4.

    Forty percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred in the lowest quartile of the HPI, developed by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, which provides overall scores and data that predict life expectancy and compares community conditions that shape health across the state. The rate of infections for households making less than $40,000 per year (5.7) is 84 percent higher than that of households with an income of $120,000 or more (3.1). At the same time, California’s wealthiest populations have received 50 percent more vaccinations when compared to the rate of our most vulnerable populations. This approach recognizes that the pandemic did not affect California communities equally and that the state is committed to doing better.

    ###

    Governor Gavin Newsom
    State Capitol Building
    Sacramento, CA 95814


  • Thursday, March 25, 2021 5:32 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Governor Newsom Extends EO N-81--20

    The protections against price gouging as set forth in Executive Order N-81-20 were extended through May 22, 2021.  See below from the Governor’s office:

    On March 24, 2021 Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to further assist communities across the state recovering from devastating wildfires last year. The order extends the state’s prohibition on price gouging for counties impacted by various wildfires in August and September 2020.

    The full text of today’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.

    https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/03/24/governor-newsom-issues-executive-order-to-support-communities-recovering-from-wildfires-3-24-21/.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Thursday, March 25, 2021 5:00 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)


    Can My Employee Refuse to Come Back to Work Post COVID?

    Cafe with open sign

    As the COVID-19 hospitalizations and vaccinations increase, more employers are requiring employees to return to the office. A frequent question we're getting is whether an employer can fire an employee if they refuse to come back to work.  

     

    Read more >>


  • Monday, March 08, 2021 8:16 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Thursday, March 4th, 2021, at approximately 11:45 a.m. PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Joaquin County to discuss the state’s focus on addressing COVID-19 health inequities in disproportionally impacted communities as part of the pandemic response.

    Previous to the press conference the Newsom Administration announced that the state will set aside 40 percent of vaccine doses for the hardest-hit communities and established a vaccine equity metric – which seeks to increase vaccinations in those communities – as a prelude to adjusting the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Specifically, the modification will shift Blueprint tier thresholds to allow slightly higher case rates per 100,000 population once more inoculations have occurred in the communities suffering the most, allowing counties to move to less restrictive tiers.  Additional information can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/03/04/california-leads-with-public-health-and-vaccine-equity-to-safely-and-sustainably-reopen/.

    To kick off today’s event, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln provided introductory remarks.  Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua and Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman were among those present at the press conference who provided remarks.  They both offered complimentary comments regarding the Governor’s actions to address the pandemic. 

    When the Governor took the podium, he addressed the latest COVID-19 figures.  California’s 7-day positivity rate has fallen to 2.1 percent, the lowest in four months, he reported.  Additionally, hospitalizations are down 41 percent and ICU cases are down 43 percent.  Further, in the last seven days, 224,000 doses of vaccines have been administered.  Nearly 10 million total.

    In more detail, Newsom spoke about mass vaccination sites and this morning’s announcement to focus on “the hardest-hit communities.”  He said the new vaccine equity plan will help California better “meet the moment.”  As noted above, under the new system, California will earmark 40 percent of its COVID-19 vaccine doses for low-income communities spread out across 400 of the state’s ZIP codes, largely in Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire, and the Central Valley.  Newsom acknowledged the complexities of the issue in discussing the state's shift in vaccine/reopening strategy.  Also notable – the Governor’s office has confirmed neither Newsom nor the First Partner has been vaccinated. 

    Finally, the Governor stated that at least four states have “bad plans” for reopening and that California will not go down a rushed path. The state’s approach will continue to focus on masking and effective use of testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation. Today, the Newsom Administration also updated its recommendations about the most effective use of masks and when to consider double masking“With more vaccines online and administered, California is now in a position to take steps toward ending this pandemic by keeping our guard up and by vaccinating those Californians most at risk and most exposed,” said Newsom.

    During the Q&A, Newsom was asked about the vaccination access codes.  The Governor said the state is being careful to provide personalized codes to people, as opposed to one code for many, to address misuse/sharing of codes to those who are not eligible to book vaccine appointments.

    When asked, Governor Newsom said he does not have details on the settlement on youth sports out of San Diego today.

    Governor Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly also said there will be more outdoor activities allowed in the red tier.  However, they did not offer specifics.

    The press conference concluded at approximately 12:14 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 3,484,963 (+0.1 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 52,775 (+0.5 percent) deaths in California.  As of March 2nd, there have been 49,028,048 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. A total of 9,458,722 vaccines have been administered. 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


  • Wednesday, March 03, 2021 11:24 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    As COVID-19 Cases Decline, Seven Counties Move Into Less Restrictive Reopening Tiers

    On March 2nd, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  Statewide, the 7-day positivity rate is 2.3% and the 14-day positivity rate is 2.6%.  In response, Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted, “Only 7 other states have a lower positivity rate than we do.”

    Additionally, CDPH provided some positive tier updates under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Specifically, seven counties moved to a less restrictive tier, from Purple (widespread) to Red (substantial).  Those counties include El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Napa, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara.  This raises the number of Californians living outside the most restrictive category from about 1.6 million to 5 million, representing about 13 percent of the state’s population.  Additionally, no counties moved to a more restrictive tier.  In total, forty counties remain in the Purple (widespread) tier, sixteen in the Red (substantial) tier, and two remained in the Orange (moderate) tier.  No county is currently in the least stringent Yellow (minimal) tier.

    “I’m very encouraged by the stabilization — the case rates, the positivity rate,” Governor Gavin Newsom said earlier in the week. “We do anticipate a majority of Californians in the next few weeks to be residing in counties that have moved out of the most restrictive purple tier.”

    For more information, please see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR21-070.aspx.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Monday, March 01, 2021 4:07 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Contact: Governor's Press Office

    Monday, March 1, 2021

    (916) 445-4571

    Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon Highlight New $6.6 Billion Package to Reopen Schools and Deepen Student Supports   

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon today highlighted an agreement on a $6.6 billion budget package to accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and empower schools to immediately expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer.   

    “Since the height of the winter surge, we have successfully shifted the conversation from whether to reopen schools to when,” said Governor Newsom. “Now, our collective charge is to build on that momentum and local leadership, and – just as critically – do whatever it takes to meet the mental health and academic needs of our students, including over the summer.”  

    The Governor was joined by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and other legislative leaders at Franklin Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The state’s fifth largest public school district was among the first to close for in-person instruction last year. Last week, based on deep partnership between school staff and leaders, the district announced plans to reopen grades K-6 in mid-March and grades 7-12 in early April.

    Elk Grove Unified and public schools throughout the state will be allocated $6.6 billion under the proposed budget package. $2 billion would fund safety measures to support in-person instruction, such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades and COVID-19 testing. $4.6 billion would fund expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring and mental health services. Together, the funds empower schools to develop and execute comprehensive strategies to both reopen and expand programs to address the social-emotional, mental health and academic needs of students.

    All public schools would be required to offer in-person instruction to grades K-2 for all students and for high-needs students in all grades by the end of the month, losing 1 percent of eligible funds every day thereafter if they do not. Schools in the state’s Red Tier or better would be required to offer in-person instruction to all students in all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade, or risk the same penalty. Together, these requirements help ensure schools begin to reopen as soon as possible, in order to build trust and confidence to continue phased reopenings.

    As students return to in-person instruction, all public schools would also be empowered to meet the needs of the whole child. The Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants allocate $4.6 billion to local educational agencies based on the equity-based Local Control Funding Formula, with an additional $1,000 for each homeless student. These funds would be for supplemental instruction and support for social and emotional well-being. Schools would be able to use the funds for providing more instructional time, such as summer school, and accelerating progress to close learning gaps through tutoring, learning recovery programs, mental health services, access to school meal programs, programs to address pupil trauma and social-emotional learning, supports for credit-deficient students and more.   

    The package would also codify multiple successful state programs to support safe school reopenings:

    ·         Vaccine Prioritization for K-12 School Staff. The package codifies the Governor’s commitment to set aside 10 percent of vaccines for education workers. This commitment ensures that the state prioritization of school staff, in place since January, is made real in all 58 counties. Since the Governor’s announcement two weeks ago, the state has collaborated with county health departments, the Biden Administration and providers such as Kaiser Permanente to accelerate vaccine access for K-12 school staff starting March 1.

    ·         Data Reporting. The package codifies data reporting requirements, including requirements for schools to report reopening status and COVID-19 safety measures. These statutory requirements will help build on efforts to increase transparency, including interactive geospatial maps displayed on the Safe Schools Hub.

    ·         State Safe Schools Team. The package also allocates $25 million to the State Safe Schools Team, which serves to provide technical assistance, oversight and accountability to the over 10,000 public schools in the state. The capacity will enhance the Team’s reach, and the Team will conduct a safety review of any school with two or more COVID-19 outbreaks.

    The budget package is the result of months of work by the Governor’s Office, Senate and Assembly. The Governor, Senate Pro Tem Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon also thanked Senators Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) and Connie Leyva (D-Chino), along with Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) for their tireless work and leadership on this effort.

    The state’s efforts to accelerate safe school reopenings to date include delivery of three months of PPE and safety supplies to all schools at no cost, direct support to over 1,000 schools in 41 counties to implement COVID-19 testing and direct technical assistance to over 300 school districts.

    For more information, please visit: https://schools.covid19.ca.gov/

    ###


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