California - COVID-19 Covered

California

Total Cases: 3,599,689 (March 7)
Tests Administered: 3,497,578 (March 6)
Fatalities: 54,217 (March 7)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in California can be found here. 
  • Governor Newsom announced the opening of a new $25 million-dollar laboratory in Valencia that will allow the state to process an additional 150,000 tests per day. (October 30) 
  • Governor Newsom signed an executive order to help the state expand its own laboratory capabilities. The order will expedite efforts by the Departments of General Services and Public Health to establish and operate up to three sites for use as laboratories to increase the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity. (August 28) 
  • Governor Newsom announced that California has signed a contract with a major diagnostics company, which will allow California to process up to an additional 150,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests a day, with a contractual turnaround time of 24-48 hours. (August 26) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • The state has designated gas stations, pharmacies, food services (including grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants), banks, laundromats/laundry services, and some state and local government functions, as essential businesses and services. (March 20)
  • The City of Los Angeles has reportedly declared cannabis dispensaries as “essential businesses.” (March 20)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Newsom signed legislation that immediately extends critical paid sick days protections to California’s workforce. The measure will ensure that every California employee that has been exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19 will have access to paid sick days for the rest of the 2020 calendar year. (September 9) 
  • Governor Newsom released a new set of support initiatives for workers in quarantine and committed to additional support, including paid sick leave. (July 24) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Newsom, Senate President Pro Tempore Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon announced that they reached an agreement on a package of COVID-19 relief actions that included direct financial aid to some Californians. (February 17) 
  • Governor Newsom signed legislation to extend the state’s landmark eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. (January 29 
  • Governor Newsom announced plans to create a $600 stimulus program to low-income Californians. (January 6) 
  • Governor Newsom issued an executive order addressing a variety of issues in response to the pandemic, including extending the availability of housing for migrant agricultural workers, providing a 90-day extension on tax returns and tax payments for small businesses and updating Cal/OSHA requirements related to quarantine guidelines. (December 15) 
  • Governor Newsom issued the state’s first-ever Social Innovation Impact Report highlighting innovative public-private-partnerships that have contributed $3.9 billion toward the state’s housing efforts, COVID-19 response and more. As part of the state’s leading-edge social innovation work, California engaged 196 corporate and philanthropic partners and 748 community-based organizations, benefitting each of the state’s 58 counties. (November 24) 
  • California relaxed the burden of proof to receive workers’ compensation benefits for some employees who contract COVID-19 on the job. (September 17) 
  • Governor Newsom signed three bills into law to support small businesses grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and another to jumpstart state construction projects. (September 9) 
  • Governor Newsom announced an $81.8 million grant to support isolation and quarantine in communities that have been hit hardest by COVID-19. (August 10) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Newsom issued an executive order extending the validity of otherwise expired medical cannabis cards. (January 21) 
  • Governor Newsom issued an executive order addressing a variety of issues related to the pandemic, including providing a 90-day extension on tax returns and tax payments for small businesses, and updating Cal/OSHA requirements related to quarantine guidelines. (December 15) 
  • Governor Newsom announced the opening of the California Rebuilding Fund to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis. (November 20) 
  • Governor Newsom announced he would pull the emergency brake and implement the states most restrictive safety measures across most counties ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. (November 16) 
  • Governor Newsom extended the commercial eviction moratorium through March 2021. (September 25) 
  • Governor Newsom signed an executive order extending consumer protections against price gouging through March 4, 2021. (September 3) 
  • Governor Newsom announced the launch of “California for All Small Business Month, during which the state will partner with companies to highlight small businesses Californians can support during the pandemic. (July 8) 
  • Governor Newsom announced a one-year sales tax reprieve for small businesses. (April 2) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopenings:

  • Governor Newsom announced that the Biden administration approved the state’s request to utilize Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) funding to provide voluntary COVID-19 testing for low-income students covered by the program. (March 3) 
  • Governor Newsoms office on issued revised guidelines for indoor church services, allowing 25 percent capacity. (February 7) 
  • Governor Newsom and the Biden-Harris administration announced a pilot project to establish community vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles. (February 3) 
  • Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to bolster the state’s efforts to vaccinate as many Californians as possible as quickly as possible. (January 27 
  • New vaccine scheduling and data system My Turn will launch early next month to streamline vaccination information for Californians and data reporting for providers(January 25 
  • In an effort to ramp a slower-than-expected vaccine rollout, California will allow everyone 65 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (January 13) 
  • The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed its review of the federal process and concluded that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious for use in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. (December 20) 
  • Governor Newsom will go into quarantine again for 10 days after being exposed to a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. (December 20) 
  • Governor Newsom launched “Vaccinate All 58,” California’s campaign for a safe, fair, and equitable vaccine for all 58 counties in the state. (December 14) 
  • Governor Newsom issued a regional stay at home order to take effect on Saturday that will affect regions with less than 15 percent ICU availability. (December 3) 
  • Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a limited Stay at Home Order requiring generally that non-essential work, movement, and gatherings stop between 10PM and 5AM in counties in the purple tier. (November 19) 
  • Governor Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued travel advisories today urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. (November 13) 
  • Governor Newsom issued an executive order addressing a variety of issues in response to the pandemic, including a process that would allow businesses located along state highways to expand their outdoor dining options onto sidewalks and parking areas, drivers’ license renewal by mail, and the extension of provisions related to deadlines for the payment of real estate license applications. (October 28) 
  • Governor Newsom named a group of California physician-scientists with expertise in immunization to the state’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to review a COVID-19 vaccine. (October 19) 
  • The California Department of Health announced that outdoor private gatherings are permitted as long as attendees originate from three or fewer households. (October 10) 
  • Governor Newsom signed an executive order to assist election officials as they prepare for the upcoming election amid the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires across the state. The order extends the deadline for county elections officials to count and verify signatures submitted for initiative petitions seeking to qualify for the November 2022 ballot, giving the elections officials needed flexibility to focus on preparations for the General Election this November. (August 26) 
  • Governor Newsom has permitted haircuts and salon services to resume outdoors. (July 20) 
  • Governor Newsom rolled back California’s reopening, announcing that places of worship, hair salons, restaurants, wineries, and other businesses must immediately close their indoor operations. (July 13) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Newsom announced that the Biden administration approved the state’s request to utilize Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) funding to provide voluntary COVID-19 testing for low-income students covered by the program. (March 3) 
  • Governor 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. (March 1) 
  • Governor Newsom announced the launch of the Safe Schools for All Plan’s interactive Safe Schools Reopening Map, an online tool that provides a statewide snapshot of the status of school reopenings across California. (February 12) 
  • Governor Newsom outlined a framework to continue and expand safe in-person instruction, including a $2 billion early action proposal to support school safety measures. (December 30) 
  • Football, volleyball and other popular high school sports will remain on hold until at least Jan. 25 as cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in the state, according to new guidance released by the California Department of Public Health. (December 14) 
  • The California Department of Public Health released guidance on youth sports and detailed the process for elementary schools to request a waiver to resume in-person instruction in counties on the state monitoring list. (August 3) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of California colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com