Coronavirus California: Governor Gavin Newsom announces $52M investment to help Central Valley amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced during a press conference Monday a $52 million investment that will be funneled into eight central California counties as the state sees a surge in coronavirus cases.

Newsom once again discussed the importance of protecting essential workers in California from COVID-19 while maintaining the structural integrity of an economy that disproportionately relies on the essential workers.

The governor added that certain regions and sectors of the state’s economy are disproportionately impacted by the transmission of the virus, including eight Central Valley counties where there are an increase of infections with positivity rates on the low end of 10.7% and on the high end 17.7% positivity.

RELATED: Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new protections for essential workers

The investment will be used to improve isolation protocols, testing protocols and to enhance healthcare workers by providing more support as well as more personnel. That is been provided as part of a $499 million CDC grant the state received.

“These dollars we think are timely, these dollars certainly are critical and important and they will build off local infrastructure that’s already in place,” Newsom said.

Newsom referenced the work being done in Imperial County to address community spread that flared up there. The state was able to male improvements in terms of transmission and spread by deploying strike teams.

WATCH LIST: Coronavirus watch list: 36 California counties where COVID-19 is getting worse

He announced strike teams will now also be deployed in these eight Central Valley counties in order to support the essential workforce.

This announcement comes after Newsom said Friday that additional protections would be given for essential workers in California amid the ongoing pandemic. Newsom acknowledged that some of the COVID-19 case surges in California have stemmed from essential businesses and disproportionately affect minority groups who make up a majority of those workforces.

Newsom’s update comes as California lawmakers return to Sacramento for the next five weeks. They’ll discuss issues such as unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions.

Over the past several weeks, the governor has been announcing new restrictions on the state’s reopening in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. California saw a record-breaking number of new cases last week.

RELATED: California sees record-breaking number of new cases, Gov. Newsom announces

Newsom has also been giving updates as new counties are added to the state’s watch list, which now stands at 36 of California’s 58 counties.

In order to get off the list counties must be within their designated threshold for all metrics for three days.

The governor also reminded Californians of the three critical steps to take to make a difference: wear a mask, physically distance and wash your hands.

California’s hospitalizations and ICU admissions were up over the last 14 days, but Newsom said both had a “modest decline” in growth rate compared to several weeks ago.

Newsom’s update comes as California lawmakers return to Sacramento for the next five weeks. They’ll discuss issues such as unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions.

RELATED: Health secretary explains when California will use ‘dimmer switch’ to close more businesses

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC7.com/coronavirus

KGO-TV and KFSN-TV contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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