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Newsom Lays Out Rapid Expansion Of Hospital Beds And Housing For Homeless

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Gov. Gavin Newsom is outlining more than $42 million in emergency funding "to expand California’s health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to support California’s response to COVID-19."

In his remarks, he diverged from the message from the Trump Administration about the value of broader testing and he also stressed the need for federal assistance getting medical supplies, something President Trump pushed back on earlier today.

Some key takeaways:

  • About 1,000 hospital beds are coming on line by procuring space in recently closed hospitals. The state is spending $30 million to lease and operate:
    • Seton Medical Center in Daly City.
    • St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles (490 rooms).
    • That follows an agreement to reopen Community Hospital in Long Beach, which has a 158-bed capacity and was scheduled to start accepting transfer patients today.
  • California will have a 2,000-bed capacity in field hospitals.
  • 2,400 hotel rooms have been secured to get homeless people under permanent roofs.
  • The goal is now 51,000 hotel rooms to "begin to get people off the streets, the sidewalks."
  • Apple's Tim Cook will provide 1 million masks for health care providers in California. SpaceX/Tesla's Elon Musk will provide 250,000 masks and 1,000 ventilators.
  • 114,000 people applied for unemployment benefits yesterday (and 135,000 two days ago). That compares to 45,742 people in January.
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In an earlier news release, Newsom's office said they'd made substantial requests for medical supplies from the national stockpile and had begun to receive some shipments. At the White House briefing earlier, President Trump and the FEMA director both said local and state officials should seek supplies on the open market.

Newsom also had a harsh message to young people in California who are not heeding social distancing advice, saying if they are still out partying it is "time to grow up."
About an hour before he started speaking, Newsom tweeted about what people are, and are not, allowed to do under the new orders (which have caused confusion).


We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

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