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Open By Easter? Gov. Newsom Says More Like 8 To 12 Weeks

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Gov. Gavin Newsom tonight laid out a long course ahead for recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which is still on the rise in California. The state has been under "Safer at Home" orders since last Thursday.

Here are some takeaways:

ON REOPENING THE STATE

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  • Speaking a few hours after President Donald Trump appeared to waffle on his desire to be "open by Easter," Newsom called that timeline "sooner than any of the experts that I talked to would believe is possible."
  • "The next six to eight weeks will be pivotal," he said, going on to add "soberly we look out over the course the next eight to 12 weeks, and I think we could continue to do what we've done. We do that, hopefully, then we'll be in a very different place than we are today."

PRISONS

  • Newsom said he'd issued an order changing how prisoner intake is handled in the state, in response to concerns about COVID-19 transmission.
  • He also changed protocol on parole hearings to shift from in-person to video conferences.

COVID-19 AND YOUNGER PEOPLE

  • Newsom gave some details about the death of a person in L.A. County who was described earlier only as being under 18. [Note: L.A. County officials now say this death will need further investigation by federal health officials. In a statement they called it a "complex case" that may have "an alternative explanation."
"We had the tragic loss of a young life, a teenager in Lancaster, California, which underscores the enormity of the challenge in front of us this health crisis, and how it can impact. anybody and everybody."

  • He stressed that young people "can and will" be affected by COVID-19, with 50% of those testing positive so far being between 18 to 49 years old.

TESTS AND VENTILATORS

  • Newsom said tomorrow they will release new numbers showing "a significant jump" in the number of tests conducted in the state, but said challenges remain in turnaround time.
  • He praised Elon Musk for making good on his promise to deliver 1,000 ventilators and said another 1,010 ventilators had come from the private sector.
  • They're also working to refurbish another 514 ventilators.
  • He said the federal government had provided no ventilators to the state directly from the National Stockpile. Los Angeles County, he said, did receive 170, the total from that source for the whole state.

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

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