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Gov. Newsom: Coronavirus Killed More Californians Yesterday Than Any Day Before; Ban On Garnishing Coronavirus Relief

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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a 90-day student loan payment reprieve, a ban on garnishing coronavirus relief funds, and more in his daily coronavirus press conference. Read the highlights below, or watch the press conference above.

LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS

Wednesday set another record for deaths in California, with 115 people dying from coronavirus yesterday, Newsom said — an 8.5% increase in the number of deaths. There was also a 5.6% increase in the number of people who tested positive for coronavirus. Newsom said there is some good news: numbers are down for coronavirus hospitalizations, those in ICUs, and people under investigation for coronavirus. Hospitalizations are down 0.4%, while the number of those in ICUs is down 1.2%.

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Newsom cautioned that, with the warm weather this weekend, it's expected that people are going to want to enjoy the outdoors. He emphasized the need to practice social distancing if doing so, as he doesn't want it to lead to those numbers going back up. He noted that he needs to see "green lights" in the six areas of metrics that the state previously announced in order to loosen stay-at-home restrictions.

NO GARNISHING CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUNDS BY DEBT COLLECTORS

Newsom announced that he'd signed an executive order keeping debt collectors from garnishing money received through the CARES Act. It's also retroactive, meaning debt collectors have to return the money if they've already garnished those checks. Exceptions: Money can still be collected from those who owe child support, as well as from those who owe restitution to victims, Newsom said.

90,000 TESTINGS SWABS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

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While the president previously promised California 100,000 testing swabs, Newsom announced that 90,000 were coming today and will start to be distributed Friday. The federal government will be making up for that 10,000-swab difference in next week's shipment, Newsom said.

A total of 482,000 tests have been conducted across California so far, Newsom said, on the way to the goal of 25,000 tests per day by the end of the month.

90-DAY STUDENT LOAN REPRIEVE

The governor announced that 21 out of the 24 largest student loan providers in the state of California have agreed to a 90-day reprieve. This includes no late fees or fines for those not making payments right now, including no impact on their credit rating, along with support for setting up new payment plans for future processing.

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS

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The state has paid out almost $4 billion in unemployment funds during the coronavirus crisis, Newsom said. He noted that call centers still need to be improved as people try to register. So far, 3.3 million Californians have registered for unemployment during the pandemic.

CALIFORNIA'S SHARE OF FEDERAL DISASTER FUNDING

The state received 9.6% of federal funding in the last round of Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government, Newsom said, adding that it was less than what the state should have received. He expressed hope the state will do better in the new round of funding that Congress just approved. California has outperformed in Small Business Administration loans, Newsom said — it's received 14.7% of the funding from the SBA economic injury account and 26.8% of the SBA's disaster assistance.

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