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Gov. Newsom Defends Lending Ventilators To Other States; Californians With Coronavirus In ICUs Down 1.9%

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Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his daily update on California's response to coronavirus. You can watch the video above and/or read updates below.

LOANING OUT VENTILATORS

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A month ago the state had 7,587 ventilators identified in the state's resources, Newsom said. Now that number is up to 11,747, he said.

He called lending ventilators to other states "the right thing to do" and the "responsible thing to do."

I think some people have expressed some concern about California’s willingness to extend a hand to New Jersey, New York, Illinois, DC, to Maryland, to Nevada, and to other states ... We thought it was the right thing to do. But I also want you to know it was the responsible thing to do, as American citizens, from a moral and an ethical imperative to save lives.

Currently, 31.89% of California's ventilators are being used within the hospital system, not including other ventilators in the state's storage facilities and ventilators that have been sent out in recent months.

He contrasted this use with that of personal protective equipment like most masks, which can't be reused — the other states have committed to returning those ventilators when they are no longer needed in their states.

It's possible to support other states because California has been both bending and stretching out its curve, Newsom said.

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CALIFORNIANS IN ICU DOWN

According to Newsom:

- 18,309 Californians have so far have tested positive for coronavirus

- 492 have died — 50 of those deaths in the last 24 hours

- 1,132 people with coronavirus are in ICUs

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- 2,825 people are in in hospitals

While the number hospitalized has risen 4.1%, the ICU number is a 1.9% drop, Newsom said — the first drop in the number of those in ICUs since the crisis began, though Newsom noted that it's just one data point.

HELP FOR HEALTH CARE AND NURSING HOME WORKERS

Vouchers and stipends are being extended to nursing home caretakers, Newsom said, with rooms at 150 hotels. This will allow them to stay closer to their patients and to avoid exposing their families, Newsom said, and reimbursements will be 100% for some low-wage workers. You can see the list of participating hotels at CalTravelStore.com. FEMA is helping to fund this program.

United Airlines, Southwest, Alaska, and Delta have offered free round-trip travel around the world for those participating in California's health care worker surge, Newsom said. So far, 86,516 people have signed up to be considered online.

MORE CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

The state still has a backlog of 13,900 tests, but the state was at 59,500 at its peak, Newsom said. There has been progress when it comes to antibody tests, which will help make determinations when it comes to community spread and immunity, Newsom said.

Discussions with both state and national legislators about relief for both renters and property owners are ongoing, Newsom said.

Newsom said that, despite concerns, the state's fishing season is not being canceled, but delayed. The reason is that some fishing areas were concerned they didn't have the hospital infrastructure to deal with an influx of people coming to fish during this pandemic.

The governor also encouraged people in abusive situations (or who know someone in an abusive situation) to reach out using the state's resources at COVID19.ca.gov. Other resources for help are also available on the website.