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Newsom Says California Is Testing 10K A Day. Hospital Ship Now In LA Is Part Of Expanded Capacity

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom welcomed the Navy hospital ship Mercy at the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, shortly after announcing a statewide moratorium on evictions for renters, effective through May 31.

The event took place even as reports of positive COVID-19 cases continued to accelerate in volume. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who joined the governor at the event, reiterated his warning that L.A. is on track to be where New York City is when it comes to treating coronavirus patients within 5 to 11 days.

Other key takeaways:

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  • Newsom said 88,400 coronavirus tests have taken place in California so far
  • More than 10,000 tests are now being conducted per day.
  • Results may arrive 6-8 days later.
  • Newsom said, the state is working on lowering the amount of time it takes to process those results.

HOSPITALS AND STAFFING

The arrival of Mercy in L.A. immediately adds one-third more hospital beds to the current capacity in the city. Garcetti said once the ship is at its full capacity, it will add two-thirds more hospital beds to the city. The goal of sending the Mercy to the port here is to decompress the hospital system and to make room for a surge of coronavirus patients in the city's hospitals.

Here's where it stands statewide:

Newsom has said we need 50,000 additional hospital beds to handle the crisis. Plans call for 30,000 of those to come through the existing system while 20,000 are being procured by the state, including beds on the Mercy.

The state also is looking to tap more potential staff to deal with the expected surge in COVID-19 patients. Among options being considered: third- and fourth-year medical students. More than 2,000 trained medical professionals have offered their expertise in L.A. through an online portal, Garcetti said.

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CLOSURES

Garcetti said that they are working to get businesses that aren't supposed to be open to voluntarily close, but that they are ready to enforce closures as needed. Newsom said that the National Guard will be helping at the state level to encourage compliance with state park closures, equipped with flyers rather than giving citations.