Coronavirus Update: California Suffers Deadliest Day Yet; Gov. Newsom Offers Debt Relief
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday confirmed that California had suffered the most deadly day of the COVID-19 emergency yet, while also announcing two new measures that would provide some debt relief for Californians hit hard financially by the pandemic.
SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday confirmed that California had suffered the most deadly day of the COVID-19 emergency yet, while also announcing two new measures that would provide some debt relief for Californians hit hard financially by the pandemic.
Thursday afternoon, Newsom made the somber announcement that Wednesday had marked the deadliest day for COVID-19 patients in California so far. There were 115 additional deaths confirmed, most of any single day.
The new deaths were an 8.5 percent increase from the day before.
On the positive side, Newsom said that for the first time both hospitalization and ICU cases were down, with hospitalizations dropping 4.4 percent and ICU cases dropping 1.2 percent.
The Governor opened Thursday’s COVID-19 response briefing by focusing on debt and financial support being offered in stimulus payments. Newsom said that 21 companies that service student loans will be granting 90-day grace period on payments. The agreement with those companies will provide 1.1 million Californians with student loan debt a break from those obligations.
Newsom also said he signed an executive order that bars debt collectors from garnishing funds stimulus payments. The order will also be retroactive, forcing debt collectors to return any money that had been garnished from previous stimulus payments.
However, Newsom noted that the executive order would not protect those who owe child care or spousal support.
Newsom also confirmed that 16 doctors were leaving the state to provide care in New York, where the coronavirus continues to be centered. He gave kudos to UCSF, saluting the school for sending 20 doctors and nurses to New York to offer help earlier this month.
“One of the great benefits of these doctors going out on the front lines in New York is what they will bring back, which is a deep understanding and knowledge of what’s happening in the most acute point of the crisis in this country, and bring that to bear here in the state of California,” Newsom said.
The Governor thanked the state’s residents who had joined the Californians For All initiative announced earlier this week. A total of 22,000 people signed up on the website in the first day it launched.
Touching briefly on the planned increase in testing that had been a focus of Wednesday’s update, Newsom referred to a conversation with President Trump and confirmed that 90,000 promised testing swabs were coming to California to be distributed Friday with an additional 10,000 swabs still expected. The swabs are needed to administer one of the types of coronavirus tests.
Newsom also warned the state’s residents that, with weather forecasts indicating another warm and sunny weekend, now was not the time to rebel against the stay-at-home order. He said social distancing and physical distancing are necessary for the state’s continued success beating the virus.
“As this disease continues to spread, we must continue to spread vigilance,” Newsom said.