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News Update

Governor says states will decide when to reopen, not the president, announces new sick leave benefit, hints at flattening of curve

As Califorinia is beginning to see a flattening of the number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus, Gov. Newsom said President Trump has assured him and other governors that states will be able to decide for themselves when to lift stay at home orders based on their individual circumstances. During his daily news briefing on Thursday, Newsom said he had just gotten off a call with the president, who told him he intends to make a nationwide announcement later this afternoon about how and when businesses will begin to reopen throughout the country.

Stressing that the state needs to flatten the curve before we can “get back to normalcy,” Newsom said a decline of 0.9% in the number of hospitalizations over 24 hours to 3,141 people showed that the state is beginning to do that. However, he noted that the total number of people in intensive care units grew over the last 24 hours by 1.4% to 1,191 people. The state has seen 890 deaths from the virus, with 69 passing away in the past 24 hours, one of the highest numbers so far.

“We’re not out out the woods,” he said, adding that the state needs to get more certainty of trends over a longer period of time before it can make any decisions about loosening restrictions.

Newsom also announced that he signed an executive order that will provide two weeks of supplemental sick leave to workers in the food distribution chain – from those picking produce on farms to those delivering food to stores and those ringing up customers – to ensure that they will be able to take time off if they have been exposed to the coronavirus, need to quarantine, or have tested positive. On Friday, Newsom said he expects to discuss economic development.