Newsom: Thousands of health care workers respond to call for help; hotline launched for senior services

California Connection

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (KTXL) — Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday the novel coronavirus has now hospitalized 1,617 people in California, with 657 of them in intensive care units.

Health officials suspect thousands more currently hospitalized could also have the virus as the state awaits the results of 57,400 tests.

Newsom’s administration anticipates hospitals will surge by mid-May.

During his daily news briefing, Newsom said he was stunned that 25,000 former, future and part-time health care workers signed up to join the state’s health corps in its first day.

“A remarkable, remarkable spirit and a remarkable number of individuals that stepped up and are willing to step in to meet COVID-19 head on,” he said.

Newsom also acknowledged another group working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — grocery store workers. The governor says he’s working with grocers and unions on getting them more protections.

“We haven’t done as much as we need to do for them to provide them the kind of breaks they need to wash their hands, to provide them the kind of support they need to get protective gear and to make sure that they’re safe and healthy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the statewide stay-at-home order has pushed 1.6 million residents to file for unemployment as of Tuesday while millions of kids in California remain out of school.

Governor Newsom says a decision is coming soon on education and if students will return for the academic year.

“In my belief, they will not. But let me announce formally what the superintendent of public education believes and the superintendents believe and expect that announcement in the next day or two,” he said.

In an effort to help elderly Californians vulnerable to the emotional toll isolation can bring, Newsom called on citizens to make five calls a day to check on seniors. The governor also announced a hotline for older people seeking services at 1-833-544-2374.

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