California Prepares for Worst-Case Scenarios as Coronavirus Spreads

Rich Pedroncello / AP Images

“This is a moment in time and it’s a challenging moment and it may be many moments in the foreseeable future…we will triumph over fear, anxiety and this disease.”

-Governor Gavin Newsom

With the coronavirus spreading at an alarming rate, California is preparing to deal with worst-case scenarios that could overwhelm hospitals and drain the state’s spending reserves.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state is negotiating with over 900 hotels to acquire tens of thousands of rooms that could be used for hospital patients and for the homeless. Currently, California has roughly 88,000 hospital beds to use if necessary.

In addition, Newsom said that he is putting the California National Guard on alert for duties such as ensuring food distribution.

Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, the “shelter in place” order will no longer remain in only six counties; many more counties will adopt similar strategies shortly. Newsom reiterated that, “If you are 65 or older, you should “shelter in place” regardless of where you live in the state of California.”

Many school districts have closed classrooms and the governor says it’s likely, “few if any” schools will reopen before summer break.

Since there is a lot of confusion around availability for coronavirus tests, Gavin Newsom explained, “I’lll remind people testing kits are like printers you purchased, but you don’t have the ink and if you don’t have the ink the printer doesn’t mean much. We have a lot of tests but we can’t use the tests because we don’t have the RNA extraction kits, we don’t have these reagents, these other components.”

The state is actively working to gain more components necessary to use the tests. Once more tests are available, the state is hoping to slow the spread of COVID-19. Newsom also aimed to remind people, “This moment will pass…we will get back to the life that we will have lived”.

Gavin Newsom’s full announcement from yesterday, March 17th, is linked below.


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