We are all concerned with the reports of the spread of COVID-19, also commonly referred to as coronavirus. I have been working with my colleagues and Governor Newsom to ensure appropriate and safe preparations to keep Californians safe.
On March 4, Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency to address the global COVID-19 outbreak and making additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19. The governor's proclamation comes as the number of positive California cases rises and following one official COVID-19 death in the state.
As the governor noted, the proclamation builds on work already underway by the California Department of Public Health, California Health and Human Services Agency, Governor's Office of Emergency Services and other agencies which have been on the front lines of the state's response to COVID-19 since January.
The emergency proclamation includes provisions that protect consumers against price gouging, allow for health care workers to come from out of state to assist at health care facilities, and give health care facilities the flexibility to plan and adapt to accommodate incoming patients.
The governor also announced the release of millions of N95 masks to address shortages caused by COVID-19. This follows the announcement earlier this week that the state has secured the capacity to test thousands of specimens from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expedite testing.
As your Assemblymember, I am working closely with the governor, local health authorities, school districts and other entities to ensure that we are responding together to prevent and address risks associated with coronavirus.
Currently, the advice of public health officials to prevent the spread of coronavirus is similar to preparing for other viruses, like the common flu:
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available). Discard tissue and wash your hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home and do not come to work if you are sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
Taking safety precautions can make a big difference to protect your family and community.