Tom Butt
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  COVID-19 Update - March 19
March 20, 2020

From League of California Cities:

East Bay Mayors, Council Members & City Management:

There was significant technical difficulty with the 8:30p call this evening, and we completely appreciate and understand your frustration. No notes were captured from the call, but we are working on other avenues for communications with pertinent Administration people in the very near future to help get more clarity on information. We appreciate your patience with the many moving pieces happening quickly. 

Additionally, we ask that you start sending any concerns / questions you may have to rather than the CalOES email provided before. Based on the questions already sent, many of the questions are similar in nature.  We want to make the best use of CalOES’ resources in being responsive to your concerns by consolidating the concerns.  We are checking this email consistently throughout the day and getting information compiled for CalOES to get answers to your concerns.  I also encourage you to work with your local health officials, city manager and city attorney as well since it may take a little time to get clarity from CalOES on items.

Attached are notes from today’s press conference and CalOES 4pm briefing call along with guidance about the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. 

Governor Actions Today:

·       Tonight, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19. To read the executive order, learn more about it and to see the Governor’s address from earlier this evening, click here.
·       Governor Newsom Requests President Trump Deploy USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to Port of Los Angeles
·       Governor Newsom Requests Federal Assistance to Support California’s Efforts to Prepare for COVID-19 Surge

Federal Actions Today (Courtesy of NLC):

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the third recovery spending bill today, a bill which is expected to cost in excess of $1 trillion.
Leader McConnell laid out four “pillars” of what he wanted in his recovery plan.

  • Direct payments to Americans “from the middle class on down”;
  • Relief for small businesses to help with the cash crunch that many face;
  • Aid to entire sectors of the economy, such as the airline sector, which is being crushed due to a lack of demand;
  • Funds for hospitals and health care centers that are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically asking for access to greater supplies such as respirators.

While McConnell works to whip his Conference, resistance from some GOP senators is emerging. Some contend it is better to increase support to the unemployment system rather than send checks to individuals and families.

Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the most outspoken members in this cause, said: "direct payments make sense when the economy is beginning to restart. It makes no sense now cause it's just money. What I want is income, just not one check. I want you to get a check every week, not just one week."

Meantime on the Democratic side of the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is advocating for greater worker protections, investment in health care, “unemployment insurance on steroids,” and more paid sick leave.

On the House side, Republican Whip Steve Scalise on a conference call with the GOP House members began whipping the third stimulus, urging his members to get in line, according to reporting by Politico.

With more and more lawmakers testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, the House today begin examining the question of whether or not they could do remote voting. The House is in recess this week, with members in their home districts. The prospect of voting remotely seems unlikely, however.

Still, one way to proceed without bringing members back is to try to pass a third stimulus bill by unanimous consent and later allow amendments to the record to allow members to enter how they would have voted if they were present. But, if any lawmaker objects to the unanimous consent request or calls for a quorum, 216 members of the House—a majority—would need to be called back to take a vote.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he will not bring members back, if needed, until there is a third stimulus bill to vote on.  

NLC continues to monitor all the changes on Capitol Hill and will keep you updated as things break.

Today, NLC sent letters to Congressional leaders as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about an issue in HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill imposes substantial new sick leave and family medical leave requirements on government employers of all sizes. However, tax credits that are provided to most employers to reimburse them for this new mandate will not be available to local government employers. NLC is taking action. We are fighting hard to try to get this amended in the third stimulus bill. NLC, NACO and GFOA all sent member alerts as well.

The Department of Homeland Security released a statement from Christopher Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), regarding the Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19.

This afternoon, NLC joined the White House for a conference call with the following organizations.
·       Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
·       International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
·       International City/ County Management Association (ICMAB)
·       National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG)
·       National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
·       National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
·       National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)
·       National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA)
·       The Council of State Governments (CSG)
·       American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
·       National Association of Counties (NACo)
·       National Association of County Engineers (NACE)
·       National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS)
·       National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
·       National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
·       National Emergency Management Association (NEMA)
·       National Governors Association (NGA)
·       National League of Cities (NLC)
·       The United States Conference of Mayors
·       USET Sovereignty Protection Fund

The calls are expected to take place weekly and are meant to allow for sharing response efforts and coordination between WH and key stakeholders. NLC was able to raise the issue regarding the Census (ensuring accurate count), HIPPA waivers for emergency responders and exemptions for tax credits.  

The key message that the WH drove home today was that “organizations need to reinforce with our members that the response and recovery process is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported. Every state has setup their emergency operations which is working in close coordination with FEMA and HHS regional offices. This is all to say that the structures are in place - we just need to make sure local elected officials know to coordinate through their local emergency manager up through the state emergency management agency. This includes for PPE, tests, funding, etc.”

Elsewhere, governors from around the country met with President Donald Trump this afternoon and presented him with a list of five asks.

  • Direct half the funding to the states, as well as for the White House to provide quick actions on waiver requests regarding how states can spend the money;
  • Increase access to personal protective equipment such as masks and testing kits and provide access to more lifesaving equipment such as ventilators;
  • Support title 32, which allows governors to call out national guardsmen with approval of the president;
  • Clarity around the Defense Production Act to know what the Administration is prioritizing;
  • Provide greater time for the senses to be completed and for REAL ID implementation to go into place. Yesterday, the Census Bureau said it would delay field operations until April 1, 2020.

Effects of restaurant and bar closures and other businesses struggling to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak is starting to show in the jobless numbers. According to The Associated Press jobless claims jumped by 70,000 last week.
Check out for the latest information you need on the COVID-19 crisis. 

Notes from Governor’s Address to Californians – March 19, 2020, 6:30pm
** Information transcribed and truncated for audience;
notes may not fully capture all information provided **

Governor Gavin Newsom:

  • Need to bend the curve in California and flatten the curve;
  • The situation requires us to adjust all our activities;
  • 21.3 million residents in 20 counties already have a "stay at home" order;
  • Effective this evening, Governor is issuing a statewide order to have people stay at home;
    • This is similar to the orders already in effect in those 20 counties;
    • People can still go about doing the essential work they need to do;
    • For example:
      • Can still go to the store;
      • Go to the pharmacy;
      • Go for a walk.
  • How will the state enforce this:
    • Social contract with residents;
    • Doesn't think that people need to be told to stay at home by law enforcement. They will do it on their own.
  • Why should the Governor issue this order?
    • Been planning for over a decade for pandemics;
    • Now taking those plans into effect;
    • The spread is continuing to increase according to some models;
    • 30-70% of the general population could contract this disease;
    • Looking at around 56% attack rate;
      • This is according to current modeling now.
    • Most will not have serious symptoms, but some will have serious symptoms and could die.
  • Hospitalization rate:
    • Looking at the “R-Not rate;”
    • 20% hospitalization rate above current capacity;
      • Roughly 19,543 people would need to hospitalized above our existing capacity in the state;
    • 78,000 beds is our current bed capacity;
    • Have 10,207 surge capacity beds;
    • There is a gap of 10,000 beds;
    • If we change our behaviors, we can reduce the need to surge and to coble those assets together;
    • Just secured a large hospital in northern California;
    • Tomorrow will announce a hospital procured in southern California;
      • Approximately 750 beds between the two hospitals.
  • Procuring hotels and motels up and down the state for added capacity;
  • Working with CSU and UC on modeling, testing, and developing a vaccine;
    • Also looking at dormitories to house patients.
  • Had a call with President Trump and Vice President Pence on mobile medical and field units;
    • Feds are pledging to help all the states respond.
  • California has the capacity to handle this outbreak if Californians meet this moment and change our behavior;
  • This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time;
  • Working to get more protective gear here in California;
  • California got its first national stockpile transfer today;
  • Hundreds of thousands of masks and gloves;
  • California stills has 10 million stockpiled n95 masks and will continue to get those out into the community;
  • Repurposing some manufacturing in the state;
  • Launched a new “one-stop-shop” website for information on COVID-19 called;
  • Want to reiterate some points on the directive:
    • Will keep the groceries stores open;
    • Will keep the pharmacies open; and
    • Can still walk dogs, pick up food, go to the hospital.
  • Need more volunteers;
  • Need to help our food banks;
  • National Guard is helping with humanitarian efforts only;
  • Working on developing a kit to have folks check in with friends and loved ones to make sure people aren't lonely;
  • Need blood donations; and
  • Based on our models and trend lines - they do not have a firm deadline. Expects it to be for the next 8 weeks. 

Coronavirus Briefing by the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
and Department of Public Health (CDPH) for Local Elected Officials

Thursday, March 19 at 4:00pm
Call Overview:

CalOES and CDPH held a call for local elected officials to give brief updates and take questions.

Dr. Gilberto Chavez, CDPH

  • The best way for Californian's to stay healthy is through common sense measures;
  • The state has a new COVID-19 "one stop shop" website;
  • Current Statistics for Covid-19 in California:
    • 675 lab confirmed cases in California;
      • 651 cases not related to repatriation flights;
        • 97 – travel-related;
        • 92 – person to person;
        • 181 community transmission; and
        • 281 – under investigation.
    • 16 deaths reported in California.
  • Ages of all confirmed positive cases:
    • Age 0-17: 13 cases
    • Age 18-64: 448 cases
    • Age 65+: 209 cases
    • Unknown: 5 cases
  • Statewide Testing:
    • 16,000 individuals have been tested so far;
      • 6,000+ results have come back and 10,000 are outstanding;
      • 22 public and state labs have received tests and are testing; and
      • Capacity has increased significantly in recent days.
  • California is no longer collecting statistics on travelers who have come into the state and are self-isolating.

Eric Lamoureux, (Acting) Deputy Director, Cal OES Response Operations

  • State operations center is activated at its highest level;
  • Requesting a number of resources from the federal government - equipment and response resources;
    • Include deployment of USS Mercy naval medical ship to the port of Los Angeles;
    • Two requests for resources from the US strategic stockpile; and
    • Additional FEMA resources.
  • Working with federal government on the 3 alternative care sites for passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship;
  • Looking to identify what California’s critical resources and infrastructure are; and
  • Federal government has invoked the Defense Production Act to direct manufacturing in the country to manufacture medical supplies.

CalOES Chief Legal Counsel

  • Brown Act and Bagley Keene Act:
    • Governor announced some relaxation of those acts; and
    • Governor issued an additional executive order that supersedes the old executive order and removes the requirement to have a public meeting available.

Casey Deshawn - FEMA Region 9

  • Working with the White House Coronavirus Task Force;
  • Working with their partners at Department of Defense to find beds to supplement hospitals;
  • FEMA has given the California disaster trailers to help with the homeless;
  • Is there a need for local government proclamations for FEMA assistance?
    • The President's national wide emergency declaration, includes all states and local governments. Everyone is now eligible for FEMA assistance;
    • Cities and counties do not need to issue emergency declarations for FEMA assistance; and
    • Still recommend cities and counties issue whatever declarations they need to do for their communities.

Yolanda Stokes, Office of Disaster Assistance, Small Business Administration (SBA)

  • President Trump and Governor Newsom have issued a federal disaster declaration for the entire state. Individual counties do not need to make individual declarations for receiving SBA loans;
  • Updated press release is coming soon on this;

Brian Ferguson Public Information Officer, Cal OES

  • Many cities and counties are saying "shelter in place". It has a specific meaning in emergency management;
    • Want to move to “home isolation” or “extreme social distancing” or “stay at home.”
  • They want folks who are workers in the supply chain, they want them to go to work but then follow these guidelines when they are off work.

Questions and Answers

  • How can counties request aid from the National Guard for humanitarian purposes?

A process is being developed now.

  • Progress on statewide hot line to help alleviate calls going to county public health departments?

Will have updates on this soon.

  • Shelter in place orders - is state/administration contemplating this?
    • “Shelter In Place” has a certain definition in emergency management, and its different from what is happening right now;
    • Advising people to not use the term "shelter in place," as it is too dramatic and does not reflect what is going on;
    • Administration is also not considering preventing travel from California to other states; and
    • Cal OES is actively trying to combat false information on the internet. Let them know when you see or hear false information and they will address it.
  • How can counties communicate and share their outbreak modeling data with the state?

No process for this at the moment, but will get back with more information. Cal OES is projecting that on average counties will need to prepare for 35% above hospital capacity.

  • What efforts is the state doing to procure more swabs for testing kits? In Sonoma County they have kits but no swabs.

Looking at what they can do on the federal level and looking to partner with the private sector.

California: State of Preparedness
New information in blue.
Control + click on the item in table of contents for easy navigation to sought after information.
COVID-19 at a Glance
Grand Princess Cruise Ship
Actions Taken by the State and Federal Government
·        March 19
·        March 18
·        March 17
·        March 16,
·        March 15
·        March 14
·        March 13
·        March 12
·        March 11
·        March 10
·        March 9
·        March 8
·        March 7
California is Prepared:
How Can People Protect Themselves:
About the Disease:
About the Tests
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Q&A.. 15
Other Resources and Press Releases

COVID-19 at a Glance

  • As of the morning March 19, 2020 there were a total of 675 positive cases in California. 24 cases are from repatriation flights, and the other 651 confirmed cases include:
    • 97- travel related.
    • 92 - person-to-person.
    • 181- community transmissions.
    • 281- currently under investigation.
    • 16 - deaths (Includes one non-California resident).
  • Hospital Capacity (as of March 15)
    • 74,000 hospital beds at 614 facilities.
    • Surge capacity of 8661 beds.
    • 11,500 ICU beds (includes pediatric and neonatal).
    • 7587 ventilators.
    • EMSA has additional 900 ventilators.
    • Procured an additional several hundred ventilators.
    • Negotiations are underway to re-open healthcare facilities to significantly increase surge capacity.
    • A minimum of 750 new beds will be added to surge capacity by end of the week.
      • California is working to secure additional locations in order to “stack” enough resources to address anticipated need.
  • Taskforces have been stood up by the State Operations Center (SOC) to address various COVID-19 response issues:
    • Communications/Crisis Communications (ESF* 2/ESF 15)
    • Transportation and Infrastructure (ESF 1/ESF 3)
    • Housing and Social Services (ESF 6)
    • Logistics/Commodity Movement (ESF 7)
    • Fire/Law Enforcement (ESF 4/ESF 13
    • Public Health and Medical (ESF 8)
    • Schools Task Force
    • Economic Impact/Recovery Task Force
    • Volunteers & Philanthropy (ESF 17)
    • Innovation & Technology Task Force
    • Cybersecurity (ESF 18)
    • Corrections Facilities & Hospitals

* Emergency Support Function

  • Nationwide
    • As of March 19, 2020, there have been 150 deaths.
    • 10,422  cases reported in 54 jurisdictions (49 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)
    • 11,900+ individuals who traveled on commercial flights through SFO or LAX are self-monitoring across 49 local health jurisdictions. This is precautionary and these individuals are not displaying symptoms at this time.
  • From the international data we have, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 80 percent do not exhibit symptoms that would require hospitalization.

Grand Princess Cruise Ship

  • As of Saturday, March 14, state and federal officials disembarked more than 2,900 individuals from the Grand Princess which includes more than 2,400 passengers and more than 500 crew.
  • The ship departed the Port of Oakland on Sunday, March 15.
  • In total, 1,424 individuals were safely brought ashore during the first two days of the Grand Princess disembarkation.
    • 613 sent to Travis Air Force Base (CA)
    • 42 sent to Miramar Marine Corp Air Station (CA)
    • 124 Sent to Dobbins Air Reserve Base (GA)
    • 98 sent to Lackland Air Force Base (TX)
    • 168 repatriated via chartered flight to United Kingdom
    • 19 relocated to Asilomar
      • This number will fluctuate as those who test positive for COVID-19 are relocated to Asilomar and those who test negative are relocated to federal military bases.
  • An additional alternative quarantine site has been identified, a hotel in San Carlos owned by a private company, GRM Properties. The hotel has the capacity to house up to 120 individuals and currently has no guests. The individuals being relocated to San Carlos will not interact with the general public.
  • Each person going to San Carlos has been screened by medical professionals, and because they have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, they cannot be quarantined at Travis Air Force Base. While none of these individuals are known to have contracted novel coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be tested and monitored by medical professionals.

Actions Taken by the State and Federal Government


  • March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom requested federal assistance to support California’s efforts to prepare to COVID-19. The letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy can be found here. He also requested that the President deploy the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom issued executive orders suspending standardized testing for students in response to COVID-19 and providing flexibility to local governments to spend their emergency homelessness funding on immediate solutions tailored to combatting COVID-19 and its impacts on the homeless population. He also directed the first allocation of the $500 million in emergency funding recently authorized by the Legislature for COVID-19 related activities – $150 million for local emergency homelessness actions. To deploy this first funding allocation, the state will provide:
    • $100 million directly to local governments, for shelter support and emergency housing to address COVID-19 among the homeless population.
    • $50 million to purchase travel trailers and lease rooms in hotels, motels, and other facilities in partnership with counties and cities to provide immediate isolation placements throughout the state for homeless individuals.
  • On March 17, 2020, the President announced on that all states can now authorize tests developed and used within their borders, in addition to the FDA. 
  • The Small Business Administration announced all California counties eligible for Economic Disaster Loans on March 17, 2020.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 89 and SB 117, budget bills that provide $500 million in General Fund monies to help California fight COVID-19 and authorizes increases up to $1 billion. The funding will:
  • Increase hospital bed capacity and purchase medical equipment to combat the coming surge in COVID-19 patients;
  • Protect hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities most vulnerable to COVID-19 spread
  • Provide lifesaving services to Californians isolating at home
  • Support local government to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in homeless populations and provide safe beds for people experiencing homelessness
  • Provide funding to clean childcare facilities that remain open.
  • The package also provides $100 million Proposition 98 General Fund for personal protective equipment and cleaning for schools that remain open. It also allows schools to maintain funding despite service disruptions.
  • On March 16, Governor Gavin Newsom requested that the California State Legislature take emergency action to fight Covid-19. Letter can be viewed here.
    • The early and unanimous passage of the budget bills secured $1.1 billion in funding for COVID-19 efforts.
  • On March 16, the President issued guidance discouraging gatherings greater than 10.

On March 16, the Small Business Administration approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration for California, which makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • The declaration covers the following primary counties: Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma and Tuolumne.
  • It also covers the contiguous counties of Alpine, Amador, El Dorado, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Ventura, and Yolo.
  • Additional counties can still submit worksheets in order to be added to the declaration.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom also issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles requested law enforcement exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning March 16, 2020. The DMV is taking this action so that at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying health conditions, can avoid required visits to DMV field offices for driver license or vehicle registration renewals.
    • Transactions that fall within this action include driver license renewals for those:
  • 70 years of age and older required to take a knowledge test
  • Individuals who are required to renew in the office (last DMV visit was 15 years prior)
  • Individuals subject to vision testing
  • Individuals with complex driving history

On March 15, Governor Gavin Newsom announced pilot programs in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that will begin mobile testing labs in next 24 to 48 hours. Pilot program could expand to other areas of state. The Governor also called for:

    • Those who are older than 65 and those with chronic conditions to isolate in their homes as they face the greatest risk from COVID-19.
    • Visitation of patients in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior and assisted living homes be for “end of life” only.
    • Bars, night clubs and wineries to close.
    • Restaurants to cut occupancy in half.
  • Points of access will be expanded to deliver good to people who are isolated in their homes.
  • On March 15 Governor Gavin Newsom announced efforts to address the unsheltered homeless population:
    • Hotels and motels will be procured to remove the homeless from the streets.
    • 450 trailers will be sent to critical points to provide housing to the homeless.
  • Announced forthcoming guidance for schools that plan to remain open.
  • The CDC also announced new guidance for mass events and recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people.
  • March 14, the House of Representatives passed H.R 6201, The 2nd Federal Supplemental—Coronavirus Response Act. The bill includes paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, free testing and money for food stamps, among other things. Complete summary of appropriations made in the bill can be viewed here.
  • As of March 14, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an Incident Management Assistance Team integrated into the Cal OES State Operations Center in Sacramento to support the State of California and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the coordination of federal resources.
  • March 13 , the President issued a proclamation declaring a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. To view the declaration, click here. The White house also released a memorandum on expanding state-approved diagnostic tests. Click here to view.
  • State, territorial, tribal, and local government entities and certain private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for assistance for measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials. Reimbursable activities typically include emergency protective measures such as the activation of State Emergency Operations Centers, National Guard costs, law enforcement and other measures necessary to protect public health and safety.
  • The FEMA Region IX Office in Oakland stood up its Regional Response Coordination Center to co-coordinate with HHS for federal resources to the seven states and territories within its operational jurisdiction. 
  • Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order ensuring state funding for schools in event of physical closure.
  • March 12 , Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order further enhancing California's ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor's order:
    • Waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19;
    • Delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings;
    • Directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria;
    • Readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals;
    • Allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically; and
    • Allows local and state emergency administrators to act quickly to protect public health.
  • March 11 , Governor Newsom and state public health officials announced updated guidance on gatherings to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
  • March 10 Snapshot:
    • 1017 total individuals were disembarked from the ship on March 10.
      • 614 individuals were transported by bus to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, California.
      • 124 individuals were transported via charted flight to Dobbins Air Reserve base near Marietta, Georgia.
      • 98 individuals were transported via chartered flight to Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio.
      • 136 individuals were repatriated via chartered flight to the United Kingdom.
      • 3 individuals were transported via ambulance.
      • Up to 24 individuals who disembarked the cruise ship are being relocated to a cluster of buildings on the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. The individuals will be temporarily housed in buildings that are removed from visitors and the public, and will not interact with other Asilomar guests, employees, or the general public.
        • All the individuals have been screened by medical professionals, and because they have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, they cannot be quarantined at Travis Air Force Base. While none of these individuals is known to have contracted novel coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be tested and monitored by medical professionals while at Asilomar.
  • Following the completion of the mission, the Grand Princess Cruise Ship will be moved from dock at the Port of Oakland and temporarily anchored.
  • Upon the ship’s departure, the Port of Oakland site will be fully remediated and decontaminated by immediately removing temporary structures and pressure washing the entire site with a bleach solution to disinfect it.
  • CHHS and Cal OES continues partnering with federal and local governments to ensure that adequate protocols are in place to protect the health of the disembarked passengers and the public health of California and the communities surrounding Asilomar.
  • The state worked, and continues to work closely with local agencies, including Monterey County and the City of Pacific Grove, to coordinate this mission and provide communication and information to the public.
  • March 9 Snapshot:
    • 407 total individuals were disembarked from the ship
      • 173 U.S. residents
      • 149 transported via bus to Travis Air Force Base
      • 24 transported via ambulance
      • 234 Canadians 
        • 232 transported for repatriation to Canada
        • 2 transported via ambulance
    • The first day of disembarkation focused on passengers with the greatest medical need (not necessarily related to COVID-19). Many of these passengers had limitations on their movement which required greater time and care while they de-boarded the vessel.
  • Around noon on March 9, the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in the Port of Oakland and begin the disembarking process. Federal support teams from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. HHS) setup disembarking screening protocols to focus first on helping those individuals who required immediate emergency medical care, not necessarily related to COVID-19 exposure.
    • After the first cohort of individuals disembarked, the federal staff began disembarking the 962 California residents and Canadian nationals.
    • Once all California residents were off the ship, non-Californians were transported by the federal government to facilities in other states. The crew was quarantined aboard the ship. Crew members in need of more acute medical care, were transferred to an appropriate medical facility in California.
    • For more information regarding today’s activities in Oakland, see this press release from OESNews.
  • March 8 , Cal OES and CDPH issued a press release giving an overview of the plan for the disembarking of the Grand Princess passengers and crew. For that release, please visit the OES News page.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services worked with state and local partners in California to support passengers returning to the U.S. on the Grand Princess cruise ship. For that release, please visit the HHS page.
    • The ship docked temporarily in a non-passenger port in San Francisco Bay.
    • Passengers will be transferred to federal military installations for medical screening, COVID-19 testing, and a 14-day quarantine.
    • Nearly 1,000 passengers who are California residents will complete the mandatory quarantine at Travis Air Force Base and Miramar Naval Air Station, and residents of other states will complete the mandatory quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland in Texas or Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia.
    • The Department of State worked closely with the home countries of several hundred passengers to arrange for repatriation to their countries.
  • March 7 , California officials issued updated guidance to schools, colleges and universities, event organizers and public health officials as they plan for further spread of COVID-19.
  • On the morning of March 6, the federal government and the State of California learned that 21 of the 46 individuals who were tested for COVID-19 on the Grand Princess cruise ship tested positive.
    • Federal and state government have been working in close collaboration overnight and throughout the day to quickly stand up a solution that meets the health needs for those on board and protects public health.
  • On March 5, under the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom, the Department of Managed Health Care directed all commercial and Medi-Cal health plans regulated by the Department to immediately reduce cost-sharing to zero for all medically necessary screening and testing for the COVID-19.
  • On March 5, the California Department of Insurance issued similar direction providing cost free medically necessary testing for an additional 2 million Californians. Combined these announcements ensure that 24 million more Californians are eligible to receive testing, should their health care provider deem it medically necessary.
  • On March 5, the California Employee Development Department announced support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in California. For faster and more convenient access to those services, the use of online options is encouraged.
    • Individuals who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Disability Insurance claim.
    • Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Paid Family Leave claim.
    • Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Work Sharing Program.

California is Prepared:

  • Given our connectedness to rest of the world and our sheer size, we have always understood that a fast-spreading and novel infectious disease could show up here first, in California, before anywhere else in the country. 
  • In recent years we have had a plan for a flu-like pandemic – one that has built on our knowledge and experience with previous flu-strains and infectious diseases.
  • Our public health infrastructure and our expertise is second to none. We have been preparing for this particular virus since it was discovered last year, and we have been in deep and daily coordination with the CDC, local government and our health system as it spread.

How Can People Protect Themselves:

Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense – things you learned as a kindergartner:

  • Washing hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Follow guidance from public health officials.
  • It is also important that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call their health care provider first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.  

About the Disease:

  • The family of coronaviruses has been around for some time. Some coronavirus are common, like the ones that cause the common cold. Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, is a new a kind of coronavirus.
  • The most common symptoms include fever cough and respiratory symptoms.  Our experience to date is that most people, more than 80%, have mild or no symptoms, but some have more complicated course, including pneumonia. 
  • We are learning more about its transmission, but the most common symptoms are respiratory, so its primary mode of transmission is through coughing and sneezing.

About the Tests:

  • California has 22 - labs with test kits, 21 already testing with 49 local health jurisdictions involved in self-monitoring.
  • As of March 18, 16,900 tests had been conducted in California.
    • 3,600 results have been received.
    • 10,000+ are pending
  • 2 other commercial labs will be coming online by March 24.
  • The CDC is providing test kits to public health labs in the U.S., including California, to detect the novel coronavirus. The test kits contain all the elements necessary for a laboratory to test and confirm the presence of the disease. Each test kit contains enough ingredients to test between 350 and 400 individuals. As of March 7, there are 25 such kits in California at various public health labs. Additional test kits have been ordered.
  • At this time, both oral and nasal swabs are taken at a hospital or by a physician who suspects COVID 19. This is handled through regular procedures for specimen collection, much in the same way flu testing is handled. There are no special materials needed for this collection. Those specimens are delivered, again much in the same way flu specimens are delivered, to the nearest public health lab for testing.
  • California is working closely with the CDC to request and receive more testing capacity, as needed. The CDC has fulfilled those requests on an ongoing basis and, as needs expand, California continues to request more testing capacity.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • Cal OES has been working diligently with county representatives to gather data on the economic impacts Coronavirus has had on small businesses, in order to verify the need for a U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
  • This SBA declaration, makes available Economic Injury Disaster Loans to impacted small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and private non‐profit organizations.
  • SBA loans can be approved up to 2 million dollars but are limited to the economic injury determined by SBA.  These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.


 A new Q&A section is being developed. Stay tuned.

Other Resources and Press Releases

CDC Webpage

CDPH Website

COVID-19 Guidance Documents

Governor Newsom Takes Emergency Actions & Authorizes $150 Million in Funding to Protect Homeless Californians from COVID-19

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order to Suspend Standardized Testing for Students in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Governor Newsom Asks Legislature for Emergency Legislative Action to Fight COVID-19

Small Business Administration- Disaster Loan Assistance-Declaration Details
DMV allows customers to avoid coming to a DMV office for 60 days

FEMA Support Under Emergency Declaration

Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order Ensuring State Funding for Schools Even in Event of Physical Closure

Frequently Asked Questions About Use of Stockpiled N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators for Protection from COVID-19

Interim Guidance for Protecting Health Care Workers from Exposure to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Governor Newsom, State Health Officials Announce More than 22 Million Californians Now Eligible for Free Medically Necessary COVID-19 Testing

Federal and State Partners Protect the Community of Oakland while Supporting the Safe Return of Passengers from the Grand Princess Cruise Ship

Covid-19 Public Health Guidance for Individuals With Access And Functional Needs