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  COVID-19 Update for March 25
March 26, 2020

Update from last night from League of California Cities:

East Bay Mayors, Council Members & City Management:

In very late breaking news, the U.S. Senate just unanimously approved (96-0) a $2 trillion emergency package to address economic impacts from COVID-19. We appreciate your efforts to contact your federal representatives about your city’s needs.  We will continue to work with the National League of Cities and our federal lobbyists for what California cities need in additional legislation.

Today, Governor Newsom announced release for homeowners and consumers by securing support from many financial institutions to help provide relief. Information is below under “Governor Actions / Announcements”.   

There have been some ongoing questions about the guidance from the State about critical workers / essential services.  The guidance document continues to be updated (updates are represented in blue).  We will attached the document to these emails when there are changes (see attached). 

CalOES also has released a toolkit for local officials that includes videos and social media messaging that can be found at, while FEMA released an update on their efforts and provide information on various resources that may be of interest to cities.

In other, but important news, the League of California Cities’ team successfully advocated for the Public Utilities Commission to extend the deadline to submit comments on the Rule 20 staff proposal proceeding from March 21, 2020 to April 21, 2020. The Rule 20 undergrounding program lays out guidelines and procedures for undergrounding overhead electric facilities for primarily aesthetic purposes. If you have questions about this, please contact Derek Dolfie at

Attached, you will find briefing notes from the White House briefing, the Governor’s financial institution announcement, CalOES’ state and federal electeds briefing, CalOES’ daily briefing document, and the revised critical worker guidance document.

Governor Actions / Announcements
·       Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Major Financial Relief Package: 90-Day Mortgage Payment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis: The Governor announced that financial institutions will provide major financial relief for millions of Californians suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Governor Newsom secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers to protect homeowners and consumers. Additional details are available in the linked press release.

Other State Actions / Announcements
·       The Department of Finance Director Keely Bosler sent a letter to state lawmakers today that moves $1.3 billion emergency reserve fund dollars that was part of the State’s overall reserves to immediately combat COVID-19.  These funds will go to personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies, enhance the surge capacity of hospitals and medical facilities and procure other items necessary to support the State’s efforts to protect public health and safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

·       California Strengthens Health Care Delivery System’s Capacity to Respond to COVID-19: Seton Hall in Daly City to start receiving patients today.

·       Yesterday, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released COVID-19 Disaster Declarations and Funding Implications which discusses federal assistance available to local governments and the State as a result of the President’s emergency and major disaster declarations.

·       YouTube video of the USNS Mercy medical ship.

Federal Actions (Courtesy of NLC as of 7pm PST)

In the final bill, NLC secured major wins for cities, towns, and villages. The bill provides money for community development block grants. It provides a coronavirus fund for states, units of local government, and tribal governments, albeit with the 500,000 population threshold for local governments. The stabilization fund for cities and states had been a contentious issue, and at one point was pulled from a draft text of the bill. Through the work of you, our members, we were able to get a fund in a bill. The bill also provides relief to the municipal bond market by allowing purchase of municipal securities (with maturities greater than 6 months) in the secondary market.  

Certain items in the bill did not get fixed, despite the tremendous pressure NLC brought to bear on the Senate. Under public law 116-127 (HR 6201), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, governmental employers are required to provide paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave. However, unlike most employers, governmental employers will not get the benefit of the tax credits for providing these benefits.

Also, under the states and cities stabilization fund, smaller cities with a population of under 500,000 will get money once it first passes through the state.

At the White House today, President Trump announced he approved major disaster declarations for New York, California, Washington, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.

Below you will find NLC's list of wins in the Senate bill based upon latest version we saw. We will tomorrow put out a complete review.

Federal Aviation Administration, Airport Improvement Program (AIP) – $10 billion to maintain operations at our nation's airports that are facing a record drop in passengers. AIP funds will be distributed by formula.  
Essential Air Service (EAS) – $56 million provided to maintain existing air service to rural communities. This funding is necessary to offset the reduction in overflight fees that help pay for the EAS program. 
Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Transit Infrastructure Grants – $25 billion for transit providers, including states and local governments across the country, for operating and capital expenses. Funding will be distributed using existing FTA formulas.  
Amtrak – Provides $492 million in grants for the Northeast Corridor and $526 million in grants for the broader national network to cover revenue losses related to coronavirus. In addition, funding is provided to help states pay for their share of the cost of state supported routes.  
USDOT Administrative Support – $6 million for the Department of Transportation to cover increased administrative expenses as a result of the coronavirus.  
·       RURAL DEVELOPMENT – $145.5 million

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)  $900 million to help lower income households heat and cool their homes. 


  • $770,000 for the Superfund program to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally for necessary expenses for cleaning and disinfecting equipment or facilities of, or for use by, the Environmental Protection Agency 


  • Economic Development Administration: $1,500,000,000 
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership: $50,000,000 
  • Legal Services Corporation: $50,000,000 

Small Business Administration 

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans: $562,000,000 


  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: $1,250,000,000 
  • Project-Based Rental Assistance: $1,000,000,000 
  • Public Housing Operating Fund: $685,000,000 
  • Community Development Block Grants: $5,000,000,000 
  • Homeless Assistance Grants: $4,000,000,000 
  • Housing for the Elderly: $50,000,000 
  • Housing for Persons with Disabilities: $15,000,000 

Supporting Small Business  
 Broadband Connectivity 

  • $25,000,000 for U.S. Department of Agriculture Distance Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program 
  • $100,000,000 extension for U.S. Department of Agriculture ReConnect rural broadband competitive grant/loan program 
  • $200,000,000 for Federal Communications Commission telehealth pilot program 

Law Enforcement, Public Safety & Criminal Justice 

  • Resources for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement: $850 million for the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG) 
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons: $100 million  
  • Federal Law Enforcement: $55 million for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Attorneys 
  • Federal Judiciary: $7.5 million for three accounts in the Judicial Branch. 
  • Family Violence Prevention Services: $45 million to support families during this uncertain time, and to prevent and respond to family and domestic violence, including offering shelter and supportive services to those who need it.   

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • Defense Production Act: $1 billion to allow the Department of Defense to invest in manufacturing capabilities that are key to increasing the production rate of personal protective equipment and medical equipment to meet the demand of healthcare workers all across the nation.   
  • Assistance to Firefighter Grants: $100 million for personal protective equipment for first responders.  
  • Personal Protective Equipment: $178 million for the Department of Homeland Security to ensure front line federal employees have personal protective equipment. 

Disaster Assistance 

  • Disaster Relief Fund: $45 billion to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. Reimbursable activities may include medical response, personal protective equipment, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, safety measures, and community services nationwide. 
  • Emergency Management Performance Grants: $100 million for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to support coordination, communications, and logistics. 
  • National Guard: $1.4 billion for deployments to sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard, under the direction of the governors of each state, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts. 
  • FEMA's Emergency Food and Shelter Program: $200 million 

Deadline Extensions 

  • REAL ID Deadline for States: Extends the deadline for states to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act to not earlier than September 30, 2021.

Sam Caygill
Regional Public Affairs Manager | East Bay Division
League of California Cities
p. 916-402-7258 | e.

Strengthening California Cities

Through Education & Advocacy

 Notes from Governor’s Address to Californians – March 25, 2020, 12:45pm
** Information transcribed and truncated for audience;
notes may not fully capture all information provided **

Governor Gavin Newsom:

  • Estimated $10 billion will come to California from federal stimulus bill, according to back of the envelope calculations;
  • Increase of unemployment insurance benefits of $600 from federal agreement early this morning;
    • California currently provides anywhere from $40-$400.
  • Unemployment insurance claims:
    • Passed 1 million mark in California since March 13.
  • Announcing a 90 day wavier for mortgage payments for those impacted by COVID-19 from banks;
  • 4 of 5 largest institutions (Wells Fargo, US Bank , Citi, JP Morgan Chase; but not Bank of America), and all state chartered banks agreed to these 90 day waivers;
    • Bank of America has only committed to 30 days, not 90.
  • Surge capacity for hospital beds;
    • Of the 50,000 estimated beds needed;
      • 30,000 will come from surge capacity from hospitals; and
      • 20,000 will come from the state.
    • Seaton hospital is operational today;
      • State has leased this facility.
    • St. Vincent in Los Angeles is another site the state is working with to get operational and staffed.
  • 24.2 million N95 masked have been distributed by the state so far;
    • Have secured 100 million new N95 masks, and more PPEs; and
    • Still need to secure and procure more masks and PPEs.
  • New reporting protocols for feeding information up to the state from state, public, and private testing;
    • Testing has ramped up but still have a long way to go; and
    • Tens of thousands of tests are waiting to be finalized and tested.
  • Cases:
    • 2,535 positive cases of COVID-19 as of 10am today;
      • 17% increase from previous day;
      • 53 lives lost;
      • 37 people under the age of 17 have tested positive;
      • 51% that have tested positive are 18-49; and
      • One 17 year old tragically died due to COVID-19.
  • Need to maximize the short term to minimize the long term effects of this pandemic;
  • Homeless individuals;
    • 2,400 beds are available for homeless individuals;
    • Now have 4,305 motel rooms available;
    • Thanked Los Angeles and Sacramento for siting the trailers for homeless individuals; and
    • 1,300 trailers are going out to shelter homeless individuals.

Questions and Answers

  • Will there be a statewide moratorium on evictions of renters?

Concerned about what is and is not happening at a local level. Governor reserves his right to advance state overlay if needed. Has a team reviewing the legal parameters related to state moratorium. Once he has clarity on legal parameters, will provide direct answer on the issue.

  • What are the requirements for mortgage relief just announced?

No income provisions as part of the relief. Must be COVID-related, but some documentation required. Trying to ease that paperwork processing as a lesson learned from 2008.

 Coronavirus Briefing by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to Local Elected Officials

** Information transcribed and truncated for audience;
notes may not fully capture all information provided **

Wednesday, March 25 at 10:00am
Call Overview

The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs held a nation-wide call with local governments, elected officials and staff, to discuss the federal administration’s response and coordination on the coronavirus.

Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President, and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy:

  • Supply chains;
    • PPEs and ventilators-
      • Complementing what FEMA is doing;
      • Looking to see where there are gaps in the supply chain;
      • Making sure that manufacturers have the raw materials they need to produce things.
    • Defense Production Act (DPA);
      • Mobilization of the industrial base;
      • Actions could be repurposing a factory to produce other products;
      • Currently using the DPA as quiet leverage;
      • The private sector has been complying voluntarily; and
      • Administration has not yet had to actually use the DPA.

Housing and Urban Development Department

  • HOME program - waving the requirement to do inspections for this program;
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDGB) Disaster Relief program;
    • On a case by case basis, providing 60 day extensions;
    • Looking into waivers that wave the public hearing requirements for this program;
    • Provided guidance on virtual hearings instead of in person meetings;
    • Suspending CDBG enforcement during the crisis; and
    • Can go to for more information.
  • Homelessness;
    • Reaching out to stakeholders once a week to have a call on homelessness; and
    • Working to be ready to implement any federal funding as quickly as possible.

Ken Cuccinelli, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security

  • Travel restrictions;
    • In January, Trump administration implemented a travel ban on China, then a few weeks later they added Iran;
    • Then in March, added a travel ban to the European Union’s Schengen Area; England, and Ireland;
    • These travel restrictions do not apply to American citizens;
      • As a result, airlines cut flights from China and Europe to the US;
      • Yesterday's air traffic level was below 4,000 people entering the country from one of these areas; and
      • All of the travelers from these counties must come in through one of 13 airports.
    • This week, in agreement with Canada and Mexico, implemented travel restrictions for non-citizens along the northern and southern borders; and
    • This excludes workers in essential services or trade.
  • Trade;
    • Want to make sure that the US keeps our supply chains going;
    • Cautioning that when states close things, like schools, to stop the spread of the virus, they want states to do this, but want them to do so with the smallest amount of interruption; and
    • has provided guidance on this.
  • FEMA Grant Process
    • Cannot change the statutory deadlines, only Congress can do this; and
    • There are end of April deadlines on some of these grants.

Department of Justice

  • Attorney General (AG) has created a new task force to combat price gouging and hoarding;
  • The President signed an executive order that gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the ability to declare certain items "scarce;"
  • This designation will give the AG the ability to go after, shutdown, and prosecute people who engage in this behavior.

Department of State

  • Working to get American citizens who are abroad, home;
  • Have assisted 9,500 Americans getting home, but there are 50,000 still trying to come home;
  • People need to make sure they let the state department know where they are and they want to leave;
  • Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is the best way to be in touch with the state department; and
  • has an info sheet for every country in the world with embassy information. Send them emails.

Health and Human Services Department

  • Urge everyone all to consider the mental health needs of Americans during this time;
  • Have issued an informational guidance on continuing support groups virtually; and

Can visit for more resources

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
Actions Taken by the State and Federal Government
·       March 25
·       March 24. 4
·       March 23. 4
·       March 22. 5
·       March 21. 5
·       March 20. 5
·       March 19. 6
·       March 18. 6
·       March 17. 7
·       March 16. 8
Grand Princess Cruise Ship
California is Prepared:
How Can People Protect Themselves:
About the Disease
About the Tests
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Other Resources and Press Releases
Federal Resources
Orders & Press Releases

COVID-19 at a Glance

  • As of 2 p.m. March 24, 2020 there were a total 2,535 positive cases in California. 24 cases are from repatriation flights, and the other 2511 confirmed cases include:
    • 707- community transmissions.
    • 1804 other (travel/ person to person/under investigation)
      • 35 health care workers
      • 36 Californians from the Grand Princess.
    • 53 - deaths (Includes one non-California resident). Also includes the first CA youth death due to COVID-19.
  • Age Breakdown
    • 0-17 years of age: 37 - 1%
    • 18-45 years of age: 1278 - 51%
    • 50-64 years of age: 638- 25%
    • 65 years and older: 562 - 22%
    • Unknown: 20 1%
  • Gender of all confirmed positive cases:

•Female: 1,117 (44.1%)
•Male: 1,389 (54.8%)
•Unknown: 29 (1.2%)

  • 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.
    • An additional several hundred ventilators procured.
    • California is working to secure additional locations in order to “stack” enough resources to address anticipated need. A number of potential sites are being explored.
  • California began receiving shipments from a prior request from the Strategic National Stockpile. The request included:
  • 358,381 N95 masks
  • 853,730 surgical masks
  • 162,565 face shields
  • 132,544 surgical gowns
  • 678 coveralls
  • 471,941 gloves
  • California this week requested the following additional supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile:
  • 20 million N95 masks
  • 10 million surgical masks
  • 600,000 surgical gowns
  • 600,000 face shields
  • 600,000 gloves
  • 300,000 goggles
  • 100,000 coveralls 
  • 10,000 ventilators
  • 2 million swabs
  • 200,000 RNA extraction kits
  • In addition:
  • Six California companies re-tooling to make gowns
  • 1,000 ventilators from Elon musk being distributed
  • Bloom Technologies repurposing ventilators
  • 3-D printers to begin printing face shields.
  • Richard Branson and Virgin assisting with PPE
  • 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 25, 2020, there have been 737 deaths.
    • 54,453 cases reported in 54 jurisdictions (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands).
      • 584 are travel related
      • 986 transmitted by close contact
      • 54,453 are under investigation

Actions Taken by the State and Federal Government

March 25, Governor Gavin Newsom announced mortgage relief for Californians affected by COVID-19.  Eligible homeowners would be able to defer mortgage payments for at least three months. The relief package included Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citi Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase, as well as 200 state-chartered banks and credit unions.

  • March 23, deadlines for the Real ID have been extended. New deadlines to be announced.
  • Governor Newsom directed $42 million in emergency funding to expand California’s health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to support California’s response to COVID-19.
  • $30 million to lease and operate two facilities and to expand the state’s hospital capacity.
    • Seton Medical Center in Daly City.
    • St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.
    • $1,420,000 to expand capacity of the state’s public health lab in Richmond.
    • $8,647,000 to purchase new ventilators, as well as IV fusion pumps, and refurbish additional ventilators.
    • $2 million to contract with American Medical Response to provide patient transportation.
  • The Treasury department announced Tax Day would be moved from April 15th to July 15th.
  • The U.S. Department of Education is temporarily waiving interest on all federally held student loans and has directed federal lenders to suspend student loan payments for 60 days.
  • 500 California National Guard personnel have been requested by CalVolunteers and CHHS On March 20, to augment food distribution through food bank and pantry locations due to COVID-19 disruption of local and volunteer activities throughout the state
  • On March 20, 2020, CDE launched the email  to streamline management of inquiries from the field.
  • On 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 Newsom Also issued an executive order to permit vote-by-mail procedures to be used in three upcoming special elections, protecting public health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. The order can be viewed here.
  • On March 19, 2020, Superintendent Thurmond announced the CA Meals for Kids mobile application now includes an “Emergency Meal Sites” layer identifying sites that continue to serve meals during school closure.
  • 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.

Grand Princess Cruise Ship

  • Beginning Monday, March 23, passengers of the Grand Princess will begin to leave quarantine at Travis and Miramar. They will leave in groups over the next two days to return to their homes
  • To obtain information regarding an individual who was a Grand Princess passenger and who is now in quarantine, families can call the hotline in the U.S. and Canada:  888-358-8055.
  • 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.
  • The passengers’ 14 day quarantine started when they disembarked, so some will end their time on March 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th.
  • However, each is an individual medical decision, so discharge dates may vary.

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 – state and county labs currently testing.
  • As of March 24, 66,800 tests have been conducted in California, including private and commercial labs.
    • 18,286 results have been reported to Public Health.
    • 48,600 are pending.
  • In order to better focus public health resources on the changing needs of California communities, the state is no longer collecting information about California travelers returning from countries that have confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • Community transmission of COVID-19 has been identified in California since late February, and since early March, most confirmed cases in the state were not related to travel outside of the United States.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment.

Other Resources and Press Releases


California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
CDPH Website
COVID-19 Guidance Documents
COVID-19 Messaging Toolkit *New*
Cal OES News

Federal Resources
FEMA Rumor Control Page
CDC Webpage
Travel Notices: COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel-CDC
Travel notices - CDC
Resources for the Community
State Department Travel Advisories
FDA COVID-19 Guidance
FDA Enforcement Policy for Ventilators
USDA SNAP Guidance
SBA- COVID-19 Small Business Guidance

Orders & Press Releases

Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Major Financial Relief Package: 90-Day Mortgage Payment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis
Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order on State Prisons and Juvenile Facilities in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

California Secures Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to Support State’s COVID-19 Emergency Response

Governor Newsom Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for State’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

Governor Newsom Takes Action to Strengthen California’s Health Care Delivery System to Respond to COVID-19

Governor Newsom Signs Order to Protect Public Health by Expanding Vote-by-Mail Options and Extending Deadlines for Presidential Primary Canvass

Governor Gavin Newsom Issues Stay at Home Order

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