SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said that the state is working with officials in Oregon and Washington to map out the steps that will be taken when the West Coast eases COVID-19 restrictions and moves towards reopening for business, with more details set to be released Tuesday.
Gov. Newsom on Monday said that he issued a joint statement with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee that announced an agreement on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future.READ MORE: 4 San Jose Double Homicide Suspects Arrested; Drugs, Weapons Seized
Newsom said his daily update on the state’s coronavirus response on Tuesday will lay out further details regarding the plan to ease coronavirus restrictions in the state.
“We began a process of establishing more formally what it would look like and how we can begin the process of the kind of incremental release of the stay-at-home orders that advance the fundamental principle of keeping people healthy, keeping people safe, using science to guide our decision-making, and not political pressure, and continuing to do what we can to share our best practices and share our resolve and ultimately advance the kind of results that everybody is expecting,” Newsom explained.
“COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities,” the joint statement from the governors read. “We are announcing that California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business.”
The joint statement said the plan would place the health of the three states’ residents first and that decisions would be made based on “health outcomes and science — not politics.”
“We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this,” the statement read.
Newsom went on to say that the state is doing its best to address disparities that exist in the state, particularly in the support being offered to children and especially children in the foster care system.
Newsom announced a $42 million statewide effort to support Child Protective Services casework during the coronavirus pandemic.
With schools closed during the pandemic and statewide orders to remain indoors as much as possible, Child Protective Services activities like in-person visits and responding to referrals from teachers and others who frequently interact with children have been significantly limited, Newsom said.READ MORE: Police Arrest Suspect in Tenderloin Stabbing Incident
The funding will support things like social worker outreach, family resource centers, county-level child protection programs and more resources for state Health and Human Services workers in order to support the roughly 86,500 children in the state’s welfare system, including about 59,000 in the foster care system, according to Newsom.
“When the schools are closed, that’s another point of contact where people are able to make referrals based upon the interaction of children, interactions of school nurses to one another, interactions with our caregivers, not least of which our teachers,” he said. “Those referrals are down. Those in-home visits are down as a consequence of the virus.”
The state is providing about $40.6 million of the $42 million effort. More than half of the total funding will be used to send $200 per month to families that are deemed “at risk” to help them buy groceries and other necessities.
California Department of Social Services Director Kimberley Johnson said support will go to families at risk and resource families who are providing homes in the foster care system. $6.8 million is being made available to support social workers and expand help lines including the 211 information system.
There was additionally $313,000 aimed providing laptops and cell phones to foster youths that will allow for the execution of the state school superintendent’s plan for distance learning covering the remainder of the school year.
Newsom thanked everyone helping with the effort to assist families in the foster care system, noting that he was raised in family that participated in the program.
“We were a foster family growing up myself. Some of the most intense and extraordinary moments in my life were defined by the experiences that were brought into our household by a foster brother, particularly Steven Ashby who really enlivened our family,” said Newsom.
Newsom also provided new numbers for the state’s current coronavirus cases in terms of the anticipated case surge, saying of the current 22,348 cases in California, 3,015 patients were hospitalized and 1,178 were in intensive care units. That marked “a modest increase” for both numbers.MORE NEWS: Update: 3 Injured In San Jose Stabbing; Suspect Fatally Struck By Truck On Highway 85
687 people in the state have died from the virus so far.