California caseload / Stay at home duration / State budget impact
Let’s start with the latest numbers of COVID-19 cases in California. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the state has 2,628 confirmed cases as of yesterday. That’s an increase of about 380 over the day before. Sounds like a lot — and it is — but the good news is the number of daily new cases has gone down a little bit. There are 51 confirmed deaths. That includes the first in San Francisco — a man in his 40s who had significant underlying health conditions.
Stay at home duration
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Gavin Newsom gave what’s become a regular update on state action against the outbreak. He noted a 17.5 percent rise in confirmed cases. He also said testing is happening much more frequently now in California. Then he was asked whether the stay-at-home order would continue through next month. He said:
“Yeah, well, the question of whether California will open in April, let me be sober about that. I'm not Pollyannish about any of these things. I referenced the 17.5% increase in the number of positives. I talked about the fact that our testing protocols have significantly increased. But I also mentioned that not all those tests are back. Thousands and thousands of people been tested. We're waiting for their results. And we clearly based upon the curve, have a lot more work to do.”
State budget impact
Newsom also warned the state may have a lot less money to spend because of the coronavirus. His administration, yesterday, told state agencies that a severe drop in economic activity means they should not expect full funding for new or existing proposals. That means some of Newsom's most ambitious spending plans could be on hold. He had wanted the state to expand government-funded health benefits to low-income seniors who are living in the country without documentation. He also wanted the state to start making and selling its own generic drugs.