SACRAMENTO, Calif .– Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday proposed a new $ 2.7 billion COVID-19 emergency response program for California, with $ 1.2 billion dedicated to strengthening testing.
According to the governor’s office, the package, which includes a request for emergency appropriations of $ 1.4 billion, aims to help build testing capacity, speed up vaccination and booster efforts, support workers frontline, to strengthen the health system and fight against disinformation. He also calls for new legislation to implement additional paid sick leave policies.
âFrom day one, California has taken swift and direct action to fight COVID-19 with policies that have saved tens of thousands of lives, but there is still work to be done,â Newsom said. âOur proposed COVID-19 emergency response package will support our testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and recall efforts, support frontline workers and health systems, and fight misinformation, putting the focus on hardest-hit communities. “
Here’s a breakdown of the features of the package:
$ 1.2 BILLION: BOLSTER TESTS
- Increase hours and capacity at test sites statewide to help slow the spread
- Distribute millions of COVID-19 antigen tests to local health departments, community clinics, and county education and schools offices. This is essential for the state’s operational readiness and continued efforts to combat COVID-19, and it includes a request for emergency credit of $ 1.4 billion to the Legislature for immediate needs of California.
- Support state testing facilities, including sample collection and increasing capacity to meet demand
- Support state departments to test their staff and bring populations together
$ 583 MILLION: GET MORE VACCINATED AND BOOST CALIFORNIANS, FIGHT BAD INFORMATION
- Continue the âImmunize all 58â public education campaign to provide reliable information and build confidence in immunization while combating misinformation, all in partnership with 250 ethnic media outlets.
- Pursue a strong campaign of community awareness and direct assistance with appointments by carrying out door-to-door approaches, telephone banking and SMS with more than 700 community organizations and community partners in partnership with philanthropy.
- Home vaccination and testing programs to meet Californians where they are.
- Provide free transportation to immunization appointments statewide to help immunize and boost more Californians.
$ 614 MILLION: SUPPORTING FRONTLINE WORKERS AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS
- Support and distribution of essential personnel resources for health systems to protect frontline workers, patient care and hospital surge capacity, as well as additional personnel for vaccination sites.
200 MILLION DOLLARS: SUPPORT STATE RESPONSE OPERATIONS
- Resources to improve the state’s public health and emergency response capabilities, including staffing and information technology at the California Department of Public Health, Office of Emergency Services, and Emergency Medical Services Authority .
$ 110 MILLION: SUPPORTING VULNERABLE POPULATIONS AND STRENGTHENING CONTACT TRACING EFFORTS
- Increased public health and humanitarian efforts at the California-Mexico border to ensure the safety of migrants, including vaccinations, testing, and isolation and quarantine services.
- Extensive statewide contact tracing activities to help keep Californians safe and slow the spread.
California Medical Association President Robert E. Wailes said the governor’s announcement “comes at a critical time as cases of the Omicron variant increase nationwide.”
âThe California Medical Association appreciates Governor Newsom’s leadership as his administration continues to work to anticipate the needs of the state and implement strong public health measures that will save lives,â said Wailes.
Newsom on Friday announced the activation of more than 200 members of the California National Guard to help staff COVID-19 test centers amid the upsurge in cases due to the omicron variant. Over the next few days, members of the National Guard will assist people with screening at six sites in San Diego County over the next few days.
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