A roundup of the biggest news stories in California this week, including a coronavirus update and the latest from Sacramento….
Golden State Stimulus Budget Proposal Would Give $600 to Low-Income Californians
Californians who received the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit in 2019, along with eligible taxpayers filing with ITIN numbers, will receive $600 rapid cash payments under a budget proposal announced by Governor Newsom. Approximately four million Californians would be eligible for the direct relief. A second proposal calls for immediate action to protect more Californians from eviction. It would extend protections enacted by AB 3088 and ensure that that California’s $2.6 billion share of federal rental assistance is distributed according to greatest need and with accountability.
“Through the Golden State Stimulus, Californians who have been impacted by this pandemic will get help to provide for their families and keep a roof over their heads,” said Governor Newsom. “This plan will provide relief for Californians in need by distributing $600 rapid cash support – for some, at least $1,200 when coupled with federal relief – and extend the eviction moratorium.”
San Diego Woman Killed During Riots at the Capitol
A woman fatally shot while participating in the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol Building on Wednesday has been identified as 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force Veteran from San Diego, according to the Washington Post. Babbitt, who was wearing a Trump flag around her waist, was shot by U.S. Capitol Police after jumping through a smashed window into the Capitol. She died later the same day.
Governor Newsom Proposes 2021-22 State Budget
Governor Gavin Newsom today submitted his 2021-22 State Budget proposal to the Legislature. The $227.2 billion fiscal blueprint prioritizes funding to get all Californians vaccinated and provides relief to the unemployed and those facing eviction. It also includes support for small business and investments in equity and safety for students. The proposal includes $372 million to expedite delivery of Covid-19 vaccines statewide, $2.4 billion for the Golden State Stimulus, $575 million for grants to small businesses and nonprofit cultural institutions impacted by the pandemic, and $4.5 billion for the Governor’s Equitable Recovery for California’s Business and Jobs plan.
The full Governor’s Budget Summary is available at www.ebudget.ca.gov.
State Issues New Vaccine Recommendations
On Thursday the state issued new vaccine recommendations to local health departments and providers in California. The recommendations are focused on accelerating the pace of vaccine administration. They clarify the state’s vaccine prioritization process and that after appropriate efforts to reach highest priority groups, health departments and providers may offer doses to lower priority groups when high-priority demand subsides, or when doses are about to expire.
“California’s health care providers have done incredible work thus far in vaccinating hundreds of thousands of Californians,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “On behalf of our state, I thank our hospitals, doctors, nurses, and others for joining us in this all-hands-on-deck commitment to safely and quickly Vaccinate All 58. When Californians join together, our spirit of resiliency and innovation always wins. By continuing to take the precautions we need to get through this surge, and by ramping up safe and equitable vaccinations, we can and we will get through this darkest part of the tunnel to the light.”
As of today, California has 2,568,641 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to date. There were 50,030 newly confirmed cases on Thursday. Since the start of the pandemic, 28,538 Californians have died due to Covid-19. The 7-day positivity rate is 15% and the 14-day rate is 13.3%. A total of 652,128 vaccines have been administered across the state, and over 2 million vaccine doses (first and second dose included) have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems.
The Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions continue to experience 0.0% ICU capacity. In the Bay Area, ICU capacity is at 3.0%, and in the Greater Sacramento region it’s at 6.4%. Those four regions will remain under the state-issued regional stay at home order for the foreseeable future. Only Northern California, where ICU availability is at 27.5%, has maintained sufficient hospital capacity to stay out of the order.
California Department of Public Health on Tuesday issued a new public health order to reduce pressure on strained hospital systems and ensure Covid-19 patients get life-saving care. The order redistributes the responsibility of medical care across the state, where hospitalizations have increased by 17 % and ICU admissions by 21% in the past two weeks. Many hospitals are experiencing serious challenges to their ability to provide necessary medical care to their patients. The order requires certain non-essential, non-urgent surgeries to be delayed.