Coronavirus pandemic: Gov. Gavin Newsom calls on all able Californians to volunteer

ByAlix Martichoux via KGO logo
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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Gov. Newsom called on everyone who is able to join a statewide volunteer corps to help ease the pain of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In Gov. Gavin Newsom's daily update on novel coronavirus in California, he called on all Californians who can to volunteer during the ongoing pandemic.

WATCH LIVE WEDNESDAY: Gov. Newsom to give update on when California can reopen; here's what needs to happen first

The state launched a new website Tuesday,, to organize a deliberate volunteer corps.

"We are asking all Californians who are healthy to stand up, to step up and to help connect and make a difference in your community," said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday in the briefing.

Fryday directed everyone who is able to log onto the newly launched website and volunteer for a task related to your interests and abilities. Some examples include volunteering at food banks, delivering meals, online tutoring, donating blood and volunteering at shelters. He added people who want to stay at home for safety and health reasons can find ways to contribute, such as manning resource phone lines or even checking on neighbors.

RELATED: East Bay food pantries need volunteers

When you log on to the new website, people can fill out a form with contact information, tasks they may be interested in volunteering to do, languages they speak and any special skills they may have (accounting, tax preparation, translation, etc.). Newsom said state organizers will then reach out to people when there are volunteer opportunities in their area.

"From our Zoomers to our boomers regardless of your age or stage in life, we want you to volunteer, we want you to participate and we want to match those efforts in a way that gives meaning and purpose to this endeavor," said Gov. Newsom.

As of Tuesday, there were 33,261 confirmed COVID-19 cases in California. More than 1,200 people have died. There was a 7.4% increase in positive cases since Monday, a relatively large jump compared to recent days. There was also a 3.3% increase in hospitalizations and 60 more deaths.

Newsom wasn't yet ready to give an update on when the state might begin to roll back shelter-in-place restrictions and begin reopening. The governor said he'd give everyone a "peek behind the curtain" on Wednesday.

RELATED: Gov. Gavin Newsom teases update on timeline for reopening economy

"I know how impatient people are, but I cannot express more gratitude for the incredible and heroic work all of you have done to soften the blow of this virus so far in the state of California," Newsom said. "I'm as eager as you to answer the question 'when' and on Wednesday we'll have more clarity."

Before making any decision on reopening, Newsom said he'd continue to evaluate the state's progress on six key criteria. (Read more on the criteria here.)

The governor said Wednesday's briefing would focus especially on the first of the six key criteria: testing, tracking, tracing, isolation and quarantine.

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