Gov. Newsom says coronavirus curve in California is 'bending' and 'stretching'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- In his daily press conference on California's emergency actions to beat the novel coronavirus crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom said there were signs the curve of new infections was "bending."

There are 15,865 known cases of COVID-19 in California, according to Newsom, a 10.7% increase in 24 hours. Coronavirus-related deaths increased by 31, bringing the total number of victims in the state to 374. There are 2,611 hospitalizations and 1,108 ICU hospitalizations statewide -- a 4.1% and 2.1% increase since Monday, respectively.

While California is still seeing coronavirus infections increase, Newsom pointed to the lower hospitalization numbers as a sign social distancing may be preventing out-of-control spread of the virus.

"The curve is bending, but it is also stretching," said Newsom. "We are seeing a slow and steady increase but it's moderate. It's moderate because of all the actions you have taken in terms of physical distancing."

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He warned the state has still not seen its "peak" in cases.

"Let us continue in that spirit to meet this moment and continue to do more to practice the physical distancing and the social distancing that are required."

On Monday, Newsom announced that California will be loaning 500 state-owned ventilators to the national stockpile to help states in need. States like New York are experiencing immediate supply shortages due to COVID-19.

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"I know, if the tables were turned, other states would be there for us," Newsom tweeted on Monday.

California chose to loan out some of its equipment because it is not yet in as dire a situation as New York, now the nation's epicenter for the crisis, said Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for the governor. Gov. Gavin Newsom said state modeling shows California will hit its peak of cases sometime in May.

"California is stepping up to help our fellow Americans in New York and across the country who are being impacted the hardest right now by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Governor Newsom in a press release. "We still have a long road ahead of us in the Golden State - and we're aggressively preparing for a surge - but we can't turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now."

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While the federal government hasn't given California any ventilators from the national stockpile, it has sent other supplies to the nation's most populous state. As of last week, California had received roughly 837,000 N-95 masks, 1.31 million gloves, nearly 2 million surgical masks, as well as face shields, surgical gowns, coveralls and 2,000 medical station beds, according to a White House press release.



The governor started his address Tuesday by discussing the pandemic's mental health impact on Californians.

"Whatever we tend to focus on, we find more of. If you're like me, you're focused on the nightly news and 24/7 news cycle. There's a a lot of anxiety running through those broadcasts," said Newsom. "That stress is manifest. That stress is real."

"I just want folks to know that staying at home doesn't mean you're alone. As a state, we are here to do what we can to support you," Newsom said. The governor announced new help lines and resources at covid19.ca.gov for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. There are also resources for substance abuse, elderly abuse, child abuse and domestic abuse.

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