California Governor Gavin Newsom gave updates earlier today on the state of coronavirus testing by launching the COVID-19 Testing Task Force, a task force consisting of public and private organizations, to help increase the rate of testing.
Here’s what you need to know:
Newsom announced that over 126,700 people have been tested in California to this date, a number he considers very low. He called the testing space a “challenging one for us and I own that and I have the responsibility as your governor to do better and to do more testing in the state of California.”
The taskforce is led by co-chairs Dr. Charity Dean, assistant director of the state of the Department of Public Health, and Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California.
The taskforce is in partnership with UC Davis and UC San Diego to create five to seven hubs distributed all across California to “significantly increase the testing capacity.”
Newsom announced that Stanford Medicine is the first in the state to have a serological test, a blood-based test that can detect if an individual has the antibodies to protect the immune system against COVID-19.
Newsom said hospital officials are working to provide more point-of-care tests, which can take up to 15 minutes or less to produce results for detection of the coronavirus. According to Newsom, Abbott Laboratories are committed to 75 testing sites in the state and are working with 13 hospital systems, including Sutter Health and Kaiser Permanente.
Newsom described the new measures as a way to provide more data collection which so far has been a frustrating issue for officials, medical experts and the public alike.
Updates on the numbers:
2,300 people are hospitalized in the state.
1,800 are in intensive care units.
12,026 have tested positive, a 12.4% increase from the previous day.
13,000 tests are waiting for results out of 126,700, what Newsom calls a “frustrating issue on data collection” around the state, which he owns.
Over 79,000 people have signed up to join the California Health Corps.
A new website launched today, https://covid19supplies.ca.gov/, which will allow people and organizations to fill out a form indicating what resources and supplies they can provide. The website was created in response to the support from many communities offering medical supplies. Newsom called for manufacturers and businesses to provide any supplies and other technical expertise.