California Gov. Gavin Newsom reacted to a deepening crisis at California long-term care facilities in a press conference Friday, noting that the state is currently monitoring over 2,700 staff and residents at nursing homes statewide who have COVID-19.
There are 522 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities that have had at least one case of coronavirus, based on data he cited.
In answer to a reporter’s question, Newsom said he had deployed the National Guard to four nursing homes in Los Angeles County to assist with testing, isolation of infected residents and to share "best practices and protocols," and that the state has been hiring and training an additional 600 nurses to address staffing needs at senior homes.
The governor also announced an initiative to partner with local restaurants to make and deliver three meals a day to elderly Californians who are isolated or vulnerable to the coronavirus. The 'Restaurants Deliver' meal program, which will be primarily funded by FEMA and the state, is also intended to provide an economic stimulus to local businesses and workers struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's not just about the meals," Newsom said. "It's about a human connection, about someone just checking in as they're delivering those meals and making sure people are okay."