Newsom Asks Californians to Check on Seniors During Coronavirus Outbreak

Seniors shop for groceries during special hours for seniors. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In the early days of California’s COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. Gavin Newsom advised anyone 65 or older to self-isolate at home. That amounts to 5.3 million people in the state. Now, several weeks into the pandemic, Newsom is urging Californians to safely check on their elderly relatives and neighbors.

Newsom announced a new initiative Tuesday that he's calling "Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In." It encourages people to call, text or give a physically distanced knock on the door to seniors in their lives. Newsom said it can help ensure people have the food and prescriptions they need. But it can also help combat other side effects of the pandemic.

"The deep anxiety people are feeling being isolated at home, and the loneliness people are feeling," Newsom said.

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The state has also launched a new hotline seniors can call to be connected with resources in their area, such as grocery and medication deliveries. That number is 833-544-2374. California residents 65 and older will also get a flyer in the mail listing resources and information to help them adapt to staying at home.

Newsom said the program is designed to help keep people connected despite orders to stay physically separated.

“I don’t want to be hearing stories that someone finally knocked on a door and no one answered, only to find out when they opened that door that someone had passed away because we didn’t meet the moment," Newsom said.

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