April 3, 2020 Edition
We are pleased to announce that the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency – Public Health Branch was awarded accreditation status by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) on March 17th. Shasta County becomes the 17th local health department awarded PHAB recognition in California, in addition to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
Please join us in congratulating all of the hard work of our colleagues in Shasta County. Additional information on the announcement is available here.
Over this past week, Governor Gavin Newsom continued to issue several executive orders in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These orders are detailed below:
Judicial Council Emergency Authority
On Friday, March 27, Newsom issued Executive Order N-38-20 expanding the emergency authority of the California Judicial Branch. The order allows the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to allow for remote depositions and electronic service of process. The Judicial Branch is provided additional discretion around legal practice and procedure it deems necessary in order to continue conducting business during the COVID-19 emergency.
California Health Corps
Governor Newsom on Monday issued Executive Order N-39-20 launching the California Health Corps initiative to expand California’s healthcare workforce and recruit additional healthcare professionals to address the COVID-19 surge. Newsom’s executive order temporarily expands the healthcare workforce and allows healthcare facilities to staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds the state needs to treat COVID-19 patients.
Today, Newsom indicated over 74,000 individuals have volunteered for the California Health Corps via healthcorps.ca.gov.
Small Business Relief
Also on Monday, Newsom issued Executive Order N-40-20 providing tax, regulatory, and licensing extensions for California small businesses. The order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Additional actions included in the order limit in-person transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and waive Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) continuing education requirements for several professions.
Disaster Response-Emergency Operations Account
On Wednesday, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-41-20 allowing for the immediate use of funds to support the state’s efforts in responding to COVID-19. The order facilitates expenditures from the state’s Disaster Response-Emergency Operations Account, a subaccount of the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties in the General Fund. Recall, the Newsom Administration on March 25 transferred $1.3 billion from the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties to the Disaster Response-Emergency Operations Account.
Home and Small Business Water Shutoff
Governor Newsom on Thursday issued Executive Order N-42-20 restricting water shutoffs to homes and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Water Resources Control Board will issue best practices and guidelines on support for the state’s water systems related to the restriction of water shutoffs for nonpayment. The order also restores water for occupied residences who may have had their water shut off as of March 4 when the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency due to COVID-19.
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the launch of Project Roomkey, an initiative to isolate and shelter certain individuals experiencing homelessness amid the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. In an attempt to protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19, Governor Newsom indicated California is the first state in the U.S. to secure FEMA approval to procure hotels and motels for high-risk individuals experiencing homelessness, including those who are asymptomatic, over age 65, and/or who have underlying health conditions. Individuals experiencing homelessness who have been exposed to COVID-19 that do not require hospitalization and individuals experiencing homelessness who are COVID-19 positive are also eligible for sheltering under Project Roomkey.
Under the project, state and local governments will receive up to 75 percent cost-share reimbursement from FEMA for hotel and motel rooms, including wraparound supports such as meals, security, and custodial services. The State has indicated it will provide dedicated support teams to counties, including assistance in identifying hotels, negotiating and executing operating agreements, and providing local providers technical assistance in documenting for federal reimbursement. The first phase of Project Roomkey aims to procure 15,000 rooms for purposes of providing individual isolation capacity to homeless individuals. As of today, the state has secured 6,867 hotel and motel rooms; 869 individuals have been sheltered so far.
Additional information on Project Roomkey is available from the Governor’s website here.