As some see promising returns from California’s early shelter in place orders, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday a growing number of cases and hospitalizations in the state as a record number of Californians file for unemployment. 

More than 150,000 residents filed for unemployment yesterday, Newsom said. That is a single-day record and brings the total number of Californians who have applied for unemployment due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to more than 1.6 million. 

Newsom also announced that there were 7,482 cases of the illness and 150 deaths in the state. The 1,617 people currently hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 represent a 13 percent increase since yesterday, and the 657 in ICUs represent a 10 percent increase. 

The governor also announced an initiative called "Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In" to help seniors dealing with social isolation. 

The state is seeing small signs that its early shelter in place orders may be aiding its fight against coronavirus, but Newsom said the five-day average of hospitalizations and ICU beds is “reinforcing the importance of preparation in meeting this moment.” Based on current models, he said he does not expect the peak of coronavirus cases to come until May.  

“Success is defined by buying us time to prepare,” he said of the state’s stay-at-home order. Health officials in the Bay Area have already extended their stay-at-home order through May 3 and the Santa Clara County public health officer Dr. Sara Cody said  “the incredible sacrifice that everyone has made, I believe it is starting to bend the curve. But it’s not enough and it hasn’t been in place long enough.” 

Meanwhile, the state, like most others nationwide, is scrambling to increase the supply of its ventilators. Newsom said California currently has nearly 4,500 but needs 10,000 total. He said today that the company Virgin Orbit, in the Long-Beach area, is prototyping devices not as “nuanced and comprehensive” but “can meet the moment.” 

Also echoing reports the CDC may begin advising all individuals to cover their faces when outside, Newsom said the state is considering adopting a guideline to wear masks. “We have a team that’s considering” the issue, he said but cautioned against taking masks that healthcare workers need. “We want to be cautious,” he added.

Since announcing the California Health Corps yesterday, Newsom said more than 25,000 medical professionals had volunteered and that he does not expect California will need to bring in health care workers from other states. Newsom said he was “inspired” by medical professionals “willing to put their lives back on the line."

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