CA reports first COVID-19 death; Gov. Newsom declares state of emergency

March 05, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health 

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in California to help the state prepare for and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Earlier in the day, the state reported its first death related to COVID-19.

Gov. Newsom said the emergency declaration will waive some competitive bidding requirements to allow state agencies to more easily procure equipment and services and alleviate restrictions on the use of state-owned properties and facilities, such as fairgrounds, for use by health officials.

So far, there have been more than 94,000 cases reported worldwide, with about 3,200 deaths, the vast majority of them in China. In the U.S.,128 cases have been reported, including nine deaths in Washington state. 

COVID-19 in California by the Numbers (as of March 4 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time):

Below are the current COVID-19 statistics in California, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

53 – Positive cases

  • 1 – Death
  • 24 – Cases of positive tests related to federal repatriation flights
  • 29 – Cases not related to repatriation flights
    • 12 – Travel-related
    • 10 – Person to person
    • 4 – Community transmission
    • 3 – Currently under investigation
  • 9,400+ – number of people self-monitoring who returned to the U.S. through SFO or LAX
  • 49 – Number of local health jurisdictions involved in self-monitoring
  • 14 – Labs with test kits

CMS issues COVID-19 call to action for health care providers

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also announced several actions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, CMS is issuing a call to action to health care providers across the country to ensure they are implementing their infection control procedures, which they are required to maintain at all times. Additionally, CMS announced that, effective immediately and, until further notice, State Survey Agencies and Accrediting Organizations will focus their facility inspections exclusively on issues related to infection control and other serious health and safety threats, like allegations of abuse – beginning with nursing homes and hospitals. This shift in approach will allow inspectors to focus their energies on addressing the spread of COVID-19.

The California Medical Association (CMA) will be closely monitoring this situation. CMA has also set up a COVID-19 resource page, where you will find links to the latest news, research and developments on the COVID-19 outbreak for physicians and other health care providers.



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