June 29, 2020

Disclaimer: This transcript is a back-translation of the Latent Interpretation and is not intended to be a verbatim reproduction of the original message.  

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VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Certified Deaf Interpreter, Jim Brune, A White male with blonde/brown hair, blonde/white goatee, and blue eyes wearing a blue collared shirt with a black vest with buttons down the front.  Sitting in front of orange painted wall with a tan lampshade on his left and a room divider on the right.



Deaf Interpreter: Hello. I’m Jim Brune interpreting California Governor Newsom’s press conference on Monday, June 29th, 2020.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Governor Gavin Newsom with hands-on desk, looking at the camera.


Governor Newsom: Good afternoon. Thank you for watching it. I would like to update everyone on what’s happening here in California with COVID-19. Before I do that, I would like to review what we’ve done thus far regarding COVID-19. First, we’ve partnered with the federal government by working out arrangements with China to bring home United States citizens during China’s quarantine period.

Secondly, we worked with the federal government regarding docking the cruise ship that was sailing in waters close to the California coast. Many people on that cruise ship were sick with COVID-19. We brought them to shore and then made arrangements to disembark passengers and hospitalize those who were sick and arrange travel home for the passengers who were not sick.


WHITE TEXT: Shelter-in-place started March 19


Governor Newsom: Moving a bit forward in time, on March 19th we started the Shelter In Place order. Starting shortly from that date, we started to see how COVID-19 impacted different areas throughout the state. These impacts on different parts of our state varied.

That meant we established a system for how different counties with different needs throughout the state individually partnered with the state government. That led to each county being able to proceed with the reopening, with the understanding that they had to be in compliance with the following guidances:

Each county had to show that they had their own step by step procedures or guidances ready for how their businesses and hospitals would:

Have enough Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) which could include: hair net, mask, gloves, gowns, protective glasses

Have testing available and ready for the public

Doing contact tracing – which would mean figuring out how a person who was sick with COVID-19 became exposed and where / who that person might have exposed or given COVID-19 to.

Enough available beds in the hospital

Have back-up space in case those beds in the hospital filled – called “surge” beds

If patients were severely sick with COVID-19 and needed to be treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), would there be enough ICU beds available?

Would the County have enough ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients available if needed?




Governor Newsom: The state government has been and is still working with counties through 4 phases of reopening. Most of the counties throughout California are currently in phase 2 or 3 of the re-opening process. There is only one county that hasn’t moved on to phase three yet. That would be Imperial County. Their numbers are too high for them to safely move into Phase Three. The hospitals in Imperial County are almost full – we had to move 500 patients to hospitals in surrounding Counties. That is a huge responsibility for those surrounding Counties.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: picture of a person’s hand pressing a light dimmer switch


Governor Newsom: With that said, there has been a noticeable increase in numbers throughout the state. That led the state government to put into effect what we call a “dimmer switch” approach. That means that much like using a dimmer switch to control a room’s lighting, we need to watch our numbers of people who are sick with COVID-19. As those numbers increase, we need to slow down, or rather, dim our re-opening efforts. If our lights are bright, that means that our COVID-19 positive numbers have decreased enough for us to safely proceed with re-opening. (6:02)


WHITE TEXT: Examples of recent state actions


Governor Newsom: I would like to point out that as the numbers of people who are tested positive for COVID-19 increase, we need to be aware that those impacts are felt differently throughout different counties in the state. That also means that we need to be more cautious and careful about how we reopen. In order to do that, we have done the following three things –


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of the inside of a bar with a red X mark


Governor Newsom: Imperial County, in addition to six other counties throughout the state, have been required to close all bars operating within their boundaries.

The other eight counties on our watch list have had increases in their numbers of positive COVID-19 test results. Those counties have been encouraged to close their bars as well. If those numbers begin to increase, the State government might require the closing of bars in those counties as well.

We have also required a dimming of Imperial County, going back to the Shelter In Place order due to their numbers of positive COVID-19 cases increasing dangerously.

In addition to that, there has been a trend of families starting to congregate with extended family members. In those get-togethers, people are not wearing their masks. With that, our numbers of positive cases are increasing. This is a significant concern because of the holiday weekend, the Fourth of July is approaching.

We are concerned that as extended families start to get together, less wearing masks and COVID-19 numbers go up.  Soon it is the 4th of July so this is a major concern.

Quickly, I would like to review why those seven counties that had the order to close their bars were affected. How and what the State government based those decisions on. The positive number of COVID-19 cases in each county were monitored for a period of fourteen days. When those numbers continued to increase, the decision was made to inform those counties that they needed to close their bars.

Those other eight counties that are on the watch list – their numbers will be monitored for the next three to fourteen days. If their numbers increase significantly enough, the State government might have to require that those counties close their bars.


WHITE TEXT: COVID-19 positive cases: June 26=5,972. June 27= 4,810. June 28=5,307. 45% increase in last 7 days


Governor Newsom: Now I would like to discuss the current number of COVID-19 positive numbers. That “positive cases” represent those people who are currently sick with COVID-19. Last Friday, June 26th, the total number of new cases – again, those are people who were tested and identified as being sick with COVID-19 – was five thousand nine hundred and seventy-two cases.

On Saturday, June 27th, the total number of new cases reported was four thousand eight hundred and ten.

Then Sunday, June 28th, the total number of new cases reported was five thousand three hundred and seven.

So in the recent seven days, do you know how much those numbers increased by? They increased by forty-five percent. That is a very sharp and accelerated increase.


WHITE TEXT: 106,000 tests on June 28 positive rate = 5.8%


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Bar graph on dark blue background with an orange header. Text in the header says total tests v.s. test positivity. Blue lines increasing in length from left to right with a staggered orange line decreasing from left to right as the blue lines increase in length. A green arrow on white background briefly flashes in the approximate middle of the graph.


You will see on the next slide, there are a series of blue lines increasing. Those blue lines represent the number of tests provided. You will notice that those lines increase in length as the numbers of tests being provided increase. You will also see an orange line parallel to the blue lines. The orange line represents the number of tests that show a positive result (meaning people who are sick with COVID-19). You will see in the beginning that the orange line was very high – at approximately forty percent. That orange line then begins to slowly drop as the blue lines increase. The orange line was high initially because, in the beginning, not very many tests were available to be given out. That meant that the people who were tested were almost certainly those who tested positive for COVID-19. As our ability to provide testing to the public increased, the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 began to decrease.


WHITE TEXT:  Two weeks ago = 4.4% positive, then up to 4.8% and now 5.5%


Governor Newsom: Now, I would like to show you the next slide. That next slide gives us a more focused look at our numbers. With that closer look, we begin to understand more. If you look at that new slide, you can see that two weeks ago, the number of people who took the test and showed a positive result of being sick with COVID-19 was at the four-point eight percent rate. That rate fluctuates and then begins to increase significantly. That significant increase is at the five-point five percent. That was at the point where the State government became alarmed and informed Imperial County that they had to pause their reopening and go back to the Shelter In Place order. That increase to five point five percent rate of people who tested positive for COVID-19 was also why we informed those other seven counties that they needed to close their bars as well. That rate increase was also a factor in why the State put out that mandatory order regarding wearing a facial mask.


WHITE TEXT: Hospitalizations June 15=3,335.  June 21=3, 702. June 28 = 4,776. Increase of 43%


Governor Newsom: Now I will be showing you the next slide. This slide shows the number of people who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, or people who are showing symptoms of being sick with COVID-19. Previously, on June 15th, the number of people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 was three thousand three hundred and thirty-five. The next date that we have numbers for is June 21st. On that date, there were three thousand, seven hundred, and two people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19. Now the most recent numbers are for June 28th. Those numbers are four thousand, seven hundred and seventy-six people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19. You can see the numbers are increasing on each date. The total increase rate is forty-three percent.

We are working to assess what our critical needs are now, during what is considered the first wave of people who have been impacted by COVID-19, and those numbers are still increasing.  While doing that, please also be aware that the State government is preparing for what might be a second wave occurring in the fall. Our numbers are increasing now and might begin to decrease before they increase again in what we expect will be the second wave.

Now, I am showing a new slide. This slide represents the people who have been hospitalized.


WHITE TEXT: 42,895=58% Patients hospitalized.


Governor Newsom: You’ll see the number of patients who have been hospitalized is forty-two thousand eight hundred ninety-five. On top of that number, you’ll see a different number. That number represents how many people of that forty-two thousand eight hundred ninety-five people are hospitalized from COVID-19 related symptoms. That number is four thousand seven hundred seventy-six. The total percentage of those two numbers is sixty-five percent.

Now on the other side, we have a number representing the total number of hospital beds available in California. That number is seventy-three thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven. If you take the first total – the sixty-five percent out of the total number of beds available in California that shows we have thirty-five percent of our hospital beds left. That is a serious concern.

The State government has already identified what is being called Federal Medical Sites (FMS). The purpose of those Federal Medical Sites is to serve as an alternative source if our hospitals become at-capacity, or filled, and there are no additional hospital beds available. Those Federal Medical Sites will be ready to serve as our reserve areas should our hospitals become filled. We have three Federal Medical Sites prepared at this time – one is a hospital in Daly City, just a few miles south of San Francisco. The remaining two sites are stadiums both located in Sacramento – Arco Arena and Sleep Train Arena. Those three locations are large facilities that have been prepared and are ready to serve as Federal Medical Sites should the need arise.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Dark blue background with an orange header. Text in the orange header reads California’s Critical Care Capacity. The following numbers are listed on the left side of the picture: 1,465 Total ICU COVID-19+ patients. 3,717 total ICU beds are available. 10,095 total ICU beds. In the middle of the image, there is an orange pie chart with a defibrillator line in the middle. White text reads ICU capacity. A small portion is shaded blue and has white text in the blue area that reads. On the right, there is a picture of a ventilator with the number 11,577 beneath and white text that reads: ventilators available.


Governor Newsom: Now you can see with the next slide, we will be discussing ICU beds. Those beds are for people who are severely sick with COVID-19 and require intensive care provided by the ICU. You’ll notice that the numbers of people who have been admitted to the ICU have been increasing. I’ll give you some dates. On June 15th, 1,069 people were in the ICU. On June 21st, 1,119 people were in the ICU. On June 28th, that number was 1,465. The number of beds available in our intensive care units is close to reaching capacity. Close to being full. The total number of patients who are COVID-19 positive and in the ICU is 1,465 people. I would also like to point out that the total number of ICU beds available at this time is 3,717. The total amount of beds in various Intensive Care Units throughout the state is 10,905 beds. Patients who are positive for COVID-19 are using 13 percent of intensive care unit beds but the number of beds available within the intensive care units are being used throughout California by COVID19 patients is at 39 percent. Again, our Intensive Care Unit capacity is close to being full.

I have been giving you all the different numbers because I believe in being fully transparent so that we are all aware of the varied challenges that we face, in addition to informing you how the State is proactively responding in order to try reducing and contain the spread of COVID-19.

Again, I would like to emphasize that the different counties throughout California are all being impacted in different ways by COVID-19. That is the leading cause of the light-dimmer approach that will be applied throughout California. A one fits approach would not work with the varied needs of the different counties and how they are being impacted. That also means that the State government will be monitoring the numbers of cases and availability of resources within each county. Those numbers will determine how severe the dimming approach will be.

All 58 counties throughout the state are expected to be collecting and monitoring their numbers. Nineteen counties have partnered with the State government – I would like to mention that on Friday, we had fifteen counties partnered with the state. As of today, we have nineteen because four additional counties had numbers high enough to warrant further assistance from the State. Those four new counties are Solano County, Merced County, Orange County, and Glenn County.


WHITE TEXT: monitor 19 counties (just added: Solano, Merced, Orange, Glenn Counties)

Those 19 counties that have partnered with the State have a total of 72 percent of the population of California residing within those 19 counties. That is a staggering number. Seven counties have been required by the State to start dimming their lights – moving back from the reopening of their counties.

I have been showing you all those different numbers in an attempt to make sure that all the data is transparent and available to everyone. Anyone can look at the information and see their own county’s data and see the status of your county’s dimmer switch – whether it is on the brighter or the dimmer side.

Dr. Ghaly, California Health, and Human Services Agency official speaking now: I would like to address why the State has such a varied approach with the different counties throughout the State. As pointed out, the numbers of COVID19 positive cases are increasing. I would like to explain how the decisions to order the dimming of a specific county is made. The number of COVID19 positive cases in each county is monitored very closely. If the county has more than an 8 percent rate of positive cases, the State will order the county in question to begin scaling back (dimming the switch) on their reopening procedures. In addition to monitoring the positive case number, we also monitor the number of people that have been hospitalized due to COVID19, and how many ICU beds are available. If the number of available beds in the ICU drops below 20 percent of capacity, we order the county in question to begin scaling back (dimming the switch) on their reopening procedures. We also monitor the number of ventilators available. If less than 25 percent of the ventilators are available, we order the county in question to begin scaling back (dimming the switch) on their reopening procedures.

We are very aware that the numbers of COVID19 positive cases are increasing. We have been trying to figure out why, and in that process, we took a close look at three counties that had a significant increase in their COVID19 positive cases.

There were three different examples that led to those significant increases. In the first example, in Sacramento County, the COVID19 positive increase was attributed to family gatherings where people were not following social distancing protocols nor wearing facial masks.

The second example occurred in San Bernardino County, in Southern California. Their increase in COVID19 cases was due to an outbreak in local nursing facilities and the jail.

The third example of how positive numbers increased comes from Imperial County, in the southernmost part of California, adjacent to the California-Mexico border. The spread of COVID19 occurred from people transmitting while working within factories and farms throughout Imperial County, then bringing COVID19 home to their communities.

Those three outbreaks were each different – and in different areas of the state. That meant to us, that how we would attempt to control and contain the spread of COVID19 couldn’t be the same for each situation. We had to tailor our responses to each individual situation.

That meant how we approached reducing and containing the spread of COVID19 had to be different. Some of the approaches we did were educating various different communities. Educating regarding wearing facial masks, washing your hands thoroughly, practicing social distancing. Our second approach was slowing down the reopening of businesses. In addition to those two approaches, the State also supported different counties in their response to COVID19 in their communities. We ensured that different businesses throughout the state were adhering to the guidelines provided by the State government on how to open and operate day to day business safely. One approach the Government is considering is that if during monitoring the numbers, we notice that numbers are increasing dangerously, we might have to close previously reopened businesses. Or if the numbers increase significantly enough, the Government might have to reinstate the Shelter In Place order for affected counties.

Governor Newsom speaking now: What Dr. Ghaly just spoke regarding, I would like to strongly emphasize that we, as Californians, need to wear our facial masks and practice social distancing.

IMAGE DESCRIPTIONS: white background with a blue outline of a head wearing a mask. The second image of two people standing on green grass against a blue sky with dotted lines between the two people. Indicative of social distancing.

It is very important that businesses that are open and operating protect their employees and customers who frequent their businesses. In order to do that, the State has established guidelines and procedures for people to follow. Those guidelines and procedures are designed for the County and businesses within those counties. You might ask how the State plans to encourage people in following those guidelines? I can answer that. The state government has set aside 2.5 billion dollars for counties to use towards encouraging and educating their population in the importance of following those guidelines and procedures given. It is very important that we all work together and collaborate to reduce and effectively contain the spread of COVID19.

You might wonder if we will establish punitive consequences for those counties or people that deliberately do not follow the outlined guidelines and procedures. No, we will not do that. We want people to take personal responsibility for their actions. The State has published and shared widely established guidelines and procedures for businesses to open and operate safely in our new circumstances. The focus is on how businesses can ensure the safety and health of their employees and customers while reopening. The focus is not on punitive actions, but rather on encouraging businesses and local government in following those established guidelines.

Another pressing concern is relating to our prison system in California. I would like to specifically mention two prisons in particular. Lancaster and Chino. Those two prisons in specific have had concerning increases of COVID19 positive cases within their population. Currently, we have 2,589 prisoners who have been tested and identified as COVID19 positive within those two prisons I’ve mentioned. San Quentin also is a third prison that is of concern – they have identified 1,011 prisoners who have tested as positive for COVID19. Throughout the prison system in California, we have 113,000 incarcerated people. A very high percentage of the population that tested positive for COVID19 is being held at San Quentin. Those numbers of prisoners who are COVID19 positive is concerning.

The issue that we are facing now is that some prisoners who tested positive were transferred to another prison. We are not sure if these prisoners became sick during the process of being transferred. We are addressing this issue with several solutions. One solution is if an incarcerated individual has less than 180 days in their sentence, the State of California will proceed to release that individual. So far, using that approach, we have released 3,500 individuals. I would like to emphasize that we are not randomly releasing individuals here and there. We are releasing people who have already had a plan for their release established, which includes having a parole officer assigned to them, a place established for them to live in, and connections to local support services in place. We have not released any sex offenders. Prior to releasing prisoners, we have established clear and definitive procedures that need to be followed in order to be released.

We are currently working with advocates in order to release another 3,500 incarcerated individuals. Another group of incarcerated individuals we are looking at possibly releasing are individuals who are sick with a variety of illnesses or disorders. That’s our outlined goal – to release individuals who have varied illnesses. One of the challenges the State faces in releasing incarcerated individuals who are ill is that those individuals have no established places in the community that they can be released to. That is a difficult decision that the State is facing – because we do want to release individuals and at the same time reduce and contain the spread of COVID19. The State does not want to release individuals that do not have any pre-established support systems or destinations in the community. Those are some of the difficulties facing the State when we begin to consider releasing incarcerated individuals. In the following days, the California Legislature will be meeting and specifically discussing how the people who are within our corrections systems – be they incarcerated themselves, or employees of the Department of Corrections – can continue to be safe and healthy in the prisons throughout the state. The State is actively working on developing procedures and guidelines specifically geared towards the Corrections system.

I would like to tell people – advocates working for, and families of our incarcerated individuals – the State is listening. I want to emphasize that we all need to, please, wear our facial masks, follow social distancing guidelines, and wash our hands for at least 20 seconds. All those things are vital in continuing to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy, with the goal of reducing and containing the spread of COVID19.

The State of California has acquired and been distributing over 250 million masks. The plan is to obtain and release more over the next few weeks. The State of California has also shipped 17 million masks to support other States. Yes, wearing a mask is required and expected, but the bottom line is supporting you, supporting each other by keeping each other healthy and safe.



Disclaimer: This transcript is a back-translation of the Latent Interpretation and is not intended to be a verbatim reproduction of the original message.  

For questions, comments, and feedback, please email latentimedia@gmail.com     Thank you!