Newsom Creates Program To Help Isolated Seniors

All News KCBS Radio
March 31, 2020 - 1:34 pm
r Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship USNS Mercy that arrived into the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new effort to help seniors overcome isolation induced by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shelter in place order. In partnership with a number of health care partners, the initiative looks to tackle the loneliness, anxiety, and isolation felt by the state’s most vulnerable population, Newsom said Tuesday. 

Newsom announced the launch of a new hotline — (833) 544-2374 — aimed at helping those supporting the senior population to receive programs and services, like meals on wheels.

Newsom challenged the state to consider the job an an avenue for civic engagement. 

Newsom had also put out the call the day prior for medical workers to apply to the state’s new Health Corps initiative to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Newsom said today that within 24 hours, the website had already received over 25,000 applications for prospective licensed health care workers, which would already potentially represent about two thirds of the goal of roughly 37,000 workers.

Newsom also clarified what the appropriate use of a mask was for non-health care workers. He said that the state has a team in place analyzing the gear, but cautioned that the current focus is on making sure frontline healthcare workers have adequate protective masks. It would take roughly 100 million masks to satisfy all of the state’s health care needs alone, Newsom said.

“We want to be complete and guided by science in this space,” said Newsom, “but, respectfully, science is a bit incomplete in this space.”

Newsom said that masks could also create a false sense of security, which could lead to people relaxing their adherence to the state’s shelter in place order.​