California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Monday to redirect state agencies to protect licensed facilities, staff and residents vulnerable to COVID-19, colloquially known as the coronavirus.
The order contains updated health guidance for older residents, which includes individuals over the age of 65 and those at a higher risk for illness from COVID-19. State health and social services agencies are being asked to redirect resources and staff to health care, residential and nonresidential facilities. The redirection is focused on providing technical assistance and supporting compliance with “core health and safety requirements.”
The California Health and Human Services Agency is also being directed to develop alternatives to leverage in-home supportive services programs, adult protective services programs, area agencies on aging and regional centers and other programs.
“These will be challenging times and California is mobilizing every part of government to protect and isolate residents most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Newsom said in a press release. “In the coming weeks, our state must rally behind these Californians and work aggressively to ensure their needs are safely met.”
The order adds that state departments will authorize first responders, care providers and workers who are asymptomatic and taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to continue working.
Newsom is recommending that older residents and individuals with compromised immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions remain at home until the order is rescinded or another guidance is issued.
Outdoor activities are also encouraged to continue as long as individuals practice social distancing. It is also advised that individuals stay in touch with others by phone or email, have others help with essential activities, stock up on food items and medical supplies, have a plan in the case of possibly contracting the virus and to practice basic hygiene etiquette.
“It is also important that older adults and those at elevated risk of serious illness from COVID-19 take immediate steps to reduce their risk. This includes staying at home as much as possible and practicing social distancing,” Newsom said in the press release.