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Newsom Announces New Protections for Essential Workers


California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to continue protecting essential workers such as construction laborers, food prep employees, farmworkers, truck drivers and cashiers, who are being disproportionately impacted the pandemic.

Newsom announced the state will be expanding on the Roomkey model, by providing more hotel rooms and subsidies for essential workers who feel sick and have no place at home to isolate because of they might be living in small or overcrowded homes.

“When people ask, as they often do, where are we seeing the spread – this is where we’re seeing spread: the essential workforce, disproportionately represented by the Latinx community,” the governor said.

Newsom’s executive orders establishing COVID-19 paid sick leave and workers’ compensation for at-risk workers are also being extended.

“For us to be able to be successful in terms of stopping the spread of COVID-19, which we will do, it depends on our ability to keep our essential workers safe,” Newsom said.

Newsom said the state will offer detailed guidelines for employers to make sure the working conditions are safe.

California reported more than 12,800 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest reported daily tally the state has recorded so far.

California has now surpassed New York in total confirmed Covid-19 cases — more than 409,500 cases as of Wednesday — making it the state with the most cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Approximately 7,170 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide as of Tuesday, with 2,058 in intensive care, according to the state Department of Public Health.

During the last week, 674 deaths were reported in California, the highest weekly total to date. That number broke the record set in the previous seven-day period when 640 died; the week before that, it was 474.

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