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California seeks health care professionals to join in fight against coronavirus

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Health professionals, California needs you!

That was the message Gov. Gavin Newsom made during a press conference Monday.

He is calling on health care workers to sign up to help California in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak.

The state rolled out healthcorps.ca.gov to tap into an estimated 37,000 healthcare workers that are either retired, part-time or in training to help the state’s response to COVID-19.

“Looking for mental health experts, looking for more EMTs, pharmacist, looking for more experts in respiratory care, technicians, administrators, we are calling on you to step up and step in and meet this moment,” Newsom said.

He also announced the state is opening additional health care sites to treat people affected by COVID-19 and to relieve the pressure on our health care system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases.

Newsom said the Army Corps of Engineers will begin work on turning coliseums and arenas into hospitals.

The state has also secured some hospital leases, hotel rooms, and a navy ship to help with space and hospital beds.

Newsom’s administration estimated the state needs an extra 50,000 beds for its possible patient surge.

“We project we will need that towards the second half of the month of May, so we are very busy trying to build towards that,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, CA Health & Human Services Secretary, said.

Officials said COVID-19 hospitalization rates doubled while the number of ICU patients tripled in the last four days.

Governor Newsom says about 1,400 people are hospitalized, while 597 of them are in intensive care.

The governor is still calling the state-wide stay at home order indefinite.

“If you’ve ever gone skydiving, the worst thing you can do is cut the parachute when you’re not even close to the ground. We’re not yet even close to the ground,” Newsom said.  

As of Monday, California has 5,763 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Newsom’s telepress conference was the first of now scheduled daily public updates that are set for every day at noon.

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