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Gov. Newsom says expanded testing is key to reopening California

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — There’s still no set date for when California will lift its state-wide stay-at-home coronavirus order.

But state leaders say they are making progress in one key area needed before the state can reopen.

Governor Gavin Newsom said expanding the ability to test and trace those infected with COVID-19 is one the key pieces needed before California reopens.

“We have tried to make it crystal clear — there is no light switch,” Newsom said. There is no date…”

Although California isn’t opening up in the near future, Governor Newsom says new testing capacity is getting the state closer to that goal.

The state is set to receive more than 350,000 much needed testing swabs from the federal government — 100,000 of them set to arrive by the end of this week.

State leaders also announced 86 new testing centers in communities that are predominately Black, brown and rural.

“We put together a heat map that we define as testing deserts and we are going to plug into these sites,” he said.

Newsom says California is testing 16,000 people a day, but officials are hoping to nearly double that by the end of the month. The state is aiming to eventually test 60,000 to 80,000 people a day.

The ability to test more will help with the state’s goal of contact tracing the virus.

Newsom said the state is training 10,000 workers to help.

“We’re not starting our tracing program from scratch. you have trained, professional workers and local health departments that do this every single day,” Newsom said. “The question that’s asked of us is to do it at a scale that we have not seen.”

State health officials confirmed California is also looking forward to having 1.5 million antibody tests in the near future, but is waiting for its vendor to get FDA approval.

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