California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order on Thursday that allows the state to take over hotels and motels in order to convert them into medical housing for coronavirus patients, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun.
According to the report, patients from the Grand Princess cruise ship have already been moved to such facilities, such as a 120-room hotel in San Carlos located near San Francisco. Officials are also looking for potential patient housing in "mothballed" facilities that could be cleaned up and repurposed.
"As you can imagine, under our pandemic planning, we're also looking to secure additional assets," said Newsom.
Under the executive order, the state's Health and Human Services Agency and the Office of Emergency Services can commandeer private property for coronavirus treatment, as well as offer economic relief for residents, Fox News reports.
BREAKING: CA has waived the 1 week waiting period for those unemployed or disabled as a result of COVID-19.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 12, 2020
If a medical professional says you’re unable to work, if your hours have been reduced, or your employer has shut down -- you can file a claim.
"This is where we need to go next, and to make sure we fully implement those procedures and protocols to slow down the spread to get through a peak and to get through the next few months, so we don’t overwhelm our healthcare delivery system," Newsom said, according to the LA Times.
The executive order also eliminates a one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. In Sacramento, meanwhile, the City Council approved a $1 million economic relief package in a Friday night vote which will provide zero-interest loans of up to $25,000 to restaurants, retail, daycare and other businesses which are being affected by coronavirus precautions.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti closed City Hall to the public along with banning all events or conferences on city-owned property which will have over 50 people. Meetings will be conducted via teleconference.
"We are entering a critical period," said Garcetti, adding "These are common-sense measures."
There are currently 282 known cases of COVID-19 in California, which is home to around 40 million people.