The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

State takes action on coronavirus


State Sen. Melissa Hurtado last week offered these updates on the state’s coronavirus actions:

Medical supplies. Gov.Gavin Newsom launched a website,, to get critical supplies to the front line of California's fight against the COVID-19 crisis. The website allows individuals and companies to donate, sell or offer to manufacture 13 of the most essential medical supplies.

COVID-19 Testing Task Force. The governor has announced a public-private collaboration that will work with stakeholders across the state to quickly and significantly boost California's testing capacity.

Alternate care sites. California is making progress in securing additional beds to treat COVID-19 patients and relief pressure on the health care delivery system. The governor announced California has already secured up to 4,613 additional beds at alternate care sites and shuttered hospitals to care for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, with even more capacity being finalized.

Childcare resources. In response to COVID-19, the governor has announced allowing the California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services the flexibility to waive certain programmatic and administrative requirements for childcare for children of essential critical infrastructure workers.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Funds. is a one stop resource for Californians impacted by job loss due to COVID-19.

Property tax. Counties will use all existing authority to cancel penalties and other charges for homeowners, small businesses and other property owners that are unable to pay their property taxes due to circumstances caused by COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis. However, property owners who can pay or that haven't been directly affected by COVID-19, including international corporations and out-of-state landlords, still need to pay on time to keep critical government services running.

Price gouging. The governor expanded consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to COVID-19. His executive order prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items more than 10%.

Distance learning. The governor announced a major agreement between teachers, classified employees, school boards, superintendents and principals to work together to provide distance learning to California's students as a result of school closures due to mitigation efforts against the COVID-19 outbreak. The agreement means more kids will be able to get school resources, such as quality instruction, and empowers teachers to create lessons within clear parameters.

[CORRECTION, April 10, 2020: State Sen. Melissa Hurtado was misidentified in the origianl verion of this story.]


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