SACRAMENTO (CBSLA) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday the launch of a new website to help coordinate donations of critical medical supplies to the front lines of the state’s coronavirus relief efforts.
In his daily COVID-19 briefing, Newsom said the state has been overwhelmed by organizations and individuals offering to donate, sell or manufacture essential medical supplies, including ventilators, N95 respirators and testing materials.
The website directs those interested in donating to fill out a contact form with information about the supplies they can give.
“These actions marshal the generosity and innovative spirit of Californians to help us achieve two essential goals: getting more lifesaving supplies into our health care system and increasing our testing capacity,” said Governor Newsom.
Newsom also announced a new task force to help with the state’s pandemic response. The COVID-19 Testing Task Force is a collaboration with public and private stakeholders to help boost California’s testing capacity.
The task force will be led by Dr. Charity Dean, California Department of Public Health Assistant Director, and Paul Markovich, Blue Shield of California President and CEO.
“The Task Force is connecting with laboratories across California to tap into unique technologies to improve and refine our testing capabilities to ensure we’re meeting the needs of patients across the state,” Dean said.
According to Newsom’s office, the task force will focus on increasing lab capacity for rapid testing, improving California’s testing supply chain, and streamlining the state’s test results.
Newsom said the testing backlog has gone down from 60,000 to 13,000, and that he’d like to see that number lowered even further.
The governor also announced three collaborations to further increase the state’s test capacity:
— UC San Diego and UC Davis to are helping to create testing hubs to further increase the state’s test output.
— Stanford Medicine is launching the first serology test invented in California to test for COVID-19 antibodies.
— Abbott Laboratories is deploying the first rapid point-of-care test for the state.
Also Saturday, Newsom addressed models showing that California’s social distancing efforts are working to effectively slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state. He warned residents not to take these models as encouragement to begin congregating in large numbers again.
“We cannot allow cabin fever,” he said. “We’re not out of the woods.”
For more information on the state’s COVID-19 efforts, click here.