Newsom touts ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ as COVID-19 cases, vaccine shipments pick up

With the arrival of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to the state, California can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but Gov. Gavin Newsom said this is a sober moment.

“We want to be optimistic,” Newsom said. “But let’s deal with some sober realities.”

Newsom announced Tuesday that in the last 24 hours, 142 people reportedly died from COVID-19. He said that California has placed an order for 5,000 additional body bags and has 60 53-foot refrigerators on standby at hospitals around the state.

To combat this ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases, California is establishing medical overflow facilities and upping intensive care staffing. Newsom discussed new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for healthcare workers who have been exposed to COVID-19. These include quarantining for 10 days instead of 14 and seven days for critical staffing shortages.

Meanwhile, on Monday the state received its first round of Pfizer vaccine doses. 33,150 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in California with an additional 393,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as early as next week, Newsom said. The state is waiting for Moderna’s vaccine to be granted FDA approval but is already expecting 672,000 doses by the end of December.

Here’s more from 23ABC.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.