State’s new virus spending expected to include stimulus checks, business grants


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says details will be released Wednesday on spending for small business grants, stimulus checks for individuals and housing for farmworkers infected by the coronavirus.

The deal with lawmakers will include $24 million for a program that puts farm and food processing workers up in hotels if they are exposed to the virus and can’t isolate. He didn’t share other details. His comments came as he visited a vaccination clinic in the Coachella Valley, an area that’s home to many farmworkers.

California’s virus numbers continue to improve in recent weeks, and Newsom voiced optimism Wednesday, saying that if the trend continues, most counties should be out of the state’s most restrictive “purple tier” by this time next month.

“We will see counties move not just purple to red, but more red to orange. And I anticipate based on the numbers already in orange, you will see many more in that yellow tier as well, which is the most permissive of the tiers,” Newsom said.

A move from the purple to red tier gives counties the opportunity to have restaurants open indoors at 25% capacity. Additionally in the tier:

  • Retail shops and malls can increase indoor capacity to 50%;
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums can open indoors at 25% capacity;
  • Gyms and fitness centers can open indoors at 10% capacity; and
  • Movie theaters can open indoors at 25% capacity.

But Newsom cautioned that it’s only if cases continue to drop. He’s concerned that might not happen due to an increasing number of COVID-19 variants in the state. Demand for vaccines also still far exceeds supply in the state, futher limiting its recovery.


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