LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - A statewide surge in coronavirus cases is projected to occur in the second half of May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.
The governor made the projection during an announcement of an initiative aimed at helping older Californians stay connected while they stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
While Newsom said the state's "very dynamic" models appear to indicate a coming surge in the second half, it comes in contrast to a more dire prediction from researchers at the University of Washington's medical school, which said COVID-19 will create peak demand later this month.
That forecast projected roughly 100 deaths per day statewide.
Newsom's projection also appeared to somewhat contradict guidance from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who last week predicted a surge in Southern California by mid-April.
The state has also established a hotline to deliver services and help for older Californians at 1-833-544-2374.
"The most important way for older Californians to stay safe is to stay at home," said Newsom. "No older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication. It's on all of us across the state to check in on the older adults in our lives – our friends, family and neighbors – to help them during this outbreak. Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure our older neighbors have someone to talk to and have enough food to eat during these difficult times."
The state is partnering with AARP, the Alzheimer's Association, American Lung Association and other groups to streamline existing senior outreach programs.
There are 5.7 million Californians over the age of 65, according to the state's Department of Aging. Of those, an estimated one million live alone.
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