COVID-19: Newsom creates hotline for Californians to connect and help older adults

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With more than 5 million Californians age 65 and older, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday an initiative to help one of the state’s most vulnerable populations stay connected under the directive to remain home amid the novel coronavirus. 

Distancing orders are in full force across the state but the health threat of anxiety and loneliness lingers, especially among older adults. The state is working with its partners such as the Alzheimer’s, American Lung and the American Heart associations to connect the most vulnerable with the necessary resources. 

This connectivity effort has been already been in place and especially utilized in preparation for wildfire seasons but “we’re now reconstituting all of those programs and building capacity and partnership to significantly increase our connectivity to our seniors to check in, not just for wellness checks related to food and medicine but the deep anxiety people are feeling being isolated at home,” Newsom said during a live Facebook broadcast. 

To help neighbors of this population in need, the state created a hotline “that will guide them to more substantively deliver on the needs of the individual they are contacting,” said the governor. 

The phone number is 833-544-2374. 

The state is also partnering with its 2-1-1 service to further connect people with services. The three-digit dial, which is available 24 hours a day throughout the year, allows community members to get services at a very local level. For example, the system is capable of helping callers access grocery and medication delivery while staying at home. 

Newsom encouraged Californians “to check in on your neighbors, make those phone calls, not just loved ones, check in on strangers. People ask every day, ‘What more can I do?’ Let’s activate this kind of civic contribution.” 

For all local coronavirus-related stories, visit: signalscv.com/2020/03/covid-19-coverage-summary.

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