Coronavirus: California schools closed through end of academic year, governor says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- During a daily press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom discussed the state's ongoing response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in California.

The governor confirmed there are 8,155 positive cases of COVID-19 in California with 774 of those patients occupying ICU beds, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Newsom reiterated the importance of social distancing and adhering to the guidelines outlined by state officials in recent weeks.

The governor also confirmed California schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year.

To help California students, the governor said Google is stepping up in a "big way" and is creating a 100,000 points of access to provide internet and broadband capacity to Californians.

The tech company will also provide three months of free broadband access in California, Newsom said.

After Newsom's announcement, Google's CEO clarified that the company, in partnership with the state, will be providing 4,000 chromebook laptops to California students.

This is in an effort to make distanced learning easier for students during the outbreak.

On a personal note, Newsom addressed the "deep respect and empathy" he has for mothers and caregivers during this time, referencing the role of parents while children are at home.

He acknowledged the hard work and effort that goes into caring for and teaching children inside the home during this time in California.

"I know how stressful this is," the governor said.

VIDEO: Newsom addresses 'deep respect and empathy' for mothers and caregivers during this time.
EMBED More News Videos

On a personal note, Newsom addressed the "deep respect and empathy" he has for mothers and caregivers during this time.

In terms of the best defenses against the coronavirus - state health officer Sonia Y. Angell also spoke during the briefing, reiterating the importance of staying home.

She says hand washing, physical distancing and staying at home are vital in protecting yourself from the virus.

Angell also addressed the effectiveness of face masks.

She said though there are some added benefits to masks, they need to be used in addition to social distancing protocols.

State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond also spoke during Wednesday's press briefing, confirming schools will not reopen this school year.

He emphasized that just because campuses are closed, class is still in session.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California announced Wednesday it is suspending the SAT exam as a requirement for admission.

This "unprecedented" move applies to students looking to enroll in the fall of 2020.

Thurmond will be holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon on the status of California schools during the COVID-19 crisis.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.