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Andy Jordan peers into an empty shelf in the pasta aisle at Berkeley Bowl on March 13, 2020. Shelves of basic items like pasta, toilet paper and flour emptied across the store as shoppers prepared to stay home for the next two weeks.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

 

The coronavirus package includes $400 million for food banks to purchase and distribute foods. The California Association of Food Banks has also requested state funding to purchase food and staff food banks, which are currently facing precipitous drops in volunteers and cancellations of their distribution sites.

Coronavirus treatment for all?

In the crowdless Democratic primary debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, Sanders zeroed in on the coronavirus crisis as further proof of the need for universal and free health care.

In fact, the idea of universal coverage at least for coronavirus treatment is gaining mainstream steam. The coronavirus relief bill would guarantee free testing for all Americans.

State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, a Los Angeles Democrat, urged Newsom to go even further, extending Medi-Cal coverage for coronavirus-related testing and treatment to all Californians, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Currently, some health clinics lare waiving test fees for the uninsured. The California Department of Public Health has said that people who are uninsured and have symptoms should contact their local health department to find out where free tests might be available.

Carlyn Kranking contributed to this reporting. Jackie Botts is a reporter at CalMatters. This article is part of The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California.