Newsom says reopening California will begin this week

Marco Green
May 6, 2020

California gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a campaign rally in Burbank, California, May 30, 2018.

"We are entering into the next phase this week", said Newsom.

The move doesn't cover eat-in dining at restaurants or the reopening of offices, which were previously included in the second stage of the embattled Democratic governor's four-part reopening plan. His administration will release specific guidance Thursday on how retailers can reopen safely, he said.

Under Newsom's plan to reopen California, the state is now under Stage 1 and would appear to be entering Stage 2 - the reopening of lower-risk businesses - on May 8.

"If those criteria can be self-certified by the local health official and county supervisors, we will allow additional movement through Phase Two", Newsom said.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg joined Newsom on Tuesday, thanking the governor for his leadership while also encouraging the city's residents to continue following social distancing protocols and the current shelter-in-place order.

Newsom stuck to the message he's stressed since stay-at-home orders went into effect six weeks ago: Any policy decisions made regarding the pandemic are guided by data and science.

Newsom's stay-at-home orders have spurred some individuals to protest, including crowds of demonstrators who gathered at the Capitol building on Friday calling for an easing of Newsom's orders.

"For local businesses Stage 2 may look like meeting state requirements and creating a physical distancing plan before opening", said Dr. Ken Cutler, Public Health Officer.

Newsom also announced a partnership with the University of California San Francisco and Los Angeles to amp up contact tracing.

As of this writing, there are 52,197 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,172 deaths in the state. Bowing to pressure from rural areas, Newsom said individual counties could relax stay-at-home rules even further, if they are effectively able to track and trace infections.

The state is now averaging more than 30,000 tests per day, and this "active monitoring" was a prerequisite for reopening, Newsom said. "We believe those local communities that have separate timelines should be afforded the capacity to advance those timelines". He also warned if COVID-19 cases increase, the state will suspend the gradual reopening that begins Friday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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