SACRAMENTO, Calif. — While Governor Gavin Newsom stopped short of laying out a timeline, he said California was “weeks, not months” away from beginning to relax stay-at-home orders.
To get the state up and running gradually, rather than simply flicking a switch, Newsom laid out four phases this week, emphasizing that the decision to implement each would be based on science, not politics.
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“Politics will not drive our decision-making,” said Newsom. “Protests won’t drive our decision-making. Political pressure will not drive our decision-making. The science, the data, public health will drive our decision-making.”
By the terms of the four-phased approach, California is currently in the phase one, which is based around safety and preparedness.
- Building out testing capacity
- Contact tracing
- Amassing adequate PPE
- Expanding hospital surge capacity
- Making essential workfoce environments as safe as possible
- Preparing sector-by-sector safety quidelines
This phase will see the gradual reopening of businesses termed lower-risk.
- Retail establishments doing curbside pickup
- Some public spaces
This would allow for the reopening for higher-risk businesses, including:
- Hair salons
- Movie theaters
- Sports venues without live audiences
- Religious institutions
In this phase, we would see an end to stay-at-home orders and a close return to normalcy with high-risk facilities being allowed to reopen, including:
- Sporting venues with fans in attendance
- Concert venues
- Convention centers
SCHOOLS TO REOPEN IN LATE SUMMER
Governor Newsom also revealed plans for reopening the state’s schools, tentatively for some time in late July or early August, emphasizing that even though distance learning had been implemented, students were experiencing a “learning loss.”
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET
Newsom was careful to emphasize that California was “still by no stretch of the imagination out of the woods,” yet. He implied that the timetable for the reopening plan could rest upon the successful implementation of the six key indicators previously laid out by the state as grounds for beginning to reopen California.
The governor also emphasized that while stay at home orders were having a real impact in flattening the curve, it was important for Californians not to let up too early. While the state will issue guidelines for loosening of stay at home orders, Newsom said he would not preempt local jurisdictions in their decisions on when to do so.
City News Service contributed to this report.