California to start reopening in “weeks”, may start school year in July

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California Governor Gavin Newsom | AP Photo

California Governor Gavin Newsom | Rich Pedroncelli, Pool / AP Photo

OAKLAND, California – California schools could re-enroll students this summer and retail and manufacturing businesses may reopen in the coming weeks, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday offering his most concrete insight so far at what a progressive reopening might look like.

With health care capacity and hospitalizations leveling off, Newsom said the state was “weeks to months, not months” to make “significant changes” to a statewide prescription that relegated Californians to their homes for almost six weeks. Newsom said on Tuesday that schools could start the next school year earlier, possibly in late July or early August, although it did not specify how much education could take place on campus.

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“We are looking at the prospect of an even earlier school year,” said Newsom, adding that “we need to start preparing for physical changes in schools.”

State public health official Sonia Angell said a previous school year would not only help students fill their gaps due to current campus closings, but also parents to return to full-time work .

One of Newsom’s prerequisites for reducing restrictions on coronaviruses is to ensure that schools and businesses can protect the health of their staff and maintain safe distances between students and clients. He had already said that it could look like staggered lesson hours and restaurants offering fewer tables.

Some companies are able to operate with more social distance than others, and Newsom has described a hierarchy of industries that can emerge from foreclosure first: some retail and manufacturing businesses that have been closed because they are in “non-essential” sectors.

“The goal here will be to create opportunities for sectors at low risk to adapt and reopen,” said Angell, which would mean making “the workplace environment as safe as possible.” “

Among the types of businesses that could grow earlier, said Angell, are manufacturers of “nonessential” products like toys and furniture; retail establishments offering curbside pickup; and companies that do not adapt well to working at a distance, such as public relations or consulting firms, who return to offices.

She also said that Californians may be able to return to outdoor spaces like parks and trails that have been cordoned off in the state.

But nail salons, gymnasiums, cinemas, and in-person religious services should still wait for another phase in which the state is more confident that the risk of infection is lower.

California is pushing companies to cover the wages of sick workers so they can stay home to avoid infecting others.

Major events such as concerts, conventions and live spectator sports would remain prohibited until the end of the state home stay order. Newsom and other California officials, such as Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, said it is unlikely that such mass social gatherings can resume until a vaccine or collective immunity emerges; his slides said on Tuesday that they could not open until “therapy had not been developed”.

“We will not return to the situation until we have obtained the type of immunity or vaccine that we eagerly await,” said Newsom.

Regardless of the month when students return to class, “school will be very different,” said Angell. Earlier today, California Board of Education Chair Linda Darling-Hammond told lawmakers that this would likely involve a blended learning model in which students alternate between online learning shifts and online learning. person on certain days of the week to limit contact.

Some school districts have also discussed continuing education beyond the normal end of the school year or opening the next school year earlier to make up for lost learning time, said Darling- Hammond to lawmakers at an assembly education committee hearing on Tuesday. She highlighted the Singapore school calendar, where 11 weeks of instruction are followed by two weeks of recess over the four terms of the year to limit the learning loss that students experience during the summer vacation.

And Darling-Hammond echoed Newsom’s warning that the state could tighten restrictions again if the virus re-emerged, saying the state was preparing for schools to be closed again, potentially at night. fall or winter if another wave hits.

The physical readiness of schools and businesses is only part of the six-point framework for the reopening of Newsom. California will also need to get more protective equipment and boost testing capacity, Newsom says the state must be able to perform at least 60,000 to 80,000 tests a day – at least three times the current capacity. ‘State more than 20,000 per day.

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