California Governor Gavin Newsom Says Some Companies Will Reopen Friday With Conditions

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Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, speaks at a press conference in Sacramento, California, Tuesday April 14, 2020.

Rich Pedroncelli | AP | Bloomberg via Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that some state retail businesses could start reopening with changes by the end of this week if certain criteria are met.

Newsom said state officials will publish new guidelines on the state’s next phase of reopening on Thursday, which will include specific guidelines that low-risk businesses must follow in order to reopen with changes on Friday.

He said that retailers of items such as clothing, books, music, toys and sporting goods, as well as florists, would be allowed to offer curbside pickup services if they established state guidelines. Associate manufacturers who support the retail industry would also be allowed to start production, Newsom added.

“We are entering the next phase this week … with modifications, we will allow retail to start operating across the spectrum,” Newsom said in his daily press conference. “This is a very positive sign, and it only happened for one reason: the data indicates that it can happen. “

His office then tweeted that the order does not include office space, restaurants and shopping centers.

Newsom said state will also allow some counties to start easing social distance restrictions further if they can prove they have the ability to institute good sanitation practices, provide testing and adequate research and ensuring the safety of the most vulnerable, including the homeless community, the elderly and the incarcerated.

“We will allow additional movement through phase two, and that includes the prospect of opening restaurants with modifications, with hospitality opening more broadly, with modifications,” Newsom said.

Phase three of the state’s reopening plan includes businesses such as hair and nail salons, cinemas, and live audience events, although the state is not yet in this phase.

Newsom’s announcement comes after San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on April 27 that the city would extend its home stay order until May.

Asked about the order, Newsom said the city has “slightly more stringent” guidelines and that they have the right not to comply with state directives.

However, he said that more rural parts of the state that meet the stated criteria may want to go even further with their reopenings, which they would be allowed to do with conditions and modifications.

Public Health Department Director Dr. Sonia Angell said key data points have allowed the state to move forward with flexibilities, including stable hospitalizations related to Covid-19 and the ability of the state to conduct more testing and contact tracing.

Newsom said the state is working in partnership with the University of California at San Francisco and the University of California at Los Angeles, which will begin offering contact tracing courses to expand the state’s current ability to locate contacts of known positive cases from Covid-19. The state currently has 3,000 contact tracers, but these courses will add 20,000 in the next phases of reopening.

Angell said the state also has adequate levels of personal protective equipment, including more than 18.2 million surgical masks and 5.8 million face masks, and hundreds of millions of additional masks have been ordered. The state also has more than 10,000 unused ventilators and more than 2,000 hospital beds ready to receive patients.

“Our peak capacity is really in the right place,” said Angell.

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