Monday, May 4, 2020

Newsom: Easing of Shelter in Place to Begin Friday

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2020 at 12:56 PM

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this afternoon that the state will begin a gradual, phased modification of his COVID-19 shelter-in-place order this week, allowing retail businesses that meet certain criteria to re-open for curbside pickup beginning Friday.

Newsom said the modified order will also let associated manufacturers and supply chain businesses re-open Friday, so long as they meet certain guidelines that the state plans to release Thursday. But Newsom stressed all businesses will need to meet state guidelines regarding physical distancing to keep both employees and customers safe.

Public Health Department Director Sonia Angell explained that these first modifications do not include re-opening offices, shopping malls or restaurants for seated dining. But she said this next phase of re-opening will allow room for regional variations, so long as local governments can certify that they meet state criteria to further loosen shelter-in-place restrictions.

Newsom said counties that have seen hospitalization and intensive care unit rates stabilize and can prove they have sufficient local capacity for testing and contact investigations, and a capacity to “protect the most vulnerable,” can certify that they are ready to move further into phase two before the rest of the state, which could include re-opening restaurants and “hospitality more broadly” with modifications to meet state guidelines. If a county’s health officer certifies its readiness, and its board of supervisors agrees, it can send its certification and re-opening plan to the California Department of Public Health for review.

Locally, officials have already begun planning how to move out of shelter in place once allowed and have urged local businesses to begin preparing as well. The county also announced today that routine healthcare services, including preventative procedures, can now resume.

While Newsom said the state will be allowing some regional variation, he reminded that “none of us are isolated” and that as economic activity resumes, travel throughout the state will increase.  He also cautioned that an increase in cases could lead to resuming stricter shelter-in-place provisions.

Newsom's press conference remains ongoing and we'll update this post with additional information as necessary.
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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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