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Newsom unveils key indicators that need to happen before California can reopen

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — Governor Gavin Newsom outlined the framework that will help California gradually reopen the economy and ease restrictions on the stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom noted the state’s progress in flattening the curve, but also said California is not out of the woods yet.

“There’s no light switch here, I would argue it’s more like a dimmer, and that dimmer is more like this toggling back and forth between more restrictive and less restrictive measures,” Newsom said.

The state saw a record number of COVID-19 deaths, 71, in the last 24 hour period bringing the total deaths up to 758.

The framework does not include a timeline for when the stay-at-home orders will be modified. Instead, there are six indicators that need to happen before that can happen.

Newsom also said when it comes time to modify the orders, it will likely be up to the local governments to decide.

Below are the six key indicators for modifying the stay-at-home orders: 

  • The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed; 
  • The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19; 
  • The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges; 
  • The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand; 
  • The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and 
  • The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

“We have a state vision, but it will be realized at the local level. Local governments, local counties, local health directors will have a profound and outsized influence on our capacity to deliver,” Newsom said.

Newsom also noted that things will look different as California makes modifications. For example, restaurants will have fewer tables and classrooms will be reconfigured.

Newsom says if in two weeks hospitalizations decline and equipment needs are fulfilled, then state leaders may have a more specific idea of when stay at home orders can start to relax.

Newsom, also warning Californians, life in the state will take on a new normal.

“You may be having dinner with a waiter wearing gloves, maybe a face mask. Dinner where the menu is disposable, where the tables, half of them no longer appear, where your temperature is checked before you walk in, these are likely scenarios,” Newsom said.

When asked about what the summer and fall will look like in California, Newsom said “large scale events that bring in tens of thousands of people is not in the cards, based on our current guidelines and current expectations.” He said things could change, but it’s unlikely.

Large gatherings — like sporting events, concerts and fairs — are “not in the cards,” he said.

“This is not about going back to where we were before. It’s about going forward in ways that are healthy for all of us. But it won’t look the same,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health.

“As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before,” Newsom said.

California has been under a statewide stay-at-home order since March 19. Since then, more than 2 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits.

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