SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday revealed more details on California’s plan moving forward to reopen and for stay-at-home orders to be loosened as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor provided a “deep dive” update on the expansion of coronavirus testing, the state’s overall performance during the pandemic, and how the state will track and isolate those who have it.
Gov. Newsom said Wednesday California is still not ready to open up large sectors of its economy and he did not provide a timeline for the reopening of the state. He said he looks forward to when he can eventually make those announcements.
He also announced 86 new testing sites in “testing deserts” focusing on black, brown, and rural communities. Newsom’s administration is hoping to get to 25,000 tests a day by the end of April and hoping to eventually reach 60,000 to 80,000 tests a day.
The progress made on testing can help get California closer to reopening.
Last week, Newsom said 6 key indicators must be met in order for stay-at-home orders to be lifted.
“This will go to the obvious questions and queries that all of us are asking: When? … When do you see a little bit of a release in the valve so that we can let out a little of this pressure,” Newsom said Tuesday, teasing what he says will be the first of regular weekly updates on the state’s progress toward reopening.
Newsom says the state is testing an average of 14,500 people per day, up from just 2,000 tests per day at the beginning of April.
Still, in a state of nearly 40 million people, that’s not enough for public health officials to know for sure the reach of the highly contagious virus that is still causing outbreaks across the state in nursing homes and homeless shelters.
Newsom said he wants the state to test at least 25,000 people per day by the end of April.
Newsom has yet to give a specific date of when the state will reopen, but said that if the hospitalization and ICU numbers decline over the next two weeks, more personal protective equipment is available, and contact tracing infrastructure is ready, then a timeline for when California could reopen would be provided in the first week of May.
In order to do that, Newsom said Californians must continue adhering to social distancing guidelines to flatten the curve.
“Let’s not make the mistake pulling the plug too early, as much as we want to,” he said.
California has been under a mandatory, statewide stay-at-home order for more than a month.
At last check, there were more than 33,200 confirmed cases in California.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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