Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

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Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements
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Governor Gavin Newsom at a previous press conference (Photo: Office of Governor)

By edhat staff

Governor Gavin Newsom announced new criteria to reopen local economies, essentially easing the requirements for California counties who want to open faster than the state.

During a press conference Monday, Newsom stated all but five of the state's 58 counties would be eligible to move deeper into Phase 2 lessening some of the stay-at-home restrictions, though not all counties may choose to do so. Although he would not identify the five counties that don't qualify, he stressed this is a rough estimate and the number may change due to the dynamic nature of the virus.

“The bottom line is people can go at their own pace, and we are empowering our local health directors and county officials who understand their local communities and conditions better than anyone,” Newsom said.

The updated criteria states counties must show their hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) rates remain stable and the number of COVID-19 patients has not increased by more than 5% over the past seven days on average. Smaller counties must not have had more than 20 patients on any given day for at least two weeks.

Counties must also meet one of two other requirements: fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 residents for at least 14 days, or the rate of positive tests has dropped below 8%.

The rest of the requirements are the same as what was announced on May 7. Counties must be able to meet contact tracing requirements, testing capacity, hospitalization surge capacity, and follow new guidance on how to connect with skilled nursing facilities to protect patients and employees. Additionally, if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases the county must have a plan to reinstate part of the stay-at-home orders and be prepared to meet the clinical needs of residents.

If approved, counties would be allowed to move ahead of the state within Phase 2 by permitting in-store shopping, dining in restaurants, and reopening schools, as long as modifications and guidelines are met. Last week 24 counties were granted permission to move forward, the majority located in less populated northern sections of the state.

Counties that have already moved into Stage 2

Over the last two weeks, the state has seen a 7.5% decline in hospitalizations and an 8.7% decline in the number of ICU patients statewide.

If California holds the rate of transmissions and continues to see a steady decline in hospitalizations, haircuts, faith-based services, and sporting events without spectators could be just a few weeks away, with modifications of course.

"The only thing that will set us back is moving too quickly and no longer practicing social distancing," said Newsom.

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sacjon May 18, 2020 03:50 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

I'm glad he's allowing them to move forward, I'm hoping SB gets some restrictions lifted...... BUT that doesn't mean we can all run out to hug strangers and cram into bars. Be safe and responsible or we'll be right back at square one!

a-1589840595 May 18, 2020 03:23 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

Compete disappointment that our governor has crumbled under the pressure from the White House. He was holding up so well, but then his true colors come out when push comes to shove....and he/we got shoved.

sacjon May 18, 2020 05:04 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

SAM - It's very much analogous to a health code violation in that it is a temporary closure of certain businesses. To be a "taking" it has to be a complete removal of the original owner's rights to the property. That is NOT happening. Some businesses are being told to close during a pandemic. That is NOT taking away the owners' rights to possession of the business. Further, the taking has to be for a public use. That means, the gov't would have not only take control of the ownership rights of a business, but turn that business into one that benefits the public. That is NOT happening. Look man, I agree that this has gone on too long now, but it is NOT a taking for the purpose of eminent domain. It just is not.

Did you get an "opinion of an experienced law firm?" I'd love to see the case citations for their analysis. Can you give me one? Also, how do you have any idea what my legal experience is? I'd honestly love to read this opinion you got, if not just to keep my mind sharp. Can't wait to read the case you're going to cite for me!

Sam The Dog May 18, 2020 04:53 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

This is nothing like a health code violation and it doesn't matter whether the taking is temporary or permanent. I'll take the opinion of an experienced law firm over an edhat commentator any day.

sacjon May 18, 2020 03:47 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

SAM - nope. Temporarily closing a business (like if you get a health code violation) is NOT a taking for the purpose of eminent domain. The government is not taking possession or ownership of anyone's business, even temporarily.

Sam The Dog May 18, 2020 03:43 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

More likely he listened to advice from counsel that continuing with his prior lock down plan with unobtainable metrics for reopening constitutes a government taking for which California would have to compensate. Even a temporary action done for the public good is still a taking for which compensation must be paid.

LCP112233 May 18, 2020 03:41 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

He didn't crumble. He finally got a clue. Opening up is not a one size fits all model for counties in this very large state. His actions were based on science and data, not big brother.

LCP112233 May 19, 2020 11:07 AM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

I miss read @3:04's comment as "Five Cities" in SLO county. But still, would be nice to know what the 5 counties are that can not move forward. I'm sure they are around the LA SF areas.

LCP112233 May 18, 2020 03:43 PM
Governor Newsom Eases Reopening Requirements

The second paragraph mentions all bye 5 counties move forward. Yet the map shows more than 5 counties not in the yellow. I believe SLO County is moving on....

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