Governor Newsom Reveals 4-Part Plan to Reopen California
Governor Gavin Newsom leading a press conference (Photo: Office of the Governor)
By edhat staff
Governor Gavin Newsom revealed his four-part plan to reopen California including a possibility for schools to start as earlier as July.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Newsom rolled out his staged reopening approach while stating schools might resume in July or August to make up for lost learning this spring.
The stay-at-home order will be modified in stages until the public is able to freely move about. These modifications are based on science, health, and data, according to the Governor's Office.
The stages are provided below, beginning with the most restrictive stage:
Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness
(This is the stage we are currently in)
- Continue to build out testing, contract tracing, PPE, and hospital surge capacity
- Making essential workforce environments as safe as possible
- Prepare sector-by-sector safety guidelines for expanded workforce
Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces
Gradually opening lower risk workplaces with adaptations
- Retail (eg. curbside pickup)
- Offices (when telework is not possible)
- More Public Spaces
Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces
Open higher risk environments with adaptations and limits on size of gatherings
- Personal care (hair and nail salons, gyms)
- Entertainment venues (movie theatres, sports without live audiences)
- In-person religious services (churches, weddings)
Stage 4: End of Stay-at-Home Order
Re-open highest risk environments and venues once therapeutics have been developed
- Convention Centers
- Live audience sports
Newsom stated we could move into the second stage in a matter of weeks if social distancing efforts continue to decrease the number of new cases.
Moving into Stage 3 is still months away, and the final stage of fully reopening is dependent on COVID-19 treatment, which could equal several months or over a year.
While it's possible students may return to school in July, Newsom stated an official decision has not been made since modifications to classroom settings and staggered attendance may be needed.
He acknowledged school districts and families have struggled to adapt to online learning environments, especially with homes that have people in essential job functions.
“We recognize there’s been a learning loss because of this disruption,” Newsom said. “We might want to consider getting that school year moved up a little bit … That learning loss is very real."
As California gradually moves into Phase 2, reopening lower-risk businesses, school year changes would be part of a larger effort to expand childcare, he said.
As of Monday, the California Department of Health reported 45,031 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state with 1,809 fatalities. Of that total, there are 3,455 hospitalizations with 1,181 in the Intensive Care Unit that are confirmed COVID-19 cases. There's an additional 1,528 hospitalizations including 304 in the ICU that are suspected COVID-19 cases.
Hospitalizations and ICU admissions have stabilized over the last few weeks, according to Dr. Sonia Angell, director CA Department of Public Health. If the stabilization continues, manufacturing facilities and some retail businesses and offices could re-open.
“When the data tells us that the moment is right, those environments can start to open,” Angell said.
Additionally, Newsom stated governments and public health departments on a local level have the power to impose stricter guidelines. This announcement followed the statement from public health departments in the Bay Area extending the shelter-in-place through May.