California is relaxing some of its reopening criteria and that could mean most of the state may soon be offering services such as dining at restaurants.
The criteria announced Monday by Gov. Newsom applies to counties that want to reopen faster than the state. While retail may open for curbside pickup statewide, restrictions on dining in at restaurants and other services are still in place statewide.
"The Bay Area is in a different position than some parts of the state, L.A. County is in a different position than other parts of the state. They can move at their own pace based upon their own local conditions," Newsom said.
The governor estimated 53 of 58 counties could meet the new criteria.
The changes eliminate requirements that a county have zero deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 residents over 14 days. Counties no longer will have to meet a threshold for deaths. They can have up to 25 cases per 100,000 residents or no higher than an 8% positive rate among people tested for the virus.
They also must have no higher than a 5% increase in hospitalizations over a 7-day period or fewer than 20 hospitalizations over 14 days. The latter will ensure small counties don't get penalized for just one or two extra hospitalizations.
Twenty-four counties in mostly rural Northern California had already been cleared to move faster under the old standards.
Riverside, Ventura and San Bernardino county officials say they are confident their areas will be able to meet the new criteria.
Meanwhile, Orange County has seen a recent spike in deaths, mostly in nursing homes. However, OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said the county has met guidelines to fully reopen Phase 2 businesses by this week or next week.
The governor spoke Monday from Mustards Grill on Highway 29 in Napa.
Newsom began by making the case that California has made significant progress on hospitalizations, ICU hospitalizations, testing, contact tracing and distributing protective equipment. With that in mind, he announced that in the coming days and weeks, the state was prepared to allow even larger counties to reopen dine-in restaurants and office buildings as part of Phase 2.
The governor added live professional sports may be allowed to resume as early as the first week of June.
Hair salons may be allowed to reopen at the state level around the same time, he said.
Local restrictions may be more strict, depending on county public health leaders.
During a daily briefing Monday afternoon, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said local officials are reviewing the new guidance and will see how they can be applied in the county.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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