Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom announces phase 2 of reopening parts of California to start as early as Friday

When will California reopen? Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that phase 2 of reopening the state's economy to start as early as Friday.

ByAmy Powell and Alix Martichoux KABC logo
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Newsom says phase 2 of reopening CA to start as early as Friday
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the next stage of reopening California's economy is expected to begin as early as Friday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will announce on Thursday plans for California to move closer to reopening parts of the state in a "very positive sign" prompted by data on the coronavirus outbreak.

The governor said during his daily press conference Monday that the next stage of reopening the state's economy is expected to begin as early as Friday.

Some businesses included in Newsom's "Stage 2" of reopening will allow for curbside pick-up at businesses such as book stores, clothing stores, sporting goods, toy stores and florists, given they follow additional safety protocols that will be released Thursday, Newsom said.

The state is also working to create guidelines that will allow restaurants and other hospitality businesses to open their doors again.

However, Newsom said the next phase does not currently include the reopening of offices, seated dining in restaurants or shopping at malls.

The governor said a key consideration for entering phase two is the ability for health authorities to test and conduct contact tracing of infections.

"This is a very positive sign and it has happened for only one reason: the data says it can happen," Newsom said. "But we recognize as we begin to modify ... possible community spread will occur. If that is the case, and we don't have the capacity to control that spread, to track that spread, to isolate individuals that may have been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew."

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the next stage of reopening California's economy is expected to begin as early as Friday.

The state plans to reopen parts of the state in four stages, as described by Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell:

Stage 1: Everyone is either staying at home or a member of the essential workforce. This is the stage we are in now, and will stay in until a modification to the statewide stay-at-home order.

Stage 2: Reopening lower risk workplaces, including:

  • Non-essential manufacturing (toys, furniture, clothing, etc.)
  • Schools
  • Childcare facilities
  • Retail businesses for curbside pick-up
  • Offices where working remotely isn't possible, but can be modified to make the environment safer for employees

Stage 3: Reopening higher risk workplaces, which require close proximity to other people, including:

  • Hair salons
  • Nail salons
  • Gyms
  • Movie theaters
  • Sporting events without live audiences
  • In-person religious services (churches and weddings)

Stage 4: Ending the stay-at-home order, which would allow for the reopening of:

  • Concert venues
  • Convention centers
  • Sporting events with live audiences

However, Newsom emphasized that not all area of the state will be forced to strictly adhere with the state's guidelines for moving into Stage 2.

Local officials still have the authority to accelerate or slow down reopening at the county level, Newsom said.

"We are not telling locals that believe it's too soon, too fast to modify. We believe those local communities that have separate timelines should be afforded the capacity to advance those timelines," he said. "If they choose not to come into compliance with the state guidelines, they have that right."

More rural or remote counties with fewer COVID-19 cases will also be allowed to reopen businesses sooner, the governor said, as long as their decisions don't risk the "the health of the entire state."

On May 1, the governor hinted that restrictions may be lifted sooner than previously indicated.

"We're getting very close to making very meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order. We said 'weeks, not months' about four or five days ago. I want to say 'many days, not weeks,'" Newsom said. "As long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications, I think we'll be making some announcements."

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