Gov. Gavin Newsom says California may be 'days, not weeks' from lifting more COVID-19 restrictions

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday hinted that more coronavirus restrictions across California may be lifted sooner than previously expected.

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

Newsom said he believed "we're getting very, very close" to lifting restrictions on more businesses, including the retail, hospitality and restaurant sectors. The governor hinted he'd elaborate on those changes next week.

"No one wants to use the word patience, so I won't use that word," he said. "We're all impatient and we're deeply anxious and deeply desirous to start to turn the page and turn the corner. ... The data is starting to give us more confidence."

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The data Newsom referred to includes the number of hospitalizations and "persons under investigation" as potential COVID-19 cases. Newsom said ICU hospitalizations were flat over the last 24 hours, overall coronavirus hospitalizations dropped by 2% and persons under investigation dropped a significant 13.9%.

But Friday also marked two less optimistic milestones; the number of coronavirus-related deaths in California topped 2,000 and the total number of positive cases surpassed 50,000.
Newsom has repeatedly said he's feeling the pressure to reopen the state more quickly, but is leaning on scientific data to decide on timing.

"Politics will not drive our decision making. Protests will not drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making," he said earlier this week. "The science, data and public health will drive our decision making."
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