California moving into Phase 2 reopening; here's what that means for businesses

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled more specific guidelines to loosen the state's stay-at-home order, allowing some businesses to reopen as early as Friday.

ByAlix Martichoux KGO logo
Friday, May 8, 2020
LA County to take small steps reopening local businesses
Los Angeles County will start taking small steps reopening businesses this week following Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement revealing new guidelines for the state's economy to reopen.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued the broadest loosening of his stay-at-home order so far, allowing some retailers to reopen but not have customers in stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new rules issued Thursday by the Department of Public Health pertain to only a sliver of retailers, as well as manufacturers' warehouses considered low risk for the virus.

Businesses such as book stores, clothing stores, toy stores and florists can reopen for curbside pickup starting Friday. In order to do so, they are being asked to develop contactless payment procedures, have hand sanitizer available for employees and customers, ensure employees have proper protective gear, and ask employees to deliver goods to customers' cars when possible.

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At this time, office buildings, dine-in restaurants and shopping malls will not be allowed to reopen.

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled more specific guidelines to loosen the state's stay-at-home order, allowing some businesses to reopen as early as Friday.

However, the state is working on developing guidelines that will allow office buildings, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls and outdoor museums to reopen next. Gov. Newsom teased he'll be releasing guidelines for dine-in restaurants next Tuesday, May 12.

All businesses that want to reopen will need to train employees on how to curb the spread of the disease, monitor themselves for symptoms and ask workers to stay home if they feel sick.

The announcement was the result of improvement in battling COVID-19, and it moves California into the second phase of a methodical four-step process to full reopening.

"We're moving forward but always with an eye being led by the data, by the science, by public health," Newsom said.

The governor said state officials will look for any surges in community spread by tracking new COVID-19 cases, contact tracing, hospitalizations rates and other indicators.

"If we see numbers go up in a way that causes stress in the system, the ability to toggle back, the ability to move back in a more restrictive direction. These are specific responsibilities of these counties if they want to go further, specific responsibilities of the state if we want to continue to make progress that we have to monitor in real time."

Workers at manufacturers' warehouses must maintain physical distance and have access to face coverings and/or gloves. Break rooms should be closed and replaced with outdoor break areas with spaced out seating, where possible.

The logistics sector, which includes warehouses and deliveries, is being asked to follow similar guidelines.

Newsom emphasized that local officials still have the authority to accelerate or slow down reopening at the county level.

"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 during a press conference earlier in the week.

"If they choose not to come into compliance with the state guidelines, they have that right," the governor said at the time.

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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.