UPDATED, TUESDAY 12:10 P.M.: After protests and lawsuits, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that Huntington Beach, Dana Point and Seal Beach are set to reopen. The cities of Huntington Beach and Dana Point had filed suits.
Newsom delivered his daily press briefing on the road Tuesday. Standing at a podium inside a fashion retailer in Sacramento, the governor announced that small businesses could open as early as Friday.
Newsom used the store he was standing in, which features clothes from California designers, as an example of those retailers that will be able to reopen “for curbside pickup.”
“We’ll be putting out the guidelines on Thursday and businesses like this can open as soon as Friday of this week,” he said.
Newsom stressed the need for proper testing and PPE as the state reopens. “We have to maintain the core construct of our stay-at-home orders,” he said. That means businesses need to be deep cleaning, have “appropriate protective gear” for their employees and “continue physical distancing.”
He added, “It’s incumbent upon all of us that when we do open up, we do so in a judicious way.”
According to the governor, California has handed out 14.2 million surgical masks and has an inventory of 19.3 million that will be distributed, beginning with health care workers and then to small businesses and those in the supply chain.
Newsom also announced the deployment of 2,800 “disease detectives,” who would begin to track, isolate and quarantine infected Californians.
They “will be deployed “all across the state of California,” he said, in a “bottom-up county-based, led effort.”
They will be utilizing new data management software developed by Amazon, Salesforce and Accenture.
The governor nixed the idea that shopping centers, malls and strip malls would be able to reopen soon.
Asked about counties that have moved beyond this phase of the state’s reopening plan, Newsom said: “They’re making a big mistake. They’re putting their public at risk. They’re putting our progress at risk.
“We believe in ‘ready, aim, fire,’ not ‘ready, fire, aim,” said the governor.
PREVIOUSLY, MONDAY 5:10 P.M.: Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services gave the OK on Monday for two Orange County beaches to reopen. At his noon press conference, Newsom had said that the state is looking to allow reopenings as local health officials develop plans and self-certify that the area is prepared.
Laguna Beach and San Clemente quickly became the first two O.C. beach cities to garner approval, each receiving a joint letter from the director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency that read as follows:
Thank you for the opportunity to review the City of Laguna Beach Plan for
Phased Reopening of City Beaches and Coastal Waterways. The plan is
consistent with the Governor’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order EO-N-33.
Therefore, beaches operated by the City of Laguna Beach are permitted to
reopen under this beach management plan. Vigilance will be necessary to
support successful implementation and prevent unsafe conditions.
In related news, L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer was vague when asked about the reopening of L.A. County’s beaches at her Monday press conference.
Ferrer said that the county’s beach city mayors have been working with beaches and harbors staff and have “created some documents that we are reviewing at the public health department. These are consensus documents and we think they look great.”
Ferrer said those documents “will give us the ability to have a roadmap for safely reopening county beaches here in L.A. County.” But Ferrer made no mention of any timeline for reopening L.A. County beaches, which have been closed since March 27.
PREVIOUSLY, MONDAY 12:10 P.M. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he will be “meaningfully modifying” the state’s stay-at-home order within the week.
“I want to speak, as well, today about meaningfully modifying the stay-at-home order,” Newsom said at the top of his afternoon press conference. “Some plans we have to make adjustments later this week. And then we’ll talk broadly about a series of updates related to our efforts to contain to the virus, and moreover to make sure we’re prepared for this next phase as we begin to modify the stay-at-home order.”
Newsom said the state is looking to move into Phase 2 of its plan, which the governor defines as “low risk.” He said these modifications cold happen “as early as the end of this week.”
And while there were protests and lawsuits late last week over his decision to close Orange County beaches, Newsom stressed that his only consideration for making this announcement was that “the data says it can happen.” But he did refer — without naming them — to the two beach cities that filed lawsuits, Huntington Beach and Dana Point.
“More information and modifications will come to light,” said Newsom, “including…those two specific beaches in Orange County — but more broadly, you’ll see more of that on Thursday.”
“We’ll be making adjustments this week in the retail sector,” said the governor, “for pickups and for all the associated logistics in manufacturing related to retail.”
Among the businesses Newsom mentioned were “clothing, book stores, music, toys, sporting goods, florists — with Mother’s Day coming up.” He also said, “other sectors within that retail sector” would be allowed to open, as well. Some locales could go even beyond that list.
“We are also announcing today the capacity for other counties and regions to move further into phase 2 with plans that need to be locally certified.” Key measures of local readiness to open more will include local capacity for testing and tracing, said Newsom.
Readiness to move further into phase 2, according to the governor, will be a product of local health officials self-certifying that the area is prepared for a broader re-opening.
This larger reopening would include “restaurants, with modifications…hospitality, more broadly, opening again, with modification.” Newsom said that “many of these counties…have done already a ton of work in this space and they’re ready to go.”
If the disease begins to spread again in those communities, Newsom said the restrictions would be tightened, or “re-modified.”
To put an exclamation point on the announcement, Newsom repeated, “We are entering into the next phase this week, end of the week.”
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