Citing a trend of decreasing hospitalizations and ICU patients due to the coronavirus, California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state’s stay-at-home order could be drastically modified in the next few weeks if the trends continue.
He rolled out a new “self certification” for locales process that could speed reopening.
Instead of what have been standard burdens of proof, such as no coronavirus-related deaths for 14 days to reopen, counties will simply need to show that hospitalization rates are stable and the rate of positive cases are low. The governor said the state has seen a 7.5 percent drop in hospitalizations in the past 14 days.
Those reopenings would happen on a county-by-county basis, with many areas opening up much sooner than others.
“The bottom line is, he said, “that people can go at their own pace.”
Currently, the governor said, there are 24 counties that have been approved for “regional variance” from the statewide order. The new criteria, said Newsom, would enable “roughly” 53 of the state’s 58 counties to reopen businesses more rapidly than previously allowed, without conflicting with the state’s stay-at-home order.
Newsom said that, aside from the new certification process, we could soon see statewide retail modifications, including allowing shopping inside stores and visits to salons.
That, he said, could also possibly include allowing professional sporting events to resume without spectators by the first week in June.
The governor said such a reopening would be subject to “deep stipulations…protecting not only the players…but support staff.” Newsom said his department was working with local leaders and league representative “from all the major sports” on guidelines for such reopenings.
Newsom also said church services with congregants may open “in a few weeks.”
The state is also easing some of its requirements that could allow some counties to more forward more quickly with reopening
The governor told CNN yesterday that, if the state did not receive federal money, it would likely be forced to cut police and firefighting funding, which would a double hit going into fire season.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.