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Framework Being Developed To Reopen California’s Economy

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Sacramento, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom says a ‘Western States Pact” has been reached between California, Oregon and Washington to guide in developing a framework for reopening the economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future.

Newsom touted the importance of regionalism during his Monday afternoon daily press conference, noting that you can go “fast alone” or “far together.” The three west coast states have collectively agreed to “best practices” for the greater region that will help them create their own state-specific plans.

Newsom declined to give details about California’s specific plan for reopening the economy, but promised that more information will be unveiled at Tuesday’s noon media briefing.

He stressed the importance of continuing social distancing over the near term, saying, “The curve is being bent because of you.” The Governor added that  22,348 Californians have now tested positive for coronavirus, 3,015 of those have been hospitalized, 1,178 have been taken to the ICU and 687 have died. He noted that while the number of ICU cases declined late last week, there was a small uptick over the weekend.

Details regarding the Western State’s Pact:

  • Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.
  • Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.
  • Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with it’s local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.

Through quick and decisive action, each of our states has made significant progress in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 among the broader public. Now, our public health leaders will focus on four goals that will be critical for controlling the virus in the future.

  • Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.
  • Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.
  • Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.