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Gov. Newsom Unveils COVID-19 Rules For Stage 2 Openings

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Sacramento, CA — Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued the broadest loosening of his stay-at-home order so far, allowing some retailers to reopen curbside but not have customers in stores.

“We’re moving away now from essential and non-essential to lower risk,” relayed Newsom. “Really looking more specifically within that lower risk sector at the variation on the frequency and the time and manner to which these businesses engage with customers and how that impacts risk to customers and communities.”

Citing improvement in battling the coronavirus, the Governor says lower risk businesses in the retail, manufacturing, and logistics sectors can resume operations on Friday, May 8th if they follow new rules issued by the Department of Public Health.

Retailers like bookstores, clothing stores, toy stores, and florists, 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.

Manufacturing must provide a working space that allows workers to maintain physical distance and have access to face coverings and/or gloves. Additionally, 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 noted that the guidelines for variances into the 2nd phase will be out next Tuesday, May 12th, while the state is also working on developing guidelines that will allow office buildings, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, and outdoor museums to reopen next.

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.

County officials will have the ability to decide how quickly they move into Stage 2 of reopening and move faster than the state if county public health officials prove they meet the following criteria:

  • No more than one new COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents in the past 14 days
  • No COVID-19 deaths in the past 14 days
  • Essential workers must have access to PPE
  • A minimum of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents being conducted daily
  • At least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents
  • Ability to temporarily house 15% of the county’s homeless population
  • Hospitals are equipped to handle a 35% surge at minimum
  • Nursing facilities have a two-week supply of PPE
  • Continue to monitor metrics to potentially re-enact restrictions

Newsom explains, “The foundational predicate is self-certification, but self-certification with conditions. These counties that want to move deeper into the second phase have to do so with all of these tough questions answered on testing, tracing, surge, and protecting vulnerable communities.”

The governor added that the state will provide technical assistance and is open to arguments centered on a county’s unique conditions and circumstances. He stressed the state will try to provide some flexibility. However, Newsom cautioned, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves at peril that we see this disease come back in a second wave that makes the first wave pale in comparison. Let’s continue to do what we’ve done to get to this point, and I hope folks see some light at the end of this tunnel.”

Details regarding Stage 2 guidelines can be found here. Click here for more details on how Calaveras counties are addressing Phase 2 business operation moving forward and here for Tuolumne. For the state’s “Resiliency Roadmap” that includes the guidelines to reduce infection risk, click here and here for the state’s “Report Card” on COVID-19.

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