Stage 2 of Reopening California Businesses starts Friday, Gov. Newsom says
Author: Alix Martichoux
Publication: ABC 7 News
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the next stage of reopening California's economy will begin as early as Friday.
Some businesses included in the state's "Stage 2" of reopening will be allowed to resume operations starting Friday, May 8, including book stores, clothing stores, toy stores, florists and others. Associated manufacturers that support those retail supply chains will also be allowed to resume production.
Those businesses will be allowed to reopen for curbside pick-up, given they follow additional safety and hygiene protocols that will be released Thursday, Newsom said.
This step doesn't include all businesses in the state's "Stage 2," Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell clarified. At this time, office buildings, dine-in restaurants and shopping malls will not be allowed to reopen.
Newsom emphasized that local officials still have the authority to accelerate of 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, citing the Bay Area's "stricter guidelines."
"If they choose not to come into compliance with the state guidelines, they have that right," the governor said.
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 state is working to create guidelines that will allow restaurants and other hospitality businesses to open their doors again, as well.
"This is a very positive sign and it has happened for only one reason: the data says it can happen," said Newsom. "But we recognize as we begin to modify ... possible community spread will occur. If that is the case, and we don't have the capacity to control that spread, to track that spread, to isolate individuals that may have been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew."
The state plans to reopen those sectors in four stages, as described by Dr. Angell:
Stage 1: Everyone is either staying at home or a member of the essential workforce. This is the stage we are in now, and will stay in until a modification to the statewide stay-at-home order.
Stage 2: Reopening lower risk workplaces, including:
Non-essential manufacturing (toys, furniture, clothing, etc.)
Retail businesses for curbside pick-up
Offices where working remotely isn't possible, but can be modified to make the environment safer for employees
Stage 3: Reopening higher risk workplaces, which require close proximity to other people, including:
Sporting events without live audiences
In-person religious services (churches and weddings)
Stage 4: Ending the stay-at-home order, which would allow for the reopening of:
Sporting events with live audiences
As of Monday, the number of cases has grown to 53,616 and deaths rose to 2,215.
Gov. Newsom has repeatedly said he's feeling the pressure to reopen the state more quickly, but is leaning on scientific data to decide on timing.
"Politics will not drive our decision making. Protests will not drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making," he said earlier this week. "The science, data and public health will drive our decision making."
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