Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will start lifting several stay-at-home order restrictions cautiously, according to CNN. Some retail stores in California could reopen with modifications as early as Friday, Newsom said at his news conference Monday.
California’s stay-at-home order has been in place since March 19, asking all 40 million residents to resist outdoor activities in order to suppress COVID-19 spread. Despite residents’ efforts, California still ranks fifth in the nation for its amount of COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, it still has drastically fewer cases than New York, which has more than 304,000 cases as of May 1, according to the CDC.
“You can’t deny basic fundamental facts… We’ll be driven by facts, we’ll be driven by evidence, we’ll be driven by science, we’ll be driven by public health advisors, and we’ll be driven by the collaborative spirit,” Newsom said, according to CNN.
Then, he added that the process will involve stages.
The first stage is what the residents are doing now, staying put in their respective homes, waiting for the virus to suppress.
The second stage involves the reopening of “lower-risk workplaces,” including but not limited to retail businesses, manufacturing environments and even child care centers.
The third stage includes businesses that involve close contact with customers as well as some mildly crowded places like the gym. Lastly, the fourth stage will allow residents to go to places that will have higher risks like convention centers, sports games and more.
In fact, California has initiated the reopening of smaller towns like Modoc County defying Gov. Newsom’s orders. On May 1, Modoc County, which has less than 9000 residents, lifted its stay-at-home order restrictions, allowing businesses to reopen as long as they kept the six feet apart rule, according to the L.A. Times.
This change might revert to its original state if there are more than two coronavirus cases found or if the death rate starts to increase again.
With rural parts of California as a start, more counties may start to reopen its economy, as long as COVID-19 cases start to flatline.
Petitions regarding beach closures and the stay-at-home order have emerged, and in response, Newsom concluded by ensuring the residents that California is “days, not weeks” away from lifting restrictions, according to CNN.