California prepares to reopen some parts of the economy


Logan Bik

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that California would enter the second phase of reopening the state as early as May 8.

Michaella Huck, Opinion Editor

As the pressure to get the economy running increases, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that California would enter the second phase of reopening the state as early as Friday.

“(Last) Friday, I said we were days not weeks from announcing modifications to the stay-at-home order, and today we are announcing our efforts to update the stay-at-home guidelines and begin the process of moving to Stage Two,” Newsom stated.

Under these new stay-at-home guidelines, non-essential retail, manufacturing and other “low-risk” workplaces will be allowed to open, but with limitations in effect. California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell describes the “low-risk” businesses as follows:

  • Non-essential manufacturing such as toys and furniture stores
  • Schools and daycare facilities
  • Retail businesses: bookstores, clothing, flower stops, etc. (curbside pickup only)
  • Office spaces where telecommuting is not possible

The following businesses are not included in this phase and are considered high-risk:

  • Hair salons
  • Shopping malls
  • Movie theaters
  • Offices that can telework
  • Churches and weddings
  • Gyms

While state regulations become looser, Newsom stated that local cities with stricter guidelines may keep them in place. However, regulations will differ from county to county.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced late Monday that the days leading up to the enforcement of new guidelines will be used to plan how the county will reopen.

“I will reopen our city with careful consideration, guided by advice from health care professionals,” Garcetti stated in his brief. “What we should all be ready for, is the new normal, no matter what is open or closed. Even as things may reopen in the coming weeks, we still need to practice physical distancing.”

Some areas will be allowed to head into the second phase at a quicker pace than others. Before moving further into reopening, counties must first meet requirements by the state. A certain number of testing kits and hospital supplies must be available in order to move forward to guarantee quality care for all patients infected. These further details are expected to be given in a brief on Thursday, May 7.

States around the country have personalized plans based on a federal three-step plan to reopen America. Gov. Newsom’s plan includes four phases. The third phase will allow high-risk businesses to reopen while still enforcing social distancing regulations. However, California is not in that phase yet.

“This is a very positive sign and it’s happened only for one reason: The data says it can happen,” Newsom said in Monday’s brief. ”But, we recognize that as we begin to modify, possible community spread may occur. If that’s the case, and we do not have the capacity to control that spread, to trace that spread, to track that spread, or to isolate individuals who may have been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew.”