California governor unveils roadmap for relaxing coronavirus lockdowns
Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship USNS Mercy, March 27. Photo: Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images
California Gov. Gavin Newsom released a roadmap on Tuesday that will guide how he will make the decision to relax the stay-at-home policies his state implemented to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The big picture: While there is no timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order, Newsom's office said California would use a "gradual, science-based and data-driven framework" to determine when it would be safe to do so. Newsom indicated efforts to flatten the curve in California "have yielded positive results."
- California had 24,421 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon, per the LA Times.
- On Monday, Newsom announced California would create a task force with Oregon and Washington to coordinate the reopening of the regional economy. Northeastern states have announced a similar plan.
Details: Newsom said California would use six indicators to determine when to relax social distancing measures:
- "The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed."
- "The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19."
- "The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges."
- "The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand."
- "The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing."
- "The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary."
Newsom's roadmap also notes that life will be different even after stay-at-home orders are eased. For example, restaurants will likely reopen with fewer tables and face coverings will be more common in public.
What he's saying: “While Californians have stepped up in a big way to flatten the curve and buy us time to prepare to fight the virus, at some point in the future we will need to modify our stay-at-home order,” Newsom said.
- “As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before.”
- "There is no light switch here. Think of it as a dimmer. It will toggle between less restrictive and more restrictive."