Apr 14, 2020 - Health

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:

  1. "The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed."
  2. "The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19."
  3. "The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges."
  4. "The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand."
  5. "The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing."
  6. "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."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus hospitalizations keep falling

Data: COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Note: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Puerto Rico have not reported hospitalizations consistently. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline, particularly in New York and other northeastern states that were among the hardest hit by the virus.

Yes, but: Some states are still recording stagnant or rising amounts of hospitalizations.

15 hours ago - Health

World Health Organization resumes hydroxychloroquine trial

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization will resume its hydroxychloroquine trial after its safety committee found "there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol," WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing Wednesday.

The big picture: The organization temporarily suspended its trial for the antimalarial drug last week after an analysis published in The Lancet showed coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine or its related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop an irregular heart rhythm.