In his latest coronavirus briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the state could begin moving into the next phase of re-opening by the end of the week.
Newsom said that on Thursday the state will put out the guidelines that will need to be met and modifications that need to be made in order for businesses to begin opening with the new modifications in place. However, he emphasized that the modifications and adaptations need to be in place before the state can move into the second phase.
"We are entering into the next phase this week," said Newsom. "With modifications we will allow retail to start operating across the spectrum. We will allow regional variations but only after self-certification of particular criteria that will allow even further implementation of our phase two."
If the modifications are met, businesses within the retail sector can open up for pick-up. These businesses include clothing, books, music, toys, sporting good stores, florists. Other Phase 2 businesses, including restaurants with seated dining, shopping malls, offices, schools, and childcare facilities, were not included in Monday's reopening guidance. Eventually, these areas will also be allowed to reopen with limits.
California's Phase 3 businesses, which remain closed, includes high-risk workplaces, including hair and nail salons, gym, movie theaters, sporting events without live audiences, and religious services.
In Phase 4, businesses allowed to reopen include concert venues, convention centers, and sporting events with live audiences. That phase would also see an end to the stay-at-home order.
The state will also allow different containment and protection plans to put into place in regions and counties throughout California. Some areas will be able to move further into Phase 2 if plans can be locally certified by criteria that includes the capacity on testing and tracing, physical distancing and the capacity to protect the most vulnerable residents. These plans would have to be confirmed by the local health department in concurrence with county supervisors.
These plans could include the prospect of restaurants and hospitality re-opening with modifications.
Newsom once again emphasized that the plans had to be done in a "thoughtful and judicious way" with a "health-first focus" and that indicators such as the stabilization the rates of hospitalizations, as well as testing and tracking need to be maintained. However, he said that "many of these counties, many of these regions have already done a ton of work in this space and they are ready to go."
Local certifications and plans will be made public and will have to be done through a process that goes through the California Department of Public Health. The regions and counties will then have to conduct active monitoring to make sure that COVID-19 is not spreading. If it does, a trigger within the criteria that will require the region or county to remodify the changes.
Newsom added that any indication that coronavirus trends are worsening after businesses reopen could lead to the state bringing back stricter stay-at-home orders.
"This is a very positive sign. It has happened only for one reason: the data says it can happen. But we recognize that as we begin to modify, behaviors modify, and 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, to isolate individuals that may have been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew."
The KGTV Digital Staff contributed to this report.