Newsom: CA ‘many days, not weeks’ from reopening

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Just days after announcing a four-step roadmap for reopening the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that California is days away, rather than weeks from easing stay-at-home measures. 

“I just want folks to know we’re getting very close to making really meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order. We said weeks, not months about four or five days ago. I want to say many days, not weeks. As long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications, we’ll be making, I think, some announcements,” he said during his live broadcast. 

Newsom said he would elaborate on the matter in the next week, particularly about low-risk businesses, such as the retail and hospitality sectors. 

The state is currently in phase one of four toward reopening, which is to ensure the essential workforce environment is as safe as possible. The following stage would include opening the lower-risk workplaces, such as schools and childcare centers and the gradual opening of retail stores, manufacturing and office spaces, but with significant modifications to continue preventing the spread of the virus.

“The only thing that’s gonna hold us back is the spread of this virus, and the only thing that is sure to advance the spread of the virus is thousands of people congregating together. Practicing social distancing or physical distance, we can avoid that,” said Newsom. 

Ahead of its safer-at-home order set to expire on May 15, Los Angeles County is working on its own roadmap to reopening the county after a vote on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, which is expected to be less rigorous than the state’s plan to reopen. 

“This is not going to just go away. Coronavirus is going to be around forever, and without a vaccine to prevent us from getting the virus or a therapeutic drug to treat you if you need it, we need to really be cautious in how we reopen our society,” Supervisor Janice Hahn, who represents the 4th District, said Tuesday. 

Supervisors are expected to receive a report on reopening within seven days since Tuesday. 

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