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Some California Retailers Could Reopen by Friday

May 4, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah
Dr. Sonia Angell during today’s briefing.

During today’s briefing with Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell, we got some good news. California will move into Stage 2 of its current orders on Friday, May 8. This means retailers—including clothing stores, bookstores, florists, and sporting goods stores—may reopen for curbside pickup with some modifications. Additionally, people who work to manufacture those goods may also return to work.

“If [guidelines] are met and modifications are made, then people can start reopening with those modifications as early as Friday,” Newsom said.

The state will release guidelines for Stage 2 this Thursday. Of note, offices, shopping malls, and dine-in service at restaurants can’t reopen this week.

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As always, the guidelines and the loosening of restrictions are entirely dependant on data. If there’s a rise in infection that threatens to strain our healthcare systems, we may have to toggle back.

“We recognize as we begin to modify…community spread may occur,” Newsom said. “If that’s the case and we do not have the capacity to control, trace, and track that spread to isolate individuals that may have been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew.”

Individuals counties may move through Stage 2 more quickly if they self-certify that they meet the state’s readiness criteria. All counties must submit a readiness plan that includes how they’ll reimplement restrictions if necessary. Those plans will be available to the public. County officials may also decide to go slower than the rest of the state.

Newsom also announced a new partnership with UCSF and UCLA that will act as a 20-hour virtual academy to train new tracers or “disease detectives.” The goal is to train 20,000 new tracers who will support the existing workforce of 2,845 tracers across the state.

“Testing is the backbone, but the tracing component requires a workforce,” Newsom said.  

This workforce will identify and trace the contacts of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and help contain the virus before more serious outbreaks occur. CalHR has already identified several people they believe are right for this training, which begins this week.

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