The Golden State Awakens

According to Guidelines from the CDC and Governor Gavin Newsom California will begin to stir on Friday from it's self-induced coma.   Restarting the economy will be a great challenge rivaling the shortage of PPE and ventilators.

Perhaps some background music will help us all


After weeks of waiting, some California businesses can reopen Friday. But it's complicated. Here are 5 things to know about the reopening.


California will move into the first new stage of its reopening plan at the end of this week, and some retail businesses will be allowed to open back up for customers as early as Friday — assuming they comply with new health guidelines, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday.

The state has made enough progress in its efforts to contain, trace and test for the new coronavirus to allow retailers to reopen for curbside pickup, Newsom said. The businesses able to reopen this week include clothing stores, bookstores, music and toy stores, sporting goods stores and florists — which will be able to open in time for Mother's Day on Sunday, the governor pointed out.

Manufacturers and other logistics companies that make up retail supply chains will also be able to reopen, he said. On Thursday, the state will announce guidelines that the reopened businesses must follow to ensure social distancing. In the past, Newsom has said those requirements may include temperature checks at the door and fewer tables inside.


This step means that California is entering Stage 2 of its gradual, four-part reopening plan, which Newsom laid out last week. The timeline for moving into each stage will depend on the state's ability to ramp up testing for the coronavirus, begin widespread contact tracing of people who've tested positive, and protect vulnerable residents, Newsom said.

Here are five things to know about Monday's announcement: 




This graphic from the governor's office shows the metrics that officials will use to decide whether the state is ready to lift more restrictions. (Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom)



1) Some businesses can reopen.
The only businesses allowed to reopen Friday are "low-risk" retailers that can open for curbside pickup, to minimize person-to-person contact. This includes clothing stores, bookstores, music and toy stores, sporting goods stores and florists — which will be able to open in time for Mother's Day on Sunday

Manufacturers and other logistics companies that make up retail supply chains can also reopen, Newsom said.

2) Many more cannot.
Offices, shopping malls and dine-in restaurants will not be permitted to open this week, even though they were included in Stage 2 of the initial reopening plan.

Higher-risk venues like gyms, hair salons and churches, which include more person-to-person contact, won't reopen until the state enters Stage 3 of its plan.

And mass gathering places like concert venues and sports stadiums will stay closed until the state has access to drugs that treat COVID-19 — a development that may take months or longer.

3) Some counties can lift orders sooner. Others can keep theirs stricter.
Some California counties, which have seen relatively mild outbreaks of COVID-19, can now develop their own containment plans in which they lift restrictions sooner than the rest of the state, Newsom announced Monday.

These counties, some of which had already started defying the statewide order, can move further into Stage 2 by allowing restaurants and other hospitality venues to reopen. But the counties' plans must be certified by the local health officer and county supervisors, Newsom said.

On the other hand, regions like the Bay Area, which have stricter stay-home rules than the statewide order, are free to keep the stricter limits in place.

4) Stay-home orders could come back.
Reopening the state doesn't mean the virus will no longer be a threat. Hospitalizations have stabilized, and the state has expanded its health care capacity enough to treat a surge of patients, but people will keep getting sick until there's widespread access to a treatment for COVID-19.

That means stay-home orders could be reimposed if virus cases spike again, Newsom said Monday. Last month, he described this as a "toggling back and forth between more-restrictive and less-restrictive measures."

It's one of many reasons why life after the crisis will look much different than before. Restaurants will reopen but may have temperature checks at the door, along with fewer tables inside, officials have said. Face masks will likely remain common. And mass gatherings won't happen for the foreseeable future.
5) More testing and tracing are coming.
One reason for cautious optimism: state officials say they have ramped up their ability to trace and test for COVID-19 — two metrics considered among the most important for containing the disease.

California is now testing 30,000 people each day for the disease — exceeding its goal of 25,000 by the end of April, Newsom said Monday. It eventually hopes to test 80,000 people each day.

Meanwhile, the governor announced a new program that he said will train 3,000 tracers per week, adding to an existing workforce of more than 2,800 tracers who work in 22 counties across the state. The "academy," developed in partnership with UC San Francisco and UCLA, will open Wednesday and aims to eventually train at least 20,000 contact tracers.

As the state considers when to further lift restrictions, officials will keep an eye on a number of metrics, including the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the availability of personal protective equipment for health workers, the health care system's ability to handle a surge in patients, and the ability to continue tracing and testing for the virus