California business owners are eagerly awaiting Thursday for Governor Gavin Newsom’s new guidelines that will describe the first widespread changes to a state-to-stay-home order that closed most retail stores to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Newsom is expected to allow companies like clothing stores, flower shops, bookstores and sporting goods stores to open their doors for the first time in nearly two months, with some restrictions. The governor has said the order will not include other close contact businesses, such as restaurants and beauty salons. However, he also said that some local governments could receive variations.
Since the order to stay home was issued on March 19, more than 4 million people have been unemployed in the nation’s most populous state.
The guidelines are part of Newsom’s four-step plan to reopen the state. Thursday will be phase two. The next phase, which could reopen classrooms, gyms, movie theaters, and religious services in person, could be months away. Phase four would end all restrictions and allow large gatherings at concerts and sporting events.
The Newsom administration is tracking six indicators to determine when to ease the restrictions. They include the state’s ability to screen people for COVID-19 and track who might have been exposed to it, and the ability of hospitals to handle a potential increase in new cases.
The governor said that some businesses may reopen in a few days.
So far Newsom has said the state is on track to meet its goals.
Newsom’s order had been universally accepted until recently.
But three northern California counties with few confirmed cases of COVID-19 have allowed the reopening of a variety of businesses. The small county of Modoc allowed its only movie theater to open its doors. Yuba and Sutter counties allowed in-store purchases and restarting gyms and exercise rooms, salons, spas and tattoo parlors, libraries, and playgrounds.
Yuba Sutter Mall general manager Natasha Shelton said about 18 of the approximately 50 stores were open Wednesday and estimated that around 200 people were inside at noon. The mall had reduced hours to allow for additional cleaning at night. Tables in the food court were 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart and food trays were prohibited.
Amanda Benjamin, 28, hoped to find summer clothes for her nearly 8-year-old son, who said he “grew like grass” during his weeks at home. She said Walmart had sold all of her son’s size clothing, forcing her to travel to the mall from Beale Air Force Base, where her husband is assigned. She brought her three children, all wearing masks.
“I don’t feel like we should stay in our houses all the time,” he said. “We can find out how not to spread the disease.”
Newsom had already cracked down on counties that failed to comply with the regulations, ordering the temporary closure of all beaches in Orange County after some local governments refused to close them or impose public health restrictions. He canceled some of those orders after negotiating with local governments.
A lawsuit had been filed to curb financial aid of at least $ 500 for the state’s undocumented immigrants.
This week, state regulators contacted a handful of companies in Yuba and Sutter counties, warning them to comply with the state order, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee reported.
Agents from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control asked places to voluntarily shut down internal meals “until it is safe to reopen, to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” ABC spokesman John Carr told reporters. Sacramento Bee.
On Wednesday, the Yuba-Sutter Health Officer, Dr. Phuong Luu, issued a public warning to companies to ensure that their employees and customers practice social distancing and wear face covers, as required by local orders.
“It has become clear that several companies are not enacting the protocols required to ensure the safety of the community,” Luu wrote.
“I understand that some of their clients may strongly oppose a facial coverage requirement, but the long-term security of our community is at stake,” added Luu. “We don’t want to take any step back from our gradual introduction efforts.”
Other cities and counties have signaled their intention to reopen in the coming days. Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said some businesses in his city could open Monday, including electronics and camera stores, furniture stores and auctions, Fresno Bee reported.
In Los Angeles, county officials outlined a plan that allows some reopens starting Friday, provided security precautions are taken. Golfers can return to the courses, and trails will be opened with available county employees to remind hikers of the rules for social distancing, said Board of Supervisors chairwoman Kathryn Barger.
Some procedures will take time to become operational.
Some Los Angeles County retailers may reopen only with the curbside pick-up service, including flower shops and stores that sell toys, books, clothing, sporting goods, and music. The county, the state’s largest with 10 million residents, has accounted for more than half of the more than 2,500 virus deaths in California.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that disappear within two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and death.