News/Op-Ed: Not So Fast… California to begin phases of reopening in wake of COVID-19

With states across America aiming to slowly reopen, California Governor Gavin Newsom aims to begin this week with phased reopening starting with public beaches and small businesses.

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With California nearly approaching two months since social distancing guidelines have been put into effect, the virus has strongly affected small businesses, and the Governor’s announcement would put them back into business, although they still have to maintain the distancing guidelines. Curbside pickup and delivery, according to Governor Newsom in a press conference on Tuesday, would be the way that these businesses would operate starting as soon as last Friday. Businesses must need the proper protective gear and constant deep cleaning is necessary for these small businesses. Governor Newsom is set to offer the full guidelines to the small businesses in coming days.

Among re-openings were also public beaches, which were reopened for only a short time before mass crowds caused the Governor to close them again. This led to protesters scattered across California, but mainly in Huntington Beach, where a mass gathering protested wanting their beaches reopened. People have had little to do in the last two months, and as the weather warms, many are getting antsy. These protests have worked and Newsom has begun reopening select beaches in Huntington Beach, Dana Point and Seal Beach. Huntington and Dana Point had filed suits against the closures. Also Laguna Beach and San Clemente have gained approval for the same phased reopenings. More reopenings are to slowly take place with Newsom aiming for phased reopening across California.

The updated Covid-19 number of cases in California is nearly 70,000, including almost 3,000 deaths. As the Governor takes steps to reopen the state, new measures are also being taken to combat another peak spread of the virus. To help healthcare workers and businesses, Newsom has an inventory of 19.3 million masks to help fight the spread of the virus. In a new measure, Newsom also announced the deployment of nearly 2,800 “disease detectives” to track and quarantine infected Californians. This as the state expects to have more available “drive-by” tests and more testing in general.

The phase two of the reopenings, according to Governor Newsom, will slowly begin close to the end of this week, defining it as a low-risk portion of the reopenings. Newsom wants to modify the stay-at-home order, and these changes will begin in the near future. If the cases begin to rise again then the restrictions will tighten again, according to the Governor. Governor Newsom sums up his plan for reopening California with it’s not “ready, fire, aim”, but it’s “ready, aim, fire.”

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