Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said he is considering a strategy for slowly reopening business in a state divided between rural areas with small numbers of coronarivus cases and urban areas struggling with still-rising death tolls.
On Monday, Newsom said the state is “a few weeks away, not months away” from making “meaningful changes” to the order. It was his most optimistic timeline yet, though he didn’t specify what “meaningful” meant.”
The process of reopening will take place in four phases.
The state is currently in Stage 1, which is concentrated on safety and preparedness. The goal of Stage 1 is to make the essential workforce environment as safe as possible.
Stage 2, which according to the governor is weeks away, will include creating opportunities for lower risk sectors to adapt and re-open. This stage will also include modified school programs and childcare re-opening. Low-risk workplaces include businesses like factories with spaced-out works stations, retail stores with curbside pickup. Those that re-open will need to provide paid sick days for worker who need to take time off in case they are diagnosed with COVID-19.
Stage 3 will allow higher-risk workplaces to adapt and re-open. This stage will see businesses like salons, gyms, theaters, and sports without audiences re-opening.
Stage 4 will be the end of the stay-at-home order. This will be when the state returns to expanded workforce in highest risk workplaces. Stage 4 is when Californians will be able to attend concerts, conventions, and sports games with crowds. However, “We are not going back to the way things were until we get to immunity or a vaccine,” Newsom said.
Newsom was cautiously optimistic when he said stages 3 and 4 were months away.