California Officials Set 6 Requirements Before ‘Stay at Home’ Order Can Be Lifted, Even Gradually

“This time period that we’re entering is not about going back to where we were before. It’s about going forward in ways that are healthy for all of us. But it won’t look the same,” the director of California’s Department of Public Health said

Last Updated: April 22, 2020 @ 12:35 PM

California officials announced on Tuesday that the state must succeed in six different frameworks before it can gradually modify the “stay at home” order and slowly reopen the economy amid the pandemic.

The requirements include:

  1. California’s capacity to expand testing and track the quarantine and isolation of infected or exposed individuals
  2. The ability to protect the state’s most vulnerable populations who are most at-risk for severe COVID-19
  3. The ability of the hospitals and health systems to handle surges
  4. Engaging researchers and academic partners to develop therapeutics to meet demand
  5. The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing
  6. The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the “stay at home” order, if necessary

“This time period that we’re entering is not about going back to where we were before. It’s about going forward in ways that are healthy for all of us. But it won’t look the same,” Sonia Angell, the director of California’s Department of Public Health, said.

Angell said that restaurants, for example, will likely reopen soon, but they may need to have fewer tables inside to allow for physical distancing. Face coverings will also likely continue to be a common practice for those going out in public, Angell said.

There is not a specific date for when California can begin to pull back the “stay at home order,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said, but the state’s actions moving forward will be predicated on its success in the aforementioned six different frameworks.

“Science must be the guide, where we must be open to argument, interested in evidence, where we cannot be ideological in any way shape or form,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “We are not out of the woods yet, but we are also not spiking the ball.”

Newsom also said this week that California will be working alongside Oregon and Washington state to develop a plan for the West Coast as it seeks to gradually reopen.

In March, Newsom issued a statewide “stay at home” order that has continued to be in effect “until further notice.” Los Angeles County, meanwhile, has extended its “safer at home” order through May 15; as before, residents are still allowed to leave their homes for essential activities like grocery shopping and going to the pharmacy.

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