Newsom Says California Will Begin Reopening This Week

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday that some restrictions on retail stores across the state will be eased beginning this week.

During his Monday afternoon coronavirus update, Newsom said California was moving into the next phase this week.

“This is a very positive sign and it’s happened only for one reason: The data says it can happen,” Newsom said.

“As early as the end of this week, you will have the capacity as a retailer with the modifications and the guidelines we set forth on Thursday to begin to reopen for pickup: clothing, book stores, music, toys, sporting goods stores, florists -- with Mothers Day coming up,'' Newsom said.

The plan announced by the governor also allows local leaders to make more granular decisions, allowing them to proceed further with the second phase of the order and reopen businesses at their own pace, rather than rely on a central directive. Counties will be required to meet certain requirements, such as number of hospital beds, testing kits, and ability to trace infected individuals and who they had contact with.

“Once that is done, we need active monitoring, surveillance, to make sure the disease is not spreading,'' he said. “If it is, one of the criteria is a trigger to re-modify the changes, so we just want folks to know we need to toggle back and forth here on the basis of what's happening in those communities.

However, the order does not include places like offices (however, they can continue work-from-home policies). Seated dining at restaurants are also not allowed to reopen at this time.

“... This is a very positive sign and it's happened only for one reason: the data says it can happen,'' he said. “But we recognize as we begin to modify, behaviors modify, and possible community spread may occur. If that's the case and we do not have the capacity to control that spread, to trace that spread, to track that spread, isolate individuals when they've been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew.''

Meanwhile, Newport Beach has filed a federal lawsuit against the Governor's order to shut down beaches in Orange County. According to the city's lawsuit, the order violated residents' constitutional rights, including the freedom of movement and assemble. The lawsuit also claims the order deprived people of due process and equal protection under the law.

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