CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Announces Phased Reopening Roadmap

April 29, 2020

Governor Newsom announced his four stage plan to reopen the state today, called the California Resilience Roadmap. In response to some county concerns shared by CSAC over the weekend, he indicated that the reopening process could occur regionally and promised to work closely with local health officers on the roadmap. He also took the opportunity to emphasize that the state is trending in the right direction and that he is thinking of the stages, especially moving from stage 1 (which we are in currently) to stage 2, in weeks, not months.

The Governor’s stages are as follows or view his presentation here:

Stage 1: Safety & Preparedness 

  • This is the current stage.  
  • Focus is on making essential workplaces safe for employees and customers.
  • Continue planning for subsequent stages by establishing contact tracing, obtaining PPE, and building surge capacity in regions.
  • Before moving to stage two, there are several actions needed:
    • Government: Must institute policies to allow workers to stay home sick and provide guidance on how to reduce risk.
    • Business: Must make modifications to lower workplace risks and allow employees to continue working from home, where possible.
    • Individuals: Must take safety precautions like distancing and wearing masks, avoid non-essential travel, and care for high-risk communities.

Stage 2: Open Lower Risk Workplaces & Childcare

  • The Governor did not give a timeline for when the state will move to Stage 2.
  • Gradually reopen lower-risk places like retail, manufacturing, offices where telework is not possible, and public spaces such as parks and trails.
  • Allow childcare facilities to provide more care and enable parents to return to work.
  • Expand the social safety net, including sick leave and wage replacement, to allow those who return to work to stay home when sick.

Stage 3: Open Higher Risk Workplaces

  • Includes three categories  of businesses where close proximity cannot be avoided:
    • Personal care (barbers, salons, spas, and gyms)
    • Entertainment venues (movie theaters, sports without live audiences)
    • In-person large gatherings or services (churches, weddings)
  • These businesses will require more adaptation to lower the risk of transmission among workers and individuals.  

Stage 4: End the Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

  • This will likely include modifications of the state-wide order.
  • Highest-risk businesses can begin to resume like concerts, convention centers, and live audience sports.

Regional Variation
Both the Governor and Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health, discussed the concept of “regional variation” when it comes to lifting health precautions and re-opening businesses. Dr. Angell noted that greater regional variations will be made possible once a statewide COVID-19 surveillance system and adequate testing are in place. This will allow county public health officials to make decisions based not only on data in their own county, but also from surrounding areas.

The Governor said that they are considering starting the new school year as early as July or early August to help make up for “lost learning time.” However, in order to do so, the state and districts must ensure that schools are sanitized, PPE is available, and physical modifications are made to keep students and teachers safe. He did not specify when there will be an official announcement on the school year, and individual districts may also vary from the statewide guidance based on local conditions.  

Community Input
The Governor also invited community input on the California Resilience Roadmap, especially related to specific business sectors. He invited all Californians to submit ideas for making their sectors safe at the California Recovery Roadmap Survey.

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