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Gov. Newsom to give better timeline to reopen California, ease stay-at-home restrictions

Newsom has not been clear about what he's expected to announce during his noon news conference. However, he alluded it would touch on the criteria for reopening.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom will give everyone a new look at his timeline to reopen California's economy and ease stay-at-home restrictions Wednesday during his daily coronavirus press briefing.

The order to shelter-in-place was issued on March 19 as the coronavirus spread rapidly in the state. The order, however, didn't specify an end date.

The governor has not been clear about what he's expected to announce during his noon news conference. However, he gave a few hints at Tuesday’s briefing, saying he would provide an update on the six key reopening factors he announced last week.

The six key criteria are:

  • Expand testing and doing contact tracing for those who test positive
  • Being able to protect California's most vulnerable populations, including seniors, homeless individuals and those with compromised immunity
  • Ensuring medical facilities are equipped to handle potential surges
  • Working with research hospitals and other research partners to pursue therapies for the virus
  • Making sure businesses, schools, and other public spaces can continue physical distancing
  • Being able to return to more strict measures, as needed

“We will lay out our update in those six key areas as part of our road map to recover. We have teams in each area,” he said.

Newsom also said he will specifically focus on the first step, which is testing and contact tracing in California. 

“More tests should be available, will be made available, seeing significant increase in testing capacity, will go into this in great detail, in terms of sub-populations and geographic distribution of tests and test sites,” he explained to reporters during the briefing.

Newsom is also expected to talk about the state's ability to isolate and quarantine people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, especially vulnerable populations like homeless individuals. He has told reporters, on many occasions, that he sees it as necessary to prevent future outbreaks in the state.

While not giving any specific hints about Wednesday’s announcement, the governor was very clear about lifting the stay-at-home order. He reminded Californians they shouldn’t expect an exact date when the state will reopen but should expect a better timeline.

“Practicing physical distancing has worked in keeping the numbers modest in terms of growth, but if we pull back too quickly, the numbers will go through the roof,” he said.

On Tuesday, the state experienced a 7.4% jump in COVID-19 cases compared to Monday. The increase was larger than the rate of spread California has seen recently. It's still unclear whether the increase would affect the governor’s announcement. However, he has repeatedly warned that if the virus started spreading rapidly once again, there would not be an easement on restrictions.

You can watch the announcement at noon on ABC10, the ABC10 app or here.

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