California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the state may begin to reopen its economy Friday, entering the next phase of his recovery plan.
According to “Stage 1” of the plan, retail stores will be able to offer curbside pickup, and there may be further allowances as the state makes progress in reducing coronavirus cases.
The governor “announced that bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, sporting goods stores and other retailers can reopen for curbside service Friday under new guidelines to be announced later this week,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, adding: “State officials cautioned that office buildings, shopping malls and restaurant dining rooms will not be reopened Friday, but later on in Stage 2.”
Certain urban areas, such as the six counties forming the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles County, may take longer to reopen, either because of state concerns or because of more restrictive local decisions.
The San Francisco Chronicle noted: “Six Bay Area counties are under a stay-at-home order through the end of May that is separate from the state’s shutdown, and Newsom said such counties could keep their stricter rules in place past Friday if they choose.”
San Diego County is also finalizing its own regulations, which require businesses to provide personal protective equipment and to implement social distancing guidelines, the Union-Tribune noted.
Some counties with few coronavirus cases had already begun to defy statewide orders. Newsom declined to tell reporters on his daily conference call Monday whether he would punish those counties, Calmatters reported.
The state will also develop an “army” of “contact tracers,” Calmatters added, who will be “public health workers tasked with tracking down people exposed to the virus so they can safely self-isolate and prevent the disease from spreading.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he did not expect Los Angeles to reopen on Friday. “Our timing on opening may vary from other parts of the state,” he said, the Los Angeles Times reported.
On Monday, the City of Laguna Beach reached a deal with Gov. Newsom to reopen its beaches in four phases. Newsom had ordered a “hard close” of Orange County beaches last week over concerns about overcrowding.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.