Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will enter phase two of the four-phase reopening plan, which will allow some lower risk businesses to reopen but with modifications to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Businesses deemed lower-risk include some clothing stores, sporting goods, florists and bookstores -- which have been shuttered for nearly seven weeks because of the pandemic.
Here's what to know:
Will all counties enter phase two of the reopening plan Friday?
No. Counties can decide whether or not to enter stage two based on their local health conditions. Decisions need to be certified by local and county health officials, Newsom said.
Will all businesses deemed lower risk be allowed to reopen?
Businesses and employers that qualify under stage two can reopen if they meet the state guidelines, which will be provided Thursday.
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On Monday, Newsom issued a state "Report Card" to help determine whether counties are able to reopen.
Are restaurants part of the phase two reopening plan?
No. Seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls or schools are not included in phase two.
The state is working with school districts and the California education community to dtermine how best and safely to reopen.
Can counties advance to other phases based on their own circumstances?
Yes. While California as a whole is transitioning to stage two together, counties can advance to further stages if they meet the sta
te's criteria and submit a readiness plan. Counties can also choose to stay at a certain stage based on their conditions.
What is the state's criteria?
In order to move on to subsequent stages, counties must:
- Demonstrate they have a low prevalence of COVID-19.
- Show that they meet testing and contact tracing criteria.
- Prove their health care system is prepared in case they see a sudden rise in cases.
- Have plans in place to protect vulnerable populations.
The state will outline these criteria in more detail this week.
What is contact testing?
A key consideration for entering Phase 2 is the ability for health authorities to test and conduct contact tracing of infections, Newsom said.
Newsom announced a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Los Angeles to begin training workers for a contact tracing program starting Wednesday.
Newsom warned that although California is on track to enter stage two of his reopening plan, the virus is not gone.
"It’s still dangerous and poses a significant public health risk," Newsom said. "As we move into the next stage of reopening, we will do so with updated guidance to help qualifying businesses make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure to customers and workers. Californians should prepare now for that second stage of reopening.”