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Walnut Creek Magazine

Newsom says reopening of California begins Friday

May 05, 2020 02:43PM ● By Pam Kessler

California's Governor Gavin Newsom took a big step forward on May 4 announcing that certain small businesses—clothing, jewelry, flowers, shoes, bookstores, among others—could reopen with curbside service on Friday May 8. “We are entering into the next phase,” Newsom said at a news conference. “This is a very positive sign, and it is happening for only one reason: the data says it can happen.” 

Manufacturers and suppliers for retailers will also be eligible to resume operations Friday, Newsom said. Shopping malls, dine-in restaurants, and office buildings will stay closed for now.

When news about the loosened restrictions spread in the Bay Area, many excited small business owners began making plans to reopen in time for Mother’s Day gift-giving.

The looser restrictions, however, will not apply to the six Bay Area counties and Berkeley, which extended shelter in place orders through May 31. “Contra Costa County plans “to stick to tracking progress” on key public health indicators before relaxing the stay-at-home orders it issued along with five other counties and Berkeley, “which will be in place through the end of May,” said Contra Costa public health spokesman Will Harper.

Health Officers are using five key indicators to guide decisions in the coming weeks and months to determine when and how to ease shelter-in-place restrictions:

Whether the total number of cases in the community is flat or decreasing.

Whether the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing.

Whether there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all health care workers.

Whether we are meeting the need for testing, especially for persons in vulnerable populations or those in high-risk settings or occupations.

Whether we have the capacity to investigate all COVID-19 cases and trace all of their contacts, isolating those who test positive, and quarantining the people who may have been exposed.

 “A pandemic of this scale is unprecedented,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer. “We are progressing steadily as a region, but we must reduce restrictions on activity gradually or we will put the lives of many community members at risk.”

Contra Costa Health Services offers multiple resources for small business owners trying to navigate the county's policies during the coronavirus pandemic:

Business Hotline: 833-320-1991, 8 am-5:30 pm daily, to answer questions from business owners.

Shelter-In-Place Hotline: 844-729-8410, 8 am-5 pm daily, to address health, safety, & general guidelines.

211: dial this resource hotline anytime for support and assistance.

Text HELP to 20121: For anyone that needs help but is in a situation where they may not be able to talk out loud and texting provides a better alternative.

Stay up to date at cchealth.org.