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Walnut Creek Magazine


Apr 14, 2020 01:18PM ● By Pam Kessler

At his press conference today, Governor Gavin Newsom told residents he needs a few more weeks to get a handle on when California can modify its stay at home orders. The Governor asked residents “to continue to hold the line for few more weeks so we can see this COVID19 curve bend.” He also stated we will emerge in a “new normal” life and life as we know it will be different. “Likely scenarios, said Newsom, include social distancing at restaurants which means only half of the tables will be seated; waiters wearing masks and gloves; guests getting temperature checks at the door.” Other stark realities include “redesigning work environments, staggering hours kids attend school, and continued teleworking for everyone who can.”

The Governor also made it clear “the prospect of mass gatherings at concerts, festivals, and other summer events is negligible at best as it is not in the cards to bring hundreds or thousands of people together, unless in the unlikely event, we have a vaccine in place by August to accommodate mass gatherings.”

“Our priority is to bring the school space back as quickly as possible for fall and relieve the burden of educating kids from parents. We are having conversations about how we restructure the school space, massive disinfection, proper sanitation systems, and none of this will happen in the short run,” he said.

Newsom and his team laid out the following principles that are guiding their decision to modify stay-at-home interventions, which will ultimately be determined at the local level.

1.      Until we have immunity, our actions must be aligned.

2.      Protect people at high risk for disease.

3.      Build capacity to protect health and well-being of Californians, by ramping up testing and isolating people who test positive.

4.      Be clear of the actions, limit the reactions.

He understands current stay at home orders are hard to sustain but stated that we need to meet the following indicators for the order to be modified:

1.      Ability to monitor communities through testing, tracking and isolating people who test positive.

2.      Ability to protect and prevent infection in our at-risk communities, such as among the six million seniors who live in the state.

3.      Ability for hospitals to handle the potential rise of sick patients after orders are loosened. Do we have a big enough stockpile of PPE and ventilators?

4.      Ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand.

5.      Ability for schools, businesses, and childcare facilities to support physical distancing. Do businesses have the resources to keep employees and customers safe?

Going forward, Newsom said, it will be the spirit of collaboration, cooperation, and commonwealth that determines when and how this will end.


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