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Walnut Creek Magazine

California Begins Stage Two of Reopening Economy—County by County

May 12, 2020 09:19AM ● By Pam Kessler

Thanks to improvements in hospital capacity, testing capability, a coherent tracing plan, and stabilization of the COVID-19 infection curve, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that additional sectors of the economy can begin to reopen. “Testing has been holding us back,” said Newsom. “We have now surpassed one million tests in California. We’re doing 35,000 tests a day, but we need to be at 60-80,000 per day to confidently open up the remaining 30% of our economy.”

Newsom said counties that have met all of the criteria laid out in the state’s “roadmap to recovery” can reopen outdoor shopping malls, strip centers, and outlet malls for curbside pickup.

When Contra Costa County follows suit, it’s good news for Walnut Creek retailers. "Multiple Broadway Plaza tenants," according to Senior Property Manager Shelly Dress, "are ready to go with curbside pickup.” Dress expects curbside pick up to happen on the lower level of the parking garage. “Right now, Broadway Plaza has no idea when reopening will begin; it could be June, July, or December.”

When Walnut Creek’s premier shopping destination does reopen, Dress said to expect environmental changes to create a safe welcoming space—new signage, social distancing reminders, shorter hours (11 a.m.-7 p.m.), and new community tables to expand outdoor seating for restaurants. State guidelines mandate occupancy thresholds in stores and restaurants cannot exceed 50% of capacity, necessitating strategies to create additional seating outside.

Stage Two of California’s reopening also includes the reopening of offices (if telecommuting is not an option), outdoor museums, botanical gardens, and provides detailed guidelines for restaurants. So far, only Butte and El Dorado counties have been approved by the state to reopen restaurants for dine-in service.

Some of the guidelines for reopening retail include: employee COVID-19 prevention training, self-screening, workplace face coverings, temperature taking, vigorous store cleaning, and a recommended 48-72-hour quarantine of customer-handled or returned apparel and accessories.

Go to for more information on California’s plans to reopen. For specific Contra Costa County guidelines, go


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