(CALMATTERS) – California is entering yet another pivotal moment in its coronavirus response.
On Friday, many counties plan to reopen gyms, bars, hotels, movie theaters, pro sports venues without fans, and more, even as cases continue to rise. Meanwhile, the state is monitoring 10 counties experiencing spikes in cases or hospitalizations. And Gov. Gavin Newsom is striving to balance the competing desires of reopening the economy and protecting public health.
- Newsom in a Tuesday meeting with Oakland community and business leaders: “As we phase in, in a responsible way, a reopening of the economy, we’ve made it abundantly clear that we anticipate an increase in the total number of positive cases. But we also need a concurrent recognition and commitment that we are in a substantially different place than we were 90 days ago.”
The governor said the state has adequate alternative care facilities, hospital surge capacity and ventilators to handle a potential spike in patients. In addition, California will soon start receiving hundreds of millions of N95 face masks from BYD after they were certified by a federal agency Monday. The state is also now conducting close to its goal of 60,000 tests per day.
He added that keeping the economy in “permanent stasis” could also “lead to catastrophic public health outcomes.”
Six Bay Area counties are reopening much more slowly than the rest of the state, though they continue to ease restrictions every two to three weeks. Public health officials say they’re trying avoid a surge in cases that will force residents to shelter in place again.
- Susan Philip of the San Francisco Department of Public Health: “We don’t want people to keep living their lives sheltering at home. … We have a commitment to keep moving forward, because we know there are impacts on people’s health and economic wellbeing and happiness that are so important as well.”