Newsom's Roadmap to Guide California Out of Isolation
Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out an approach Tuesday for how he plans to eventually unwind the restrictions California has enacted to slow the spread of the coronavirus, guidelines that have altered daily life for millions of residents over the past month. The parameters unveiled by Newsom, released in concert with similar plans from the governors of Oregon and Washington, stand as a regional statement to the Trump administration that states are moving ahead with their own plans on how and when to exit sheltering in place.
“We are not out of the woods yet, we are not spiking the ball,” Newsom said, while acknowledging that a sheltered existence “can’t be a permanent state. It will not be a permanent state.” Newsom's presentation on Tuesday was more of a roadmap than a timeline. He didn't provide a date when the shelter-in-place order would be lifted, and he cautioned that any such announcement would likely wait until May, when the state could have greater clarity on case numbers and hospital supplies. Instead, Newsom laid out six “indicators” that he said will guide his administration’s decisions on how and when to end the statewide stay-at-home order:
The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating and supporting those who are positive or exposed;
The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;
The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges;
The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand;
The ability for businesses, schools and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and
The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.
The list begins with testing and tracing: the ability to identify who has the virus and any contacts who may have been infected.