Expanding on regional variance guidelines made earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced more modifications to California’s stay at home order.
According to Newsom, the guidelines on regional variance released today can apply to most California counties — about 53 counties out of 58 counties — allowing them to move deeper into Phase 2 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan.
Phase 2 includes lower risk workplaces like curbside pickup at retail, manufacturing, offices and public spaces. It also includes school programs and childcare. However, the state is not opening up all sectors in Phase 2 all at once — they are going through Phase 2 step by step.
If counties can self-attest to the following criteria, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly says they will be allowed to reopen some sectors:
- Counties can’t have more than a 5 percent increase in hospitalization within the last 7 days on average OR, in smaller counties, no more than 20 COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the last 14 days.
- Counties can’t have more than 25 COVID-19 diagnoses per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days OR they have to have less than an 8 percent COVID-19 positivity rate.
- Counties need a minimum daily testing of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents per day.
- Counties need at least 15 trained contact tracers per 100,000 residents.
- Counties need to work closely with skilled nursing facilities.
- Counties need to protect essential workforce.
- Counties need to work with local hospitals to demonstrate the ability to maintain surge capacity.
- And, lastly, counties need to be able to pull back if needed.
If a county meets these criteria, then, with certification from the county’s local health officials and from the county’s supervisors, the state can consider allowing the county to move through Phase 2 faster than the rest of the state.
However, Newsom mentioned that counties in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County are stricter and will not be moving as fast as other counties.
To date, 24 California counties have already been able self-attest and move deeper into Phase 2 based on the earlier guidelines.
Additionally, the Governor said that if health data continues to look good, he can announce modifications for sectors like salons and faith-based organizations in a few weeks.
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.