Governor Gavin Newsom announced new modifications and guidelines for sectors to move deeper into Phase 2 of the State’s four-phase reopening plan. He also reiterated that counties, like Santa Clara County, are allowed to have stricter orders that do not allow for these modifications just yet. However, local businesses can take a peek at these guidelines to see what will be expected of them when they are allowed to reopen.
As a reminder the four stages are:
- Safety and preparedness: Making essential workforce environments as safe as possible. Including looking acquiring Personal Protective Equipment, etc.
- Lower risk workplaces: Creating opportunities for lower risk sectors — retail, manufacturing, offices and public spaces — to adapt and re-open. Modify school programs and childcare re-open.
- Higher risk workplaces: Creating opportunities for higher risk sectors — personal care services, gyms, entertainment venues and religious services — to adapt and re-open. These are businesses and services that often require close proximity.
- End of the stay at home order: Return to the expanded workforce in highest risk workplaces, including large venues and public gatherings. This requires therapeutics.
Today’s announcements are another inch into Phase 2. Modifications released today include guidelines for retailcurbside pickup as well as additional guidelines for sectors like childcare, construction, offices, hotels, and more.
For businesses to be able to reopen they must go through a series of processes:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement individual control measures and screenings
- Implement disinfecting protocols
- Implement physical distancing guidelines
Though Santa Clara County and much of the Bay Area are being more guarded when it comes to reopening, many other counties around the state are ready to make the case that they should be allowed to move faster through Phase 2.
If counties are able to self-attest that they can meet specific criteria, they inch even deeper into Phase 2. These criteria are:
- Epidemiologic stability: no more than one case per 10,000 people in the last 14 days and no COVID-19 death in the past 14 days.
- Protection of Stage 1 essential workers: ability to support employees when sick or exposed to COVID-19 and availability of disinfectant supplies and protective gear.
- Testing capacity: minimum daily testing of 1.5 per 1,000 residents.
- Containment capacity: at least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents and the ability to temporarily house at least 15 percent of residents experiencing homelessness.
A couple of counties have already met and demonstrated that they meet these criteria and many more are hoping to get the green light soon.
These select counties who meet the criteria can see businesses coming back to life including limited seating dinning in restaurants and the reopening of retail like swap meets, strip and outlet malls, shopping malls, and destination shopping centers. No county can move into Phase 3.
Though businesses in Santa Clara County cannot take immediate advantage of these modifications, they are good previews into what business owners can expect when the likelihood of reopening comes into view.
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.