Bay Area Retail To Reopen 10 Days After State Lifts Restrictions

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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to provide detailed guidelines today that would allow some businesses to reopen Friday for curbside retail service.

But one Bay Area official says retail will not return to the region that soon.

"We will not be making changes to our local order to allow for curbside retail this week," Marin County Public Health Director Matt Willis said.

Willis says Marin, along with Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties will reopen retail businesses for curbside service on Monday, May 18.

"We think it will take a little time to first understand and then implement these guidelines in every setting to protect both the safety of staff and customers," Willis said, himself a survivor of COVID-19

Public health agencies are still working to determine how to allow businesses to reopen while safely managing increased traffic flows and crowds as people gather on curbsides in busy retail districts. Officials will also have to make sure enough childcare facilities will reopen to accommodate parents returning to work. 

And of course certain health guidelines will have to be met.

"Not seeing surges in cases, we have testing capacity, we could do contact tracing of all cases, our hospitals are preparing for surge, we have the monitoring system in place," Willis explained. "And that you, our community members and our businesses, have the tools we need to move forward safely."

Updated May 7, 9:24 p.m.

The shelter-in-place is being relaxed for some "low-risk" businesses in Solano County starting Friday.

County health officials have announced that low-risk businesses such as retail stores, offices, manufactering and county/city parks can reopen as long as social distancing guidelines are maintained. Playgrounds and beaches are not included in the new guidelines. So-called "medium-risk" businesses like hair and nail salons, and massage therapists must remain closed for the time being as guidelines for businesses to accelerate towards reopening are fine tuned.