Newsom Says California "Days, Not Weeks" From Loosening Restrictions

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 01: Demonstrators protest California Gov. Gavin Newsom's continued statewide shelter in place order outside of San Francisco City Hall on May 01, 2020 in San Francisco, California.
Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expressing his greatest optimism yet the state is close to relaxing its shelter-in-place rules, insisting he is not giving in to pressure from lawsuits and protesters.

There was grim news Friday as the state has officially topped 50,000 cases of COVID-19 now and 2,000 deaths. There are some encouraging signs and a continued flattening of the curve, with fewer people hospitalized and in the ICU.

It means, Gov. Newsom said for the first time, that he could modify the shelter-in-place restrictions in a significant way, sometime next week.

LIVE NOW: Governor @GavinNewsom provides an update on the state’s response to #COVID19. #StayHomeSaveLives

— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) May 1, 2020 "We’re getting very close to making really meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order," Gov. Newsom said. "We are, always said, weeks not months about four or five days ago, I want to say many days, not weeks as long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications, we will be making, I think, some announcements."

Gov. Newsom said if people behave themselves and don’t crowd beaches this weekend, those announcements could come as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

"We’re not ideological, we’re open to argument," Gov. Newsom said. "We’re interested in evidence and the evidence is bearing out that we’re seeing some good things, but still some yellow flags of caution."

Those flags could turn back into red flags if Californians drop their guard and stop social distancing.