CA Gov. Calls for Imperial County to Reinstate Stay at Home Order as COVID-19 Cases Spike

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By KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

California Gov. Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 Friday.

He reported 4,890 new COVID-19 cases and 79 new deaths in the state. He also reported modest increases in hospitalizations and total ICU.

Gov. Gavin Newsom reports 4,890 new #COVID19 cases and 79 new deaths in the state. He also reported modest increases in hospitalizations and total ICU. @KNX1070

— Margaret Carrero (@KNXmargaret) June 26, 2020

He also said the state is monitoring all 58 counties when it comes to community spread of COVID-19 cases adding 15 counties are on their watch list to address concerning trends.

Newsom called out Imperial County to reinstate the stay at home orders as it fights the virus.

He said Imperial County has never moved forward with an attestation.

"Over the course of many months Imperial County's conditions required a unique set of support and counsel and as a consequence, we have made it clear we have been sending additional resources into Imperial County," Newsom said adding more than 500 people have transferred outside the hospital system over the last five weeks.

He said the state is working to advise them to "pull back and reinstitute their stay at home orders."

There are a few Southern California counties on the list including San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Los Angeles County is one of the 15 counties on the list.

According to the California Department of Health, "LA County is experiencing the possibility of elevated disease transmission. Drivers of this include having a high case rate that is highly related to high testing capacity and volume countywide."

Due to the spread of COVID-19 among the prison population, Newsom has also declared the release of thousands of inmates.

On June 18, Newsom announced a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public. Earlier this week, he also threatened to cut funding from California counties who weren't adhering to the COVID-19 safety measures.

WHAT CAN REOPEN IN CALIFORNIA SO FAR?

GYMS, MOVIE THEATERS, BARS

California Gov. Newsom announced guidelines for gyms, movie theaters and restaurants and bars, which can reopen Friday June 12 with modifications.

He and the state released more guidelines on the state's website Tuesday.

For example, gyms must provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all employees at the beginning of their shift and any vendors, contractors, or other workers entering the facility; employers should consider where disposable glove use may be helpful to supplement frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that guidelines for the fitness industry, including gyms, will be coming soon.

Newsom and members of his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery spoke to members in the fitness industry Wednesday, including CEO's and instructors, about how they've been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis.

Newsom said "within a week or so," guidelines will be made public in reopening the fitness sector.

"But one thing we also recognize is your sector is multifaceted, and we don't want to be naive and just put out something that's bland and that doesn't meet your unique criteria and your unique considerations, and also look at this from a regional perspective as we do everything," Newsom told them.

He also announced guidelines on a regional basis for reopening barbershops and hair salons Tuesday:

He said 47 counties out of the 58 counties have self-attested so far at the county level and are moving forward the state's reopening phases plan - as it relates to testing and PPE and more.

In those 47 counties:

-barbershops and hair salons can reopen, with meaningful modifications, that have self-attested and gained approval from the state effective today.

Newsom said there would be further guidelines on childcare facilities, schools and summer camps coming Wednesday.

Newsom said "the prospect of people transmitting this virulent disease increases" when people are co-mingling who haven't before. He stressed social distancing and wearing masks.

"It's a reminder we aren't even out of the first wave of this pandemic," Newsom said. 

Here are the guidelines for hair salons and barbershops: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-hair-salons.pdf
There are 96,733 positive cases and 3,814 deaths as of today, according to the California Coronavirus Response page.

NEW: Starting today, many counties across California can choose to reopen hair salons and barbershops -- with serious modifications in place.LEARN MORE HERE: https://t.co/6g7JwwcCzl

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 26, 2020

Over the weekend, the state announced new guidelines and rules Memorial Day for houses of worship to follow - allowing for reopening in a limited capacity. 

"This guidance does not obligate places of worship to resume in-person activity. Further, it is strongly recommended that places of worship continue to facilitate remote services and other related activities for those who are vulnerable to COVID19 including older adults and those with co-morbidities," states the California Department of Health's Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies PDF guidelines.

The new guidelines state that "In particular, activities such as singing and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing. Places of worship must, therefore, limit attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower."

"This limitation will be in effect for the first 21-days of a county public health department’s approval of religious services and cultural ceremonies activities at places of worship within their jurisdictions," states the California Department of Health's Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies PDF guidelines.

Some of the new guidelines include providing temperature and/or symptom screenings for all staff at the beginning of their shifts; congregants/visitors being screened for temperature and/or symptoms upon arrival to places of worship and asked to use hand sanitizer and to wear face coverings; face coverings for staff when they are in the vicinity of others and discouraging sharing items used in worship and services such as prayer books, cushions, prayer rugs.

Read more guidelines here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf

The new guidelines include:

-Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all staff at the beginning of their shift. Make sure the temperature/symptom screener avoids close contact with staff to the extent possible. Both screeners and staff should wear face coverings for the screening. 

-Encourage staff and congregants/visitors who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or who have family members who are ill, to stay home. 

-Employers should provide and ensure workers and volunteers use all required protective equipment, including eye protection and gloves, where necessary. 

-Face coverings are strongly recommended when staff are in the vicinity of others.

-Places of worship must take reasonable measures, including posting signage in strategic and highly-visible locations, to remind congregants/visitors that they should use face coverings and practice physical distancing whenever possible.

-Congregants/visitors should be screened for temperature and/or symptoms upon arrival to places of worship and asked to use hand

sanitizer and to wear face coverings.

-Places of worship should consider where disposable gloves use may be helpful to supplement frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer; examples are for staff who are screening others for symptoms or handling commonly touched items. All workers and volunteers should wear gloves when handling items contaminated by body fluids.

When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting protocols from the state: 

-Perform thorough cleaning of high traffic areas such as lobbies, halls, chapels, meeting rooms, offices, libraries, and study areas and areas of ingress and egress including stairways, stairwells, handrails, and elevator controls.

-Frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces including doorknobs, toilets, handwashing facilities, pulpits and podiums, donation boxes or plates, altars, and pews and seating areas.

-Discourage sharing items used in worship and services (such as prayer books, cushions, prayer rugs, etc.) whenever possible and provide single use or digital copies or ask congregants/visitors to bring personal items instead.

 -Avoid sharing work equipment and supplies, such as phones, office equipment, computers, etc., wherever possible. Never share PPE.

-Disinfect microphones and stands, music stands, instruments and other items on pulpits and podiums between each use.

He said 43 counties have provided attestation of containment and protection plans to allow them to move deeper into phase 2.

Newsom said the state is working with the religious communities and houses of worship and said "we are just days away on Monday we will put out those guidelines." 

"We are working to move those guidelines forward," he said.

President Trump announced Friday morning he deemed houses of worship "essential," and ordered governors to reopen them this weekend. However, Newsom said the state's guidelines would be put out on Monday.

SPORTING EVENTS and HAIR SALONS:

Newsom announced additional modifications to the state's Stay at Home order for counties in May.

"Bottom line people can go at their own pace," Newsom said.

He said 24 counties that have self-attested and certified with containment and protection plans.  Newsom said there has been a 7.5 percent decline over 14 days of hospitalizations statewide. He also said testing capacity is improving.

Newsom said there were additional modifications moving forward to allow some of the larger counties to make progress deeper into phase 2 effective immediately but on their own pace, adding the "counties can go at their own pace."

"We expect, if we hold the rate of transmissions we hold the positivity rate and continue to do justice to the hospitalizations and ICU numbers, that we will be making announcements statewide, not just with the regional variances, that would allow for retail, not just to be picked up, but in-store retail to be loosened up," Newsom said. "In addition to that sporting events, pro sports in that first week or so of June, without spectators and with modifications and very prescriptive conditions, can also begin to move forward...if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks. That includes, for example, getting a haircut which is very meaningful. That could be done on a regional variance but could be advanced in the next few weeks even statewide."

Newsom said when it comes to the faith community,  the order from the state Monday will allow for counseling services and for churches to meet more broadly as offices, but for congregants "that is a few weeks away." 

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary, said the criteria for eligibility to attest for a county variance and move through phase 2 faster than where the state is: no greater than 5 percent increase in hospitalizations over the past 7 days on average; looking at no more than 25 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the county over 14 days; or a test positivity rate of less than 8 percent.

CAR WASHES, MALLS, PET GROOMING, OUTDOOR MUSEUMS

Earlier in the month in May, Newsom announced new guidelines for the state and for individual counties that will impact restaurants' dining-in options, malls, strip malls, outdoor museums, car washes, pet grooming and more.

Only two counties so far, and maybe two more later this afternoon, have been given the go-ahead to move through Phase 2 faster than the rest of the state, according to the governor.

Newsom said Butte and El Dorado Counties are the two counties that are able to move deeper into phase 2. Newsom said over 70 percent of the state's economy is open "with modifications."

He announced additional modifications for the Stay at Home orders when it comes to:

-offices (if telecommuting doesn't work)

-malls, strip malls, outlet malls can be reopened for curbside pick-up only.

-car washes

-pet grooming

-outdoor museums

-botanical gardens

He also introduced guidelines in order for restaurants to reopen and have in-room dining take place. For example, in order for restaurants to reopen for dine-in options, they must include some of the following:

Provide disposable menus to guests and make menus available digitally so that customers can view on a personal electronic device, if possible.

Discontinue pre-setting tables with napkins, cutlery, glassware, food ware.

Suspend use of shared food items such as condiment bottles, salt and pepper shakers, and provide these foods in single-serve containers, if possible.

physical distancing to the maximum extent possible,

use of face coverings by employees (where respiratory protection is not required) and customers/clients,

 frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfection,

 training employees on these and other elements of the COVID-19 prevention plan.

Read more details on ALL guidelines for restaurants: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf

A county that has met certain criteria in containing COVID-19 may consider increasing the pace to go through Phase 2 of the state's roadmap to modify the Stay-at-Home order. 

"Those counties with variation attestation may progress to open these sectors more rapidly, according to their county-specific plan for modification," the California Department of Public Health website says.

Here is a list of all the Phase 2 modifications and what sector of the economy can and cannot reopen: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Local-Variance-Attestations.aspx

CLOTHING, BOOK STORES, FLORISTS, MUSIC AND SPORTING GOODS STORES CURBSIDE PICK-UP

In May, retail or low-risk businesses, like auto dealers, clothing and book stores, florists, toy stores, music and sporting goods stores, reopened for curbside pick up.

Newsom announced the guidelines for phase 2 of modifying the state's Stay at Home orders and easing into reopening certain parts of the economy beginning last week.

There are six indicators for modifying the Stay-at-Home orders for the state. 

Later at some point, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary, said offices, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls and outdoor museums can open.

Newsom said phase 2 "is not a return to normal." 

Newsom has said the next phase is phase 2, which is lower-risk workplaces such as the retail sector, including curb-side pick-ups. Phase 2 is where lower-risk workplaces, retail, non-essential, can begin to reopen and making sure guidance is abided by including modified school programs and childcare reopening and also opening up more public spaces.

Newsom announced specific milestones the state has reached based on health, data and scientific analysis on the state of COVID-19.

Newsom said the guidelines are extending in the retail sector with modifications.

Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary, said retailers should increase pick up and delivery with physical distancing, manufacturers should close breakrooms and create outdoor break areas with physically distanced seating, and warehouses should carry sanitation materials during deliveries and use PPE for each stop.

Ghaly said counties in the state have been affected differently by COVID-19.

He said "we know some counties can move farther into stage 2 when they can attest to certain criteria" from California Public Health." There is regional variance criteria based on hospital capacity, vulnerable populations and triggers for adjusting modifications. 

According to the California COVID Response page:

Before, reopening, all facilities must:

  • 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

"We are announcing our efforts to update our Stay at Home guidelines and begin the process of moving into phase 2. That process will begin on Thursday. We will put out the guidelines. If guidelines are met and modifications are made, people can start reopening with those modifications in these particular sectors as early as Friday," Newsom said.

"As early as the end of this week you will have the capacity, as a retailer, to begin to reopen..." Newsom said adding those can include pick up for clothing stores, bookstores, music, toys, sporting good stores and florists. 

He also announced the capacity for other counties to move further into phase 2 with plans that need to be locally certified by criteria that include testing, tracing, capacity on social distancing and sanitation, among others.He stressed the state is not telling local communities, that feel it's too soon, to modify.

In the past he said he wanted to update on an indicator specific to schools, businesses and childcare facilities.

"We believe we are weeks, not months away, from making meaningful modifications to that indicator and in this space," he said adding it's based upon the data and the indicators. "We are still, by any stretch of the imagination, out of the woods yet, it's just stable. Again California and Californians know we didn't experience the big surge other parts of the globe and other parts of the country had."

Newsom recapped the six indicators for modifying the Stay-at-Home orders:

- the ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed;

-ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;

-hospitals and healthcare systems being able to handle surges;

-develop therapeutics to meet the demand;

-the ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing;

-the ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

He said there was cautious optimism. 

SCHOOLS

When it came to schools, Newsom said: "Learning continues at home, distance learning.  We recognize there is a learning loss because of this disruption and we are considering the prospect of an even earlier school year into the fall - as early as late July, early August so we are beginning to socialize that."

He said he wants folks to know about the concern over learning loss when it comes to schools.

"We might want to consider getting the school year moved up a little bit. We need to start preparing for the physical changes in the schools and the environmental changes in the schools that are necessary in order to advance that conversation and make it more meaningful," he said.When it came to businesses, Newsom said he wanted to emphasize the importance of protecting customers and business workers at the same time. 

Newsom and Dr. Sonia Angells, the California Public Health Director, said there were four phrases to move forward to modifying the Stay at Home orders:

-phase 1 which is safety and preparedness by building out testing, PPE, hospital surge capacity; phase 2 is where lower-risk workplaces, retail, non-essential, manufacturing, can begin to reopen and making sure guidance are abided by including modified school programs and childcare reopening and also opening up more public spaces; phase 3 is reopening high-risk workplaces like personal care or gyms, spa's and nail salons and phase 4 is highest risk activities including larger public venues and entertainment venues, concerts with crowds.

"Phase 2 is really the phase that is upon us we believe in the next few weeks, and perhaps most important in terms of getting everybody's attention and focus so we can prepare for it in real-time," Newsom said.

Dr. Sonia Angell, the California Public Health Director, said the message is "cautious optimism." She said they are guided by the data.

Last week, Gov. Newsom offered an update on another indicator, testing, and when the state will begin to reopen.

Newsom reminded the public of the six key indicators that would guide the decision to reopen the state's economy. 

"When can we go back to some semblance of normalcy?" Newsom asked.

He said that decision needs to be guided on the basis of the virus and its spread. He said he wishes he could prescribe a specific date to reopen the state but "we have tried to make it crystal clear there is no light switch and there is no date."

Newsom announced testing capabilities, new testing sites, and reintroduction of scheduled surgeries that will be up and running again

He said they are able to begin to schedule surgeries once again throughout the hospital systems including surgeries for tumor removals or heart valves, and key preventive care services. 

NEW: CA will work with our hospitals and health systems to resume delayed medical care like tumor removals and key preventive care services--which were deferred to prep for the #COVID19 surge.We’ll do this in a thoughtful and judicious way to ensure our system has the capacity.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 22, 2020

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