California appears to be moving toward Phase 3 of the four-phased reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. The state Department of Public Health announced Friday that gyms, bars, restaurants, museums and campgrounds can reopen as early as June 12.
The new guidance covers music, film, and television studios as well as day camps, schools, hotels, tribal casinos and zoos. Professional sport events can begin without audiences.
“Guidance doesn’t mean ‘go.’ Your local health officer will make the final decision about which sectors will open,” said California Department of Public Health director Dr. Sonia Angel. “Just because some business are opening doesn’t mean your risk for COVID-19 is gone.”
The latest guidance is the broadest range of sectors that California has addressed in one day since it began its four-phased reopening plan.
Three weeks ago, Governor Gavin Newsom told film and television industry leaders that guidance for reopening their sectors of the economy would be coming soon. As those promised procedures were delayed, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers drafted 22-pages of guidelines for their industry to reopen and submitted those plans to reopen June 8 for approval to officials in New York, California and Los Angeles County.
California’s guidance now says “productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may further be enhanced by county public health officers.”
The guidelines issued Friday will also allow competitive sports to return without fans. Professional sports in California may now resume but athletes, coaches and other staff will have to abide by protocols agreed upon between managed and labor unions. On Thursday, the National Basketball Association announced plans to return to play in late July.
The state’s guidelines for all the industries are built around social distancing, temperature checks, use of face coverings and enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices.
While the rules on schools and day camps will apply statewide, the only counties that have met a certain criteria on the number of cases, testing, and preparedness will be allowed to start reopening other sectors. Almost all of the state’s 58 counties have met those metrics.
To help facilitate and support schools coming back, Newsom’s office will distribute approximately 2.4 million face shields for every school teacher and childcare facility worker, more than 47,000 to-touch thermometers, over 14 million cloth face coverings for staff and students, and over 16 million disposable masks.
The state will also distribute 123,000 N95 masks for school-based health professionals and 143,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. All the supplies will be distributed to public schools, private schools and childcare facilities.
Some counties in the state have already started moving forward with plans for schools to reopen. On Thursday Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, the state third most populous city, announced that schools will reopen in the fall. San Francisco has also announced its public schools will reopen in August.
Workers at fitness facilities will be required to wear face coverings, especially in situations where social distancing may not be possible. If possible, gyms are also asked to implement a reservation system and utilize it to contact patrons 24 hours in advance of their arrival. Gym employees will have to call patrons and confirm that they are not displaying symptoms or living in a household with anyone showing coronavirus symptoms.
California’s positive confirmed coronavirus cases has now climbed over 120,000 with 4,485 deaths as of Friday. Even though there has been a slight increase in number positive cases and reported deaths, California remains in the range of stability for case positivity rate and hospitalizations.
Over the last 14 days, as some sectors of the economy began to reopen, California’s case positivity is at 4.5% and the number of hospitalizations has decreased by 2.9%.
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