Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a half-dozen criteria that he said would need to be met in order to lift his nearly month-long stay-at-home order to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The Governor said there is not a precise timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order, but that the six indicators will be the framework for making that decision.
“While Californians have stepped up in a big way to flatten the curve and buy us time to prepare to fight the virus, at some point in the future we will need to modify our stay-at-home order,” he said Tuesday. “As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before.”
California’s six indicators for modifying the stay-at-home order are:
The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed
The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19
The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges
The ability to 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 reinstate certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.
Newsom’s remarks Tuesday came a day after he announced along with governors in Oregon and Washington that they would coordinate their plans for lifting stay-home orders to ensure a consistent regional approach, noting that “COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness.” Governors of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island made a similar announcement Monday.
The moves come amid encouraging signs that the orders which have shuttered schools and all but essential food, communication, delivery and public health and safety work are working to flatten the upward trajectory of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in California and around the country.
Newsom’s office has chiefly used an open-sourced Johns Hopkins University model to assess likely impacts of the pandemic on California’s hospitals. That model had projected there would be 10,711 suspected and confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in California by April 12. The actual number: 5,048.
In the Bay Area, where county health officers announced a “shelter-in-place” order March 16, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said Tuesday that she was not told what the state is considering for lifting its stay-home order.
Cody said the county has its own modeling to consider lifting the lockdown locally, which centers on metrics for hospitals and testing capabilities to meet projected case loads, and would involve a phased lifting.
“It doesn’t give us precise dates,” Cody said. “Our thinking is other types of broad indicators to lighten things up. I don’t think anybody is thinking about an on or off. It’s more thinking about what can we do to mitigate harms from the shelter in place, where can we lighten things up where we’re minimizing risk of transmission.”
The state officially lists more than 22,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases, a figure that had grown by 554 on Sunday, or 2.5 percent, marking a dramatic decrease from the 1,529 new cases reported April 6. The state lists 758 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, a jump from Monday.
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The state lists 5,048 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in California hospitals, 1,552 of them in intensive care.
California has conducted 212,900 COVID-19 tests, an increase of 4.7 percent, so far.