Gov. Gavin Newsom Lifts California’s Statewide Stay-at-Home Order
California Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the statewide stay-at-home-order and curfew “effective immediately” on Monday. Restaurants, gyms and places of worship will be allowed to reopen with modifications for the first time since the order went into effect last March.
“I want to remind folks we’re not out of the woods,” said Newsom at a press conference on Monday.
NEWSOM SAYS PROJECTIONS ARE BASED ON MULTIPLE VARIABLES
Newsom told a Fox 11 reporter that lifting the lockdown was in no way political and to suggest that is “just complete and utter nonsense”. He said the statewide orders are based on projections from a number of variables, including community transmission rates, regional Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity, and declining hospitalization rates.
By Feb. 21, state health officials predict the available ICU capacity for Southern California will be 33.3% and 27.3% in Northern California.
“If these trend lines continue that we’ll be moving, we hope, quickly through tiers, again, based upon our behavior individually, collectively, based upon our success at continuing to mitigate the growth and spread of this virus,” Newsom said.
California GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson fired back at his claims in a tweet saying, “This Governor’s decisions have never been based on science. Him re-opening our state is not an attempt to help working Californians, but rather an attempt to counter the Recall Movement.”
Even some liberal voices are speaking against Newsom’s decision to lift the stay-at-home order. People4Bernie tweeted a joke about restaurants reopening saying, “takeout” wasn’t good enough for the Governor.
RELEASING COVID-19 DATA
Newsom said Southern California, San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area is projected to be below the 15% ICU capacity in the next four weeks. State health officials say they use ICU capacity, transmission rates and hospitalizations to determine whether a region is eligible to move forward in the tiered system.
But up until today, the projection data was not available to the public.
“We will make these data points, the model if you will, what goes in the inputs into the projection available on the CDPH website,” said Secretary of California Health and Human Services, Mark Ghaly, at the press conference.
After AP reached out to California health officials last week, they were told the administration “[relies] on a very complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public if they were made public.” Therefore, even though state officials were giving updates regarding regional placement twice a week, data was not being shared.
Department of Public Health spokeswoman Ali Bay also confirmed that metrics are not public knowledge.
After Thanksgiving, Newsom announced a new approach to coronavirus safety guidelines. His administration categorized California into five regions. If the region’s ICU capacity fell below 15%, a stay-at-home order was mandated.
At the start, these restrictions forced 98% of California’s population into a shutdown. California residents followed updates from a map that depicted statewide metrics.
ANOTHER TIERED SYSTEM
All counties will return to the tiered system used before Dec. 3, 2020. Purple being the most strict and yellow being the least. Currently, many counties are in the purple tier, including all of Southern California.
Restaurants will begin to reopen as many relied solely on take-out and delivery options during the lockdown order. Gyms, hair and nail salons and places of worship will reopen with modifications. Other retailers will be able to increase capacity indoors.