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California must do 6 things before coronavirus restrictions can be lifted, Newsom says

A man waits outside Kedren Community Health Center in South Los Angeles where walk-up coronavirus testing was offered Tuesday.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday offered his most detailed look yet athow California could begin to lift coronavirus stay-at-home rules and get its economy going again.

The administration highlighted six key indicators for altering his stay-at-home mandate, including the ability to closely monitor and track potential cases, prevent infection of high-risk people, prepare hospitals to handle surges, develop therapies to meet demand, ensure schools, businesses and child-care facilities can support social distancing, and develop guidelines for when to ask Californians to stay home again if necessary.

Newsom did not offer any firm timetables for when stay-at-home orders could be modified but provided some general goals that must be met to move forward.

Experts have said that lifting social distancing rules will be a long and deliberate process, with some businesses coming back before others. For example, restaurants might be able to reopen with strict social distancing, but big events would be harder to restart anytime soon.

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Here are the six steps in what the Newsom administration called its road map to modifying the stay-at-home order, with questions to measure whether each had been completed.

1. The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating and supporting those who are positive or exposed

— How prepared is our state to test everyone who is symptomatic?

— Do we have the ability to identify contacts of those who are positive to reduce further transmission?

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

— Are older Californians and the medically vulnerable living in their own homes supported so they can continue appropriate physical distancing?

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— Have we developed a plan to quickly identify and contain outbreaks in facilities housing older Californians, those living with disabilities, those currently incarcerated, and those with co-morbidities?

3. The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges

— Do we have adequate bed capacity, staff and supplies such as ventilators and masks?

— Can our healthcare system adequately address COVID-19 and other critical healthcare needs?

4. The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand

— Have we built a coalition of private, public, and academic partners to accelerate the development of therapeutics?

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— Have we identified potential therapeutics that have shown promise?

5. The ability for businesses, schools and child-care facilities to support physical distancing

— Have we worked with businesses to support physical distancing practices and introduced guidelines to provide health checks when employees or the general public enter the premises?

— Do we have supplies and equipment to keep the workforce and customers safe?

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

— Are we tracking the right data to provide us an early warning system?

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— Do we have the ability to quickly communicate the need to reinstate these measures?


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