Governor Releases Framework for Reopening the State

Governor Gavin Newsom released a framework this week for eventually reopening the state. The main takeaway? Life will not be the same.

California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order relies on six primary indicators. These are the conditions that need to be in place before the state can reopen its economy and schools:

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

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

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

4. The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand

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

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

As the framework makes clear, life after the shutdown will not be the one we're used to. Restaurants would serve fewer people at one time to ensure proper social distancing measures, mass gatherings would likely be prohibited for some time, masks would be commonplace, and schools would look markedly different than in years past.

These are just some of the changes we could see after California’s six million students return to classrooms:

  • Staggered schedules, where some kids come in the mornings and others later in the day to spread people apart
  • Greater physical separation between desks
  • Thorough, routine sanitization of school property
  • Prohibitions on student congregation during meal time
  • Changes to gym, sports and other physical activities

The timetable for return depends, not on arbitrary deadlines, but on facts on the ground.

“We need to get our kids back to school, I need to get my kids back to school, we need to get our kids educated and we need to deal with kids’ mental health and that of their parents,” the governor said. “But we need to do it in a safe way, so that kids are not going to school, getting infected and coming back home and infecting grandma and grandpa.”

These discussions are just beginning. More plans for the reopening of California will be articulated in the coming days and weeks.