Many players and coaches have said they need about 3-4 weeks to get ready for a season to start or re-start. In addition to Newsom's announcement, many pro sports training facilities (Lakers, Clippers, Galaxy, LAFC) are now open as teams get ready to possibly play games again.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 18, 2020
Sports, church, and haircuts, all the things Gavin Newsom is well aware we are missing, but all of these could make a return in some form in the coming weeks according to the California Governor.
Monday the Governor announced that he would be easing the litmus tests for counties to enter Phase 2. This would make it easier for them to self attest, the process required to alter state guidelines at a local level. Newsom has approached the pandemic from the mantra of “localism is determinative.” This roughly translates to: “In a state of 40 million, your local official is going to know what’s better for your community.” To this end the state has tried to let each county make it’s case once it had met requirements for planning, testing, and overall response to the pandemic.
Though most counties have put plans and protocols into place, many have lamented the strict hospitalization and infection numbers placed on them buy the state. In smaller counties even a handful of hospitalizations could skyrocket COVID data points. Newsom has heard this plea, and loosened the restrictions needed to self attest.
The Governor announced today that the new data benchmarks for counties would be: No more that 5% hospitalized over 7 days on average (or no more than 20 people in smaller counties) and 25 cases per 100,000 in 14 days (or less than 8% positivity rate).
Overall the State of California has seen a decline on these important metrics. This combined with the cries from local officials likely spawned this adjustment from the Governor.
NEW: Over the last 14 days, CA has seen:
– 7.5% decline in hospitalizations.
– 8.7% decline in the number of ICU patients statewide.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 18, 2020
“Bottom line is people can go at their own pace” said Newsom.
With restrictions now relaxed, the state predicts that 53 of the 58 counties would likely qualify for the capability of a fast-tracked Phase 2. Once several counties have proven their abilities to hold stable numbers and show competent responses, next steps are likely just around the corner. Meaningful modification to the stay-at-home order is “weeks, not months away” according to the governor. This means salons opening, sports resuming, and church services. However, these things returning does not mean a return to normal.
Phase 2 is, in spirit, about gradually reopening retail, child care, manufacturing & logistics. Though a more advanced stage of Phase 2 would include relaxed retail restrictions, reopened schools, offices, limited hospitality, and personal services. Phase 3, according to the state website, however is about adapting to reopen for larger gatherings like movie theaters, religious services, and hospitality. Sports are in Phase 4 as they are considered high risk along with concerts and conventions.
Religious congregations and sports having a shortened timelines is certainly a sign that these things will return in almost foreign forms. Sports returning would likely do so without it’s fans in attendance. Churches and salons, when they do return, would likely see a reduction in capacity and strict sanitization protocols such as face masks and hand sanitizer everywhere.
Though these versions of these things will not be what they used to be, their return will come as a relief to many, including those who’s careers depend on these industries.