Desert Sun: Coronavirus: Newsom says some counties could have reopen plans approved by Tuesday
More than two dozen California counties have asked for permission to loosen their stay-at-home plans beyond what the state allows, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday, promising a speedy review as more than 4.5 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in a coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
Newsom relaxed restrictions last week to allow for curbside pickup at most retailers and for manufacturers to resume operations with some limits. But he said counties could go further if they meet strict state standards, including no coronavirus-related deaths and no more than one confirmed case per 10,000 residents in the past two weeks.
Newsom said his administration has talked with 19 counties, with nine more planned. Some could have their plans approved by Tuesday. But it’s been difficult for some highly populated counties to meet state standards. Officials in Kern County, where one nursing home has accounted for most of its deaths, have asked Newsom to reconsider those rules.
“We’re open to argument, interested in evidence,” Newsom said during his daily news conference. “There is a lot of really interesting nuance within these large counties and that obviously needs to be taken into account.”
San Luis Obispo County, which stretches along the Central Coast north of Los Angeles, meets the infection requirements if it only counts new cases that are “community or travel-related.” It doesn’t meet the requirements if it includes cases with a “known source or household contact,” which includes 10 cases at the California Men’s Colony prison.
“All of this is sort of uncharted territory for all of us,” said Michelle Shoresman, spokeswoman for the county’s health officials.