California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that, while California will move into the next phase of reopening its economy this week, it is “not going back to normal” until there is a vaccine.
“We’re not going back to normal. It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine,” Gov. Newsom said.
A vaccine? That’s what the World Health Organization wants — a global vaccine. Remember when Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “If back to normal means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don’t think that’s going to happen until we do have a situation where you can completely protect the population.”
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that with “the therapies that will be coming online, and the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right now.”
However, no vaccine has ever been approved for use against previous forms of coronavirus, Business Insider reported.
We don’t have a great flu vaccine now as it is. Expect a lot of pushback on a coronavirus vaccine.
Newsom said the state can begin to move into Stage 2 of modifying the stay at home order this Friday, May 8, with guidelines released Thursday, May 7.
He announced a Report Card listing the areas the state has made progress in fighting COVID-19:
The state “Report Card” shows how the state is doing in meeting key measures for moving into Stage 2. California is on track on the following statewide metrics:
- Stability of Hospitalizations
- Personal Protective Equipment Inventory
- Health Care Surge Capacity
- Testing Capacity
- Contact Tracing Capability
- Public Health Guidance in Place
Newsom said that the state will move into the next phase of its recovery plan by Friday, May 8, but the language is so wishy washy, allowing for plenty of restrictions:
Later this week the state will release public health guidance for certain Stage 2 sectors including some retail, manufacturing, and logistics businesses, which will outline modifications that lower the risk of transmission. Businesses and employers in those sectors will be able to reopen as soon as Friday – if they can meet the guidelines provided by the state. Not all Stage 2 businesses will be able to open Friday with modifications. Some examples of businesses that can open with modifications include bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores.
Other Stage 2 sectors, such as offices and dine-in restaurants, will be part of a later Stage 2 opening. The announcement for Friday does not include offices, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls or schools. As the Governor noted last week, the state is working with school districts and the California education community to determine how best and safely to reopen. That continues to be the case – this May 8 announcement does not move up this timeline.
While the state will be moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2, counties can choose to continue more restrictive measures in place based on their local conditions, and the state expects some counties to keep their more robust stay at home orders in place beyond May 8.
The governor also announced he is beginning contact tracing. ABC 10 reported “Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is hiring 10,000 workers to track down Californians who may have been exposed to COVID-19.”
“Contact tracing enables the state to suppress the spread of the virus to avoid outbreaks and allows us to maintain our health care capacity and confidently modify the stay at home order,” his announcement says. “To work toward these goals, the Governor announced a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Los Angeles to immediately begin training workers for a landmark contact tracing program that will help contain the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while the state looks to modify the stay at home order. The partnership will include a virtual training academy for contact tracers. The first 20-hour training will begin Wednesday, May 6 with the goal of training 20,000 individuals in two months.”
The Governor’s announcement is here.