The news that Gov. Gavin Newsom would be lifting the stay-at-home order for all regions across the state Monday came with high hopes, along with a lot of skepticism. It turns out that the skeptics won this bet.
“We see promising signs that California is slowly emerging from the most intense stage of this pandemic. We continue to look at what that means for the Regional Stay at Home order and anticipate that the state Department of Public Health will provide a formal update tomorrow morning,” said Brian Ferguson, the Deputy Director for Crisis Communication & Public Affairs from the Governor’s Office over the weekend.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce Monday that the stay at home order will be lifted in all regions of the state, according to a letter from the California Restaurant Association to its members. https://t.co/qLSsvXUnjr
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) January 25, 2021
The governor announced a new measurement Monday, moving the goal posts once again (is this the fifth new measurement?), saying that the he would now be measuring improvements in the state’s capacity projections in another 4-weeks, on February 21st.
With the lifting of the December 6th stay-at-home order, the governor returned to county-by-county restrictions, even after acknowledging a drop in hospitalizations by 20%. He remained intent on discussing “cases” or positivity rates, but these are not sick people in the hospital.
“The goal is to socialize our projections,” Gov. Newsom said. We don’t know what this means.
Nothing much has changed, even though California’s statewide regional stay-at-home order has ended, the majority of the counties are in the strictest purple tier, according to the California Department of Health.
Even with hospitalizations down 20% and a decline in ICU rates, the governor said “it’s all part of our projections.” Statewide projections, that is. “It’s so important to maintain vigilance until we get vaccinated,” Newsom said.
Gov. Newsom said allowable activities include outdoor dining with modifications, hair salons opened with modifications, and competitive youth sports with modifications. However, Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) reminded us what those youth sports are in the purple tier: badminton and lawn bowling.
— James Gallagher (@J_GallagherAD3) January 25, 2021
“Bluster vs. Reality of Purple Tier. Yes, kids can now play badminton. Football and basketball, for example, still not allowed until Orange Tier. #LetThemPlayCA“
We are not not familiar with the competitive high school sport of lawn bowling.
As for the other allowable activities, dining outdoors in Northern California in January is wretched, even huddled under an outdoor gas heater. It’s a balmy 52 degrees in Sacramento today. On my morning hike at 7:30am it was 30 degrees. This evening, when diners might be tempted to celebrate the lifting of the stay-at-home orders, it will be 45 degrees.
Slightly East of Sacramento near Lake Tahoe, it is 19 degrees, dropping down to 15 degrees by dinner time.
When asked by FoxLA reporter Elex Michaelson if his anticipated decision to open the state up was because of the significant recall campaign and 20 different lawsuits, Gov. Newsom doth protest: “That’s complete and utter nonsense,” he huffed.
The primary focus of his press conference Monday appeared to be pushing COVID vaccinations. Gov. Newsom announced a pilot program called “My Turn,” initially launching in Los Angeles County and San Diego County, where residents “can find out if it’s your turn to get vaccinated and schedule vaccination appointments. If it isn’t your turn yet, you can register to be notified when you become eligible,” the governor said.
Senate Republican Leader-elect Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) issued a statement Monday after the governor’s press conference:
“While this is great news for businesses and their employees up and down California, it begs the question, why now? The Administration’s data metrics are secret, they are ‘too complicated’ for anyone to understand. Are they really too complicated or are they just driven by politics? Who knows?
“One day everything is closed and we are in crisis. The next day it is all open. How are small business owners and their employees supposed to plan? How can anyone be sure the Governor will not shut us down again tomorrow?
“The Legislature ceded its authority to the Governor a year ago to address the pandemic and to date Democratic legislative leadership has refused to restore its constitutional authority. One-man rule is only serving one person well, Gavin Newsom. I urge my colleagues to re-establish the Legislature’s authority, and put this state back on strong footing where decisions are driven by scientific data and transparency rules the day.”
The fact remains that the governor has withheld the important data and the science used to justify the 10-month lockdown from the public.
Outgoing Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) hits it out of the park with her statement:
“Once again the Governor moved the goalpost and made a decision based on secret data that the public is not allowed to know. It has been 312 days since the first of his many lockdown orders that have shuttered businesses, closed schools, destroyed jobs, and led to a massive fraud of taxpayer dollars.”
“Without the full release of data, it is difficult not to speculate that the governor is using the livelihoods of 40 million Californians as political pawns. Californians deserve full transparency, especially when their life, livelihood, children’s education, and mental health are being directly affected.”
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