Gavin Newsom, Governor of California.
Rich Pedroncelli | AP | Bloomberg via Getty Images
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday a new framework for reopening individual counties, outlining the possibility of a return of unnecessary indoor businesses and schools depending on the spread of the coronavirus in the area.
The state will take a four-tier approach to reopening, which will allow counties to switch between tiers based on a county's positivity rate or the percentage of positive tests and their fall rate. Each level – minimal, moderate, substantial, and widespread – allows more or less insignificant indoor businesses to reopen with changes.
The governor said 38 counties, or approximately 87% of the state's population, will start at the "widespread" level, which orders that most non-essential indoor businesses remain closed. Districts at the widespread level have a positivity rate of over 8% and more than seven new cases per 100,000 people each day.
The new framework moves away from what California previously called a "watch list". This is a list of counties with stricter regulations for their businesses based on a number of factors, including hospital stays after Covid-19.
Newsom said the new framework is "a lot simpler" as the state tries to recover from a spate of cases in the summer after reopening in May. The Governor of the Golden State ordered all bars and restaurants, cinemas, museums, and other indoor businesses across the state to close on July 13 when the falls rise.
Under the new framework, a county has to wait 21 days before being allowed to switch between levels. Counties are only allowed to change one level at a time and must meet the qualifications for the next level for two weeks.
"We're going to be more stubborn this time and have a mandatory waiting time between trains. We didn't do that last time and that's a significant difference between what we've learned from the past and what we're pushing for now." in this stricter – but we believe more stable – approach, "Newsom said.
The new framework will also put an "emergency brake" on when hospital admissions increase and compromise the state's ability to treat patients, Newsom said.
Schools may only be reopened for personal lessons if a district can drop out of the widespread level. However, they would have to wait two more weeks before discussing whether the students should return. California Health and Welfare Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said.
California hospitals reported a decline in Covid-19 patients at a press conference after peaking at more than 7,100 people in late July, according to Newsom. According to the data, just over 4,200 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized on Thursday.
According to a CNBC analysis of the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, California reported an average of 5,650 new infections per day on Friday based on a seven-day average, a decrease of more than 27% from the previous week.