Thursday, 20 August 2020 18:47

California Begins to Weigh What Next Round of Reopening Looks Like

Written by Ted O’Neil, The Center Square


Health officials in California are starting to consider what steps to take once a second attempt is made to reopen the state’s economy as the coronavirus infection rate continues to improve.

Although most of the state’s 58 counties remain on Gov. Gavin Newsom's watchlist that prevents them from fully opening all parts of their economy, several are showing progress toward meeting the necessary benchmarks to be removed.


The key metrics involved include average number of daily new infections, hospitalizations, deaths and the availability of intensive care beds and ventilators. Counties must maintain fewer than 100 new cases a day per 100,000 residents for 14 consecutive days.


San Diego County, the state’s second largest, has been removed from the list while Los Angeles County, California’s most populous, is showing improvement.


Los Angeles County’s latest infection rate numbers show 239 new daily positive tests per 100,000 residents, but that is a marked improvement over the 335 per capita it recorded last week.


Santa Cruz County, No. 25 in terms of population, has also been removed from the list.


Newsom said Aug. 18 the state is drafting a new set of protocols on how counties can go about relaxing restrictions and reopening once they are taken off the watchlist.


“The last time we did this we empowered local health officials to make decisions for themselves,” he said. “We’re going to be focusing a much deeper emphasis on the how this time, not just the when.”


As fall approaches, health officials are also urging residents to prepare for flu season, including receiving a vaccination shot.

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