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Governor Newsom says California can begin reopening with modifications at the end of the week

Contact tracing is an essential step to reopening the state's economy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Monday, May 4 at noon, California Governor Gavin Newsom gave a statewide update on coronavirus contact tracing, tracking, and isolation efforts. You can watch the entire briefing here.

On Thursday, May 7, California will release guidelines for California to move into phase two of reopening. The state is also calling for locally-certified plans for testing, tracing, physical distancing, and sanitation so certain counties can move forward based on data tailored to respective communities. Local health officials and county supervisors must approve the plans so additional areas can move on to phase two, according to Newsom. 

California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell hopes specific industries, like manufacturing, can reopen with modifications starting Friday, May 8. 

“I have great expectations,” said Newsom. 

Some businesses, like florists and retail stores, could reopen with safety plans in place.

Then, counties will need surveillance. If infections go back up, the state will have to modify again and ensure individuals can be isolated.

“This is a very positive sign,” said Newsom, adding this decision is based on data. 

“Our surge capacity is really in a good place," said Angell, adding that California met its goal of of testing 25,000 people per day.

California's ultimate goal is to test 60,000 to 80,000 people per day. 

Angell said there are four goals: 

  1. ensure the ability to care for sick hospital patients
  2. prevent infection, especially for high-risk people 
  3. build the capacity to protect and maintain public health
  4. reduce social, emotional, and economic disruptions 

If local governments feel it’s too fast and not safe to go into phase two, they can wait until they know it’s safe. Newsom used the Bay Area as an example.

In a new partnership with the state, UCSF and UCLA are providing a virtual academy to recruit “disease detectives” to support the existing workforce to advance contact tracing. This program will include 12 hours of online instruction and 8 hours of in-person instruction. Online training starts this Wednesday, May 6. The state is trying to add 10,000 people to help “meet the needs of the counties” in California.

The governor said in late April that the state will continue to build out testing, contact tracing, PPE, and hospital surge capacity.  PPE is so essential that the state has ordered "hundreds of millions of N95 and surgical masks." 

The San Diego Workforce Partnership, the San Diego Foundation, and several local restaurants are taking part in a newly-launched program designed to get people back to work while providing more than 7,500 meals. 

The local offshoot of Newsom's newly-announced High Road Kitchens program involves a statewide network of independent restaurants that will provide food to low-wage workers, health care workers, first responders, and others in need during the coronavirus pandemic. High Road Kitchens provides jobs for restaurant workers and a subsidy for restaurant owners who commit to paying a living wage and following equitable employment practices. 

RELATED: Reopening the country could require thousands more public health workers

RELATED: Scripps Health CEO reacts to Newsom's guidelines for reopening California economy, calls for adequate PPE

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