CA Reopening Plan Set to Progress; Pro Sports Could Return Without Spectators

Tanya Simon
May 21, 2020

Additionally, the board voted 4-1 to make a request to the governor to launch a pilot program for reopening some Stage 3 activities in the county as well including some youth sports and clubs, outdoor religious services, research labs, and therapeutic and peer support groups of less than 10 individuals. He also said the reopening of churches could begin within weeks. In his announcement, he said the next phase is "weeks, not months away".

"The bottom line is people can go at their own pace, and we are empowering our local health directors and county officials who understand their local communities and conditions better than anyone", Newsom said. For smaller counties, they'll have to prove they've had no more than 20 new cases per day over a 14-day period.

The Justice Department argued that the governor's current four-part plan to reopen places an "unfair burden" on religious institutions by delaying in-person gatherings until the third phase, which is after schools, restaurants, businesses, and shopping centers are permitted to reopen in the second phase. In addition, counties will have to fulfill one of two other requirements: They'll either have to report fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 residents for at least 14 days, or their rate of positive coronavirus tests will need to drop below 8 percent. "At the same time, though, we are also very aware that we have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and that our top priority has been, and remains, the safety of parishioners and the most vulnerable among us".

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Excluding Los Angeles and Sacramento counties, most of the state has chosen to enter into a Stage 2 reopening, which allows places such as book, clothing, toy and sporting goods stores, as well as music shops and florists to deliver to customers at the curb.

Twenty-four counties in mostly rural Northern California had already won approval under the old guidance.

Counties will still have to demonstrate to the state that the latest set of requirements has been met in order to move forward and open restaurants for modified dining.

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