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Businesses react to Governor Newsom’s announcement that he plans to reopen economy

governor gavin newsom
Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) Governor Newsom said he is working with the governors of Oregon and Washington to announce an agreement on a vision for reopening economies and controlling COVID-19 going forward.

Newsom made the announcement during a press conference Monday, which you can watch here, and released a joint statement from the governors:

"COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.

"We are announcing that California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business.

"While each state is building a state-specific plan, our states have agreed to the following principles as we build out a West Coast framework:

"Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.

"Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.

"Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with its local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.

"Through quick and decisive action, each of our states has made significant progress in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 among the broader public. Now, our public health leaders will focus on four goals that will be critical for controlling the virus in the future.

  • Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.
  • Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.
  • Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.

"COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what’s happening on the ground.

"In the coming days the governors, their staff and health officials will continue conversations about this regional pact to recovery."

According to Governor Newsom, there are 22,348 confirmed COVID-19 cases in California.

In the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University's count, there are more than 547,000 confirmed cases and there have been 21,662 deaths.

This new announcement leaves Rosine's on Alvarado Street hopeful they'll be seating customers soon. Right now, they're one of the only restaurants still open in Downtown Monterey.

“Things are—I know they’re going to be different," manager John Culcasi said. "We’re starting to install plexiglass in between tables.”

Culcasi said they're hoping the health department will approve this strategy to try and make customers feel more safe once they fully open back up.

For now, they're following the shelter-in-place order and only offering take-out. They're managing to keep busy, but Culcasi said business is nowhere near their normal standard.

“Anywhere between 10-20 percent of our normal sales,” Culcasi said.

So, without knowing the details of that plan just yet, Culcasi said Rosine's is hopeful they can re-hire staff and start getting back to normal.

“That’s what’s been so weird and crazy  about all this with the take-out business," Culcasi said. "We’ve taken it day-by-day at first and every day is so different.”

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Shannon Longworth

Shannon Longworth is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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