SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday offered up more detailed guidelines businesses will need to follow when they reopen in the state, including giving restaurant owners an idea of how intensive cleaning protocols will be as the coronavirus shelter order becomes less restrictive to allow dining in.
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During his daily update on the state’s coronavirus response, Newsom said progress made in the second stage of reopening with modifications was allowing him to announce additional modifications statewide that applied to offices that don’t allow for telecommuting and strip malls including outlet malls (only for pick up) in addition to some other services like car washes and pet grooming.
The governor said the state had released new guidelines for restaurants to follow once the stay-at-home order was modified enough to allow for in-restaurant dining.
The new practices restaurants would need to adopt include increased cleaning and disposal protocols for items used by customers, servers and bussers (dirty cups, plates, napkins, etc.) and the thorough cleaning in high traffic areas, such as customer waiting areas and lobbies, areas of ingress and egress as well as worker break rooms and lunch areas.
Restaurants will need to frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces including doors, door handles, crash bars, light switches, waiting area chairs, credit card terminals, ATM PIN pads, receipt trays, bus tubs, serving trays and water pitcher handles.
Additional modifications included restaurants being encouraged to install air-cleaning equipment and physical barriers or partitions at cash registers, bars, host stands and other areas, to avoid setting tables ahead of time, to eliminate the shared use of items like menus, condiments and salt and pepper shakers and changing table linens between each customer.
Restaurants will have to adjust maximum occupancy rules based on size in order to maintain distancing standards between customers and employees with outdoor seating encouraged, make sure that physical distancing between workers is maintained kitchens, pantries, walk-in freezers and other close quarter, high-traffic areas and keeping restaurant bars closed.
However, a specific date for when the state would begin to allow the reopening of restaurants was not provided.
In addition to dine-in restaurants, other businesses that would be eligible for reopening with modifications once counties meet the criteria of Phase 2 include outdoor museums and office-based workplaces.
“We’ll be making adjustments and modifications on a consistent basis, statewide and also providing updates on these regional variances. The whole idea is to get us all through this Phase 2 so we can start to move into Phase 3,” said Newsom. “We are not there at Phase 3 yet, but there are parts of the state that can and now are moving deeper through Phase 2 and I hope that’s an encouraging sign, both from a health perspective and an economic perspective. It’s an ‘and’ for us, not an ‘or.'”
Newsom once again emphasized that the statewide guidelines would not supersede rules laid out by local health agencies on a city and county level.READ MORE: Free Dental Clinic for Uninsured In Contra Costa County Opening Next Month
“The statewide order affords the opportunity for local government to come in to conform with those guidelines. But one can choose, a region like the Bay Area and the six counties, can choose to be a little bit more prescriptive and restrictive. Parts of Southern California and L.A. the same. So not everyone is compelled into this phase, but that phase is afforded everybody,” said Newsom. “And so those that are also trying to get variances on the other side of this to loosen up and move deeper into Phase 2 more quickly should know that the statewide order applies to them even if they’re in the process to apply to get the technical support to do a self-certification for a regional variance.”
He noted that both Butte County and El Dorado County were able to meet thresholds outlined by the state in order to move further into Phase 2 of reopening.
“I don’t anticipate every one of the 27 counties that we’ve engaged with already, the four that we will be engaging with this afternoon, all will be able to self-attest, and I know this is a point of concern and consternation,” said Newsom. “It was brought up just yesterday with the wonderful outreach and spirited cooperation we received from Kern County, that described in their county certain conditions that they would like our health directors to consider to allow a modification of sorts, based upon data, based on science, based upon their unique circumstances where we can apply some flexibility.”
The governor also said that the state’s COVID-19 website would be providing additional information on exactly where specific counties stood as far as case numbers as well as meeting specific criteria in regards to PPE.
Newsom opened his comments on Tuesday afternoon by focusing on the importance of testing in the state, noting that a number of important goals were being reached to allow for additional easing of the shelter-in-place order. The governor reiterated the importance of testing and contact tracing as among the six main indicators that the state needs to make progress in reopening.
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The governor said that California had surpassed the one million mark as far as the number of total people tested, with some 41,000 tests administered in the past 24 hours. The state is currently testing in the neighborhood of 35,000 people per day.
Newsom said that state has ramped up its efforts to increase testing availability in remote rural areas as well as in areas with poorer urban populations of people of color who were being under served.
Newsom announced that a partnership with OptumServe would be opening additional new sites in the state as officials looked closer at mobile testing to better serve those in need.
Newsom said that there were still some supply chain constraints, saying there were still some minor issues as far as tests needing swabs and reagents, but that a bulk of the tests being administered were PCR-type tests that were plentiful.
The state will also soon be rolling out testing sites at local pharmacies, Newsom said.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Fremont Sexual Assault Suspect Now Charged in 3rd Case; Additional Victims Sought
In terms of case numbers, the state continued to see increases with the total number of COVID-19 cases rising 2.1 percent to 69,382 and total number of deaths rising 2.8 percent to 2,847. Hospitalizations rose 1.1 percent while ICUs trended downwards by 1.4 percent.