SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he plans to release concrete reopening guidelines later this week for counties that fall off the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list.

Most of the greater Bay Area’s counties are on the monitoring list for elevated coronavirus case and hospitalization levels, though the total number of counties currently on the list has dropped to 35.

Napa and Santa Cruz counties fell off the list over the last 10 days, allowing them to reopen indoor operations for businesses like hair salons and gyms as well as places of worship.

However, the state has given little instruction to the eight counties that have fallen off the list in recent weeks about how quickly they can resume indoor operations for certain businesses.

“Beauty, hair industry and the like, they absolutely are a big part of the conversation we’ve been having for weeks now,” said Newsom. “And specifically their concerns, their critiques are part and parcel of the conversations we’ve advanced with local health officers over the weekend. and they are part of the guidelines we’ll be putting out later this week.” 

Newsom said he discussed reopening guidelines over the weekend both with state and local public health officials and business leaders to ensure everyone is on the same page.

“None of this delays this fundamental fact: there has to be a 14-day period between the application, implementation of not only schools but
reopening any sector of the economy,” Newsom said.

Falling off the monitoring list will also have consequences for schools, as counties that have been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days will be allowed to resume in-person classes.

“We look forward to advancing the opportunity for those districts that are determined on the basis of local conditions, what they believe is in the best interest for their kids and moving back to in-person learning,” Newsom said of counties not on the monitoring list. “They have that option.”

Counties on the monitoring list, however, must continue with fully online classes indefinitely. A total of 35 counties in the state have been on the watchlist for at least three consecutive days.

State public health officials have now confirmed 668,615 coronavirus cases and 12,152 deaths across California.

The state’s 14-day test positivity rate sits at 6.5 percent while the seven-day rate is down to 5.6 percent, Newsom said. The state continues to average over 100,000 tests per day.

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