Upon reopening Orange County, new protocols are to be followed such as wearing facial coverings and maintaining safe distances. Businesses that are able to reopen must be able to provide protection to workers and consumers. This includes sanitizing stations and curbside pickup for those who are able to do so.
Governor Gavin Newsom has laid out a four-phase plan to reopen the state. “We are not going back to the way things were until we get to immunity or a vaccine. We will base reopening plans on facts and data, not on ideology. Not what we want. Not what we hope,” Newsom said.
The first phase is staying home which has helped flatten the curve of COVID-19. Following will be the second phase which we are currently in, including lifting certain restrictions on business and workplaces that are considered lower risk. Places such as retail and manufacturers.
“Roughly 70% of the economy in the state of California can open with modifications in phase two. I know 70% is not 100%, and I recognize that with modifications means with restrictions and with restrictions means a struggle for businesses to get back where they were pre-pandemic,” Newsom said.
Phase three is still months away but it will include the opening of personal care businesses such as gyms, spas and salons, sports minus a live audience, religious services, and other businesses that involve close contact between workers and consumers.
The final phase will encompass reopening the highest-risk parts of our economy. Concerts, convention centers and sports including live crowds.
With the reopening of businesses, people should be prepared for lifestyle changes such as continuing to wear protective facial coverings and follow social distancing guidelines. When it comes to dining in restaurants and fast food businesses, workers will also wear protective face masks and disposable gloves. It is likely that there will be fewer tables, disposable menus and other changes that people are not regularly used to.
In regards to reopening schools, the plan will depend on infection trends in the state. The plans will be based on what officials are able to learn about the virus in order to not have another complete closure. Social distancing will need to take place, keeping students a safe space apart in classrooms. Extra precautions will be placed such as additions of sanitizing stations. There are also mentions of a possibility that not all students will be able to come back at once, such as those with pre-existing health conditions.
Newsom previously outlined a framework for reopening and mentioned that the dates would be determined by the ability to six things. Expand testing to identify and isolate patients, maintain vigilance to protect seniors and high-risk people and be able to meet future surges in hospitals.
With enough protective gear, they can continue to collaborate with academia on therapies and treatments, redraw regulations to ensure continued physical distancing at private businesses and schools and develop new enforcement mechanisms to allow the state to pull back and reinstate stay-at-home orders.