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Gov. Newsom: Changes to virus order may come within weeks

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state may be just weeks away from “meaningful changes” to its stay-at-home order that took effect March 19.

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 2:35 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2020 4:56 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California may be only a few weeks away from making “meaningful changes” to its stay-at-home order, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, but he warned progress will be jeopardized if people do things like crowd beaches, which occurred over the warm spring weekend.

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off, this virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts,” he said in his daily press briefing on the coronavirus.

Newsom’s observation the state is “a few weeks away, not months away” from changes is the most optimistic timeline he has given on easing the stay-at-home order that took effect March 19, though he did not specify what “meaningful” meant or give a firm date. But just three weeks ago, Newsom and top health officials were projecting a need for at least 50,000 additional hospital beds for a mid-May surge in cases.

RELATED: Texas governor will allow state's stay-at-home order to end on Thursday and open businesses Friday

Monday’s remarks come as local governments begin to chart their own courses on reopening, with vastly different plans based on their geography and populations. Officials from six rural Northern California counties and 14 small cities in them have urged the governor to let them reopen their economies, noting that just 69 of the 500,000 people who live there have had confirmed cases of coronavirus. At the same time, six San Francisco Bay Area counties said they are extending stay-at-home orders through the end of May.

“This global pandemic of COVID-19 is still in its early stages,” the Bay Area counties said in a Monday statement. “The virus spreads easily, testing capacity is limited and expanding slowly, and vaccine development is just beginning. We expect to be responding to COVID-19 in our communities for a long time.”

The rural counties of Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Colusa, Tehama and Glenn, meanwhile, said they’ve added a combined 475 hospital beds in preparation for a feared surge, but they have just one coronavirus patient in an intensive care unit, according to a letter dated Friday that county and city leaders sent to Newsom.

“At this point, given the COVID-19 numbers locally — and our enhanced health care capacity — we ask you to allow our counties to exercise local authority to implement a careful and phased reopening of our local economies,” said the letter also signed by the region’s two Republican state lawmakers, Assemblyman James Gallagher and Sen. Jim Nielsen.

Newsom has so far allowed scheduled surgeries to resume. And he said he’ll outline a strategy on Tuesday for phasing in the reopening of businesses, with different needs based on the type of business and where it’s located. He said he’s turned to other governors in the Western states pact on reopening for guidance and best practices. Colorado and Nevada on Monday joined the pact that also includes Washington and Oregon.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 775037

Reported Deaths: 14804
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2572716324
Riverside563741143
San Bernardino51467839
Orange513991115
San Diego43619754
Kern31076340
Fresno27381348
Sacramento20961371
Alameda20162365
Santa Clara19891295
San Joaquin19701407
Stanislaus16150325
Contra Costa15544197
Tulare15486255
Ventura12073141
Imperial11457310
San Francisco1056991
San Mateo9332142
Monterey919765
Santa Barbara8785109
Merced8692131
Kings715877
Sonoma6827114
Marin6505111
Solano605455
Madera427058
Placer338541
San Luis Obispo331627
Yolo272153
Butte270433
Santa Cruz21088
Sutter162110
Napa158713
San Benito126010
Yuba11087
El Dorado10544
Mendocino81718
Lassen7300
Shasta66114
Glenn5473
Colusa4996
Nevada4975
Tehama4853
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2163
Inyo18714
Mono1632
Siskiyou1590
Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
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Oroville
Clear
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Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
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Paradise
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
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Chester
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 70°
Red Bluff
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 79°
Willows
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Much better air quality, elevated fire danger, cooler temperatures, and the potential for showers are all ahead for your Friday. We'll be dry and warmer for your last weekend of the summer season.
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