California Dept. of Public Health Director Sonia Angell talks about coronavirus. April 14, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Gavin Newsom described on Tuesday the six steps needed to be taken, and achieved, before he would gradually release at least some of the Golden State from the coronavirus restrictions that have kept 40 million residents indoors for much of the last month.
However the key question -- when will this be over? -- was not immediately answered. He thought he might have a better answer for a timeline for relaxing the stay-at-home orders during the first week of May.
"There is no light switch here, it's more like a dimmer," he said, stressing that "we must continue to hold the line."
He and California Dept. of Public Health Director Sonia Angell outlined six indicators that need to be met for modifying the stay-at-home order.
The steps are: Testing; preventing infection; handling hospital surges; developing therapies to meet the demand; ensuring that businesses, schools and other places can support physical distancing; and figuring out when to reinstitute the orders.
When these six factors will all be completed is anyone's guess.
As of Tuesday, 758 Californians had died from coronavirus, Newsom said.
Achieving these efforts will be difficult, Newsom said, but he described the next phase of the coronavirus outbreak as an optimistic one: One of "surge to suppression."
Newsom and Angell also emphasized that any lifting of the quarantine orders and re-entry into normal life will not be sudden.
What that means is that when restaurants reopen, they will likely have to have fewer patrons, students might have to come to school at staggered time periods and people who are able to finally go to work or walk outside will have to wear face masks.
Newsom also said that parks and schools would have to be deep-cleaned, and that businesses would have to ensure that cleaning wipes are stationed throughout office spaces.
Newsom said that he knows this will all be difficult. But he stressed, it has to be done.
"Let's not pull the plug on this too early," Newsom said.
This story was reported from Oakland, Calif. The Associated Press contributed to this report.