California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday a list of health guidelines that retailers, manufacturers and warehouses must adopt to begin offering curbside pick-up as early as Friday.
Starting Friday, California will allow retailers, like those that sell clothing, books and sporting goods, to begin offering curbside pick-up as the state moves deeper into "stage 2" of its reopening plan, Newsom said. Manufactures and warehouses that support these retailers will also be allowed to reopen with modifications.
The state can move forward with its reopening plan because it has seen a stabilization in hospitalizations related to the coronavirus, Newsom said. He warned that the state may move back to harsher social distancing guidelines if the data indicates there could be added stress on the hospital system due to a resurgence in cases.
Eventually, the reopening plan in stage 2 will include some office spaces, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls and outdoor museums, Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services, said.
Stage 4, the final stage in the state's reopening plan, will allow for large gatherings to resume, such as concerts and sporting events, Newsom said. However, he indicated that stage would occur once a vaccine is developed and made available.
Ghaly said starting Friday, retailers can begin delivering items to customers' cars with gloves and a mask while using hands-free devices that allow customers to pay. Manufacturers should use outdoor spaces as break rooms and warehouses should carry sanitizing materials when making deliveries, he said.
The state is allowing some regional variation, however, and will allow some counties to move deeper into stage 2 beginning Friday if they are able to prove adequate testing and contact tracing, protection of essential workers and no deaths related to Covid-19 for two weeks, among other guidelines, Ghaly said.
Counties must also prove they have proper surge capacity in case more cases arise, at least 14 days supply of personal protective equipment and are able to protect the must vulnerable populations, including the elderly and the homeless, Ghaly said.
Some of California's rural areas, including Yuba and Sutter counties, have pushed back against Newsom's statewide stay-at-home orders and have already allowed retail businesses to reopen. On Wednesday, Newsom said the counties were "making a big mistake."
"These counties that want to move into a deeper part of the second phase have to do so in concurrence with their hospital system, in concurrence with their boards of supervisors in their counties and with all of these tough questions answered on testing, tracing, on surge and protecting vulnerable communities," Newsom said.
The coronavirus has infected more than 61,100 people in California, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Newsom said the state has continued to see reduced number of people admitted to the hospital and intensive-care, but the number of people who have died continues to be a "point of devastation."