Gavin Newsom speaks at press conference
Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference on Tuesday. Image from live stream

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday California is “bending the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic and outlined six indicators to be met before stay-at-home orders can be eased.

Newsom offered no specifics on when any of the orders will be lifted or softened, only saying the six indicators provide a framework for how the decision will be made.

“I know you want a timeline but we can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Newsom said in a live-streamed press conference. “Let’s not make a mistake by pulling the plug too early.”

The six indicators Newsom cited were:

  • Ability to monitor and protect communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed
  • A process for preventing infections among higher-risk residents, such as the elderly or people with underlying health conditions
  • Assurance that hospitals are prepared to handle surges in patients
  • Partnerships with academia and industry to develop treatments
  • Assurance that businesses, schools and child care facilities can safely reopen while maintaining social-distancing
  • Development of a plan to quickly re-institute some measures, such as stay-at-home orders, if needed after restrictions are softened

Newsom said it was time to begin planning for the “next phase in this pandemic” because the efforts to date have been successful in slowing the spread.

“Because you have practiced physical distancing and the stay-at-home orders, you have bent the curve in the state of California,” he said. “The models have changed because of your behavior.”

Newsom has said he is coordinating with his counterparts in Oregon and Washington, and added that it will be science, not politics, that dictates the decision-making. He declined to comment on President Trump’s assertion that a president has total authority to make such decisions.

The governor acknowledged the stay-at-home orders were creating hardships for many Californians who have lost their jobs or businesses.

“This can’t be a permanent state,” he said. “We recognize the consequences of these stay-at-home orders have a profound impact on the economy.”

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.