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@GavinNewsom's midday COVID-19 briefing promises to be something different than those of previous days: a first glimpse into what he thinks needs to happen before lifting the stay-home order. Seems fair to assume some level of subjectivity on a topic that's so complex...
Newsom now calls the road ahead one where "we begin to transition into suppression" and says science "not politics" must be the guide.
The Newsom plan and 6 issues he says need to be addressed before CA stay-home can be lifted: better testing, prevent infection in most fragile, surge capacity in healthcare, need for theraputics, business protocols on distancing for customers, ability to resume at-home if needed.
Newsom: "I want you to know it's not, it will not be a permanent state. We recognize the consequences of the stay at home orders have a profound impact on the economy, your personal household budget, your personal prospects around your future."
First visual from Dr. Sonia Angell, state public health director, on CA's efforts so far:
Goals of Newsom's thinking on when/how to lift stay-home policy, slide from Newsom admin:
Here are the 6 items Newsom has identified for changing the stay-home order. First: testing and tracing.
Number 2 for changing stay-home order: preventing infection in those most at risk.
Number 3 for changing stay-home order: ability to handle healthcare needs in the event of coronavirus surge.
Number 4 for changing CA's stay-home order: development of therapeutics.
Number 5 for changing CA's stay-home order: physical distancing in businesses and elsewhere. Note health checks for customers could need to be imposed.
Number 6, the final element, for Newsom in changing stay-home order: how to go back to lockdown rules if needed.
And a sober last slide from the state's public health director on what's in store...
"We have a state vision. But it will be realized at the local level, local governments, local counties," Newsom says.
"We talked about what the new normal will look like. As I said, normal, it will not be --at least until we have herd immunity and we have a vaccine," Newsom says.
Newsom's real metric on loosening stay-home order: "We want to see hospitalization numbers flatten and start to decline, and we want to see ICU numbers, flatten and start to decline," he says. (Not surprising, as he's said for some time these are 2 numbers he reviews daily.)
Newsom says ask him again on specific date in early May if numbers decline and PPE & other issues are clearing up: "I don't want to make a political decision that puts people's lives at risk, and puts the economy at even more risk..."
"I'm not going there," Newsom says when asked to respond to Trump's insistence on Monday that he'll make the decision on re-opening efforts. "We just want to get stuff done in the state of California."
I asked Newsom about the need for a radical rethinking of how public health is paid for in CA and whether he's committed to it. He agreed on the importance of health care, but pivoted broadly to health coverage and things like that -- not funding for public/county/local health.
Granted, it's not an easy topic. But few will dispute that public health has been funded at very low levels for a generation... and much of what the governor wants on tracking disease, enforcement, etc. will cost big bucks. And the locals don't have that cash lying around.
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