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California Lays Out Plan for Phased-Reopening of Businesses

Governor Gavin Newsom outlined a four-stage plan to reopen parts of California’s economy. Initially, certain retail businesses, manufacturing facilities, schools and open spaces are slated to reopen, though stringent social distancing rules will still apply. Eventually, some entertainment venues and religious institutions could resume operations. Under the plan, the last to reopen would be live sports, concerts and other events where larger crowds gather.

The “Roadmap to Reopening” phases announced on Tuesday are built around the notion that slowly opening up various parts of the state will help prevent new outbreaks of COVID-19, which has throttled back the economy as stay-at-home orders remain in effect. The timeline for moving forward with reopening hinges on indicators such as testing, tracking and tracing benchmarks, surge capacity at hospitals, therapeutics and other factors.

Gov. Newsom said, “We believe we are weeks not months away from making meaningful modifications,” to the stay-at-home order. He indicated it is time to turn an eye to reopening the state’s businesses, schools and other parts of the shuttered economy.

The initial safety and preparedness stage is underway, and focuses on making workplaces as safe as possible for essential workers. It encompasses such efforts as building out testing and contact-tracing capabilities and managing hospital surge capacity; adapting physical settings and hospital workflow; building a safety net for the essential workforce; getting PPE into the hands of those that need it most; incorporating changes to individuals behavior and preparing safety guidelines for an expanded front-line workforce.

In the second stage, lower-risk workplaces will reopen, including modified school programs and childcare facilities. Additional places to open in this phase include retail, manufacturing facilities, logistics operations, offices if remote work is not possible, and other public spaces.

In stage three, higher-risk workplaces can reopen with adaptations and limits on the size of gatherings. These include personal care businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas, and gyms, entertainment venues such as movie theaters, sports without live audiences, and in-person religious gatherings such as church services and weddings.

Stage four will end the stay-at-home order, and the highest-risk workplaces and spaces can reopen. By this point, it is expected therapeutics will have been developed and other key goals met. This would allow venues to reopen for concerts, sporting events with live audiences and convention centers.

Governor Newsom also launched the Economic Recovery & Reinvention Listening Tour on Tuesday, by hosting a digital conversation with workers, small businesses and employers focused on the crisis’ impact on the retail sector and how they are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The virtual conversation explored how they are adapting their businesses in the weeks and months ahead, and what opportunities they see to reinvent their business, industries, consumer habits, and the state’s economy. Gov. Newsom plans to host these conversations over the next few weeks, with members of the state Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery focusing on different sectors.

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Inside The Story

Read more at California Gov. Newsom Press ConferenceConnect With California Gov. Newsom

About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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