Category Archives: Re-opening

RE-OPENING: CA Governor Newsom issues new guidance for Counties and businesses

Governor Newsom Releases Updated Industry Guidance

Press Release published

Guidance will help drive reopening for some sectors – including retail, manufacturing and logistics – with modifications, beginning Fri, May 8

Regional variance allows for counties to move further into Stage 2 when they attest to meeting certain criteria

SACRAMENTO – Following up on the state’s announcement that it will begin modifying the stay at home order on Friday, May 8, Governor Gavin Newsom today released updated industry guidance – including for retail, manufacturing and logistics – to begin reopening with modifications that reduce risk and establish a safer environment for workers and customers.

Click here to see the new guidance.

“Californians, working together, have flattened the curve. Because of that work, our health data tells us that California can enter the next stage of this pandemic and gradually begin to restart portions of our economy,” said Governor Newsom. “It’s critical that businesses and employers understand how they can reduce the risk of transmission and better protect their workers and customers. COVID-19 will be present in our communities until there is a vaccine or therapeutic, and it will be up to all of us to change our behavior and eliminate opportunities for the disease to spread.”

Resilience Roadmap

Californians are flattening the curve as part of the stay at home order issued on March 19, 2020. These efforts have allowed the state to move forward on the roadmap for modifying the statewide order. The Resilience Roadmap stages that California is using to guide its gradual reopening process are:

  • Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness
  • Stage 2: Lower-Risk Workplaces
  • Stage 3: Higher-Risk Workplaces
  • Stage 4: End of Stay at Home Order

When modifications are advanced and the state’s six indicators show we’ve made enough progress, we can move to the next stage of the roadmap. We are now moving into Stage 2, where some lower-risk workplaces can gradually open with adaptations. Stage 2 expansion will be phased in gradually. Some communities may move through Stage 2 faster if they are able to show greater progress, and counties that have met the readiness criteria and worked with the California Department of Public Health can open more workplaces as outlined in the County Variance Guidance.

Industry Guidance to reduce the risk

California will move into Stage 2 of modifying the state’s stay at home order on May 8, 2020. The state’s progress in achieving key public health metrics will allow a gradual reopening of California’s economy.

The state recognizes the impact of economic hardship, but the risk of COVID-19 infection is still real for all Californians and continues to be fatal.

That is why every business should take every step possible to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Plan and prepare for reopening
  • Make radical changes within the workplace
  • Adjust practices by employees and help educate customers

The state has outlined guidance for each early Stage 2 business to follow. The goal is a safer environment for workers and customers. Businesses may use effective alternative or innovative methods to build upon the guidance.

Each business should review the guidance that is relevant to their workplace, prepare a plan based on the guidance for their industry, and put it into action.

When complete, businesses can post the industry-specific checklist (below) in their workplace to show customers and employees that they’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Before reopening, all facilities should:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidance

The state has also set up a mechanism to gather input on future industry guidance through the California Recovery Roadmap survey.

While many elements of the guidance are the same across industries – such as cleaning and physical distancing – consideration was given to industry-specific methods. For example:

  • Retailers should increase pickup and delivery service options and encourage physical distancing during pickup – like loading items directly into a customer’s trunk or leaving items at their door.
  • Retailers should install hands-free devices, if possible, including motion sensor lights, contactless payment systems, automatic soap and paper towel dispensers, and timecard systems.
  • Manufacturing companies should close breakrooms, use barriers, or increase distance between tables/chairs to separate workers and discourage congregating during breaks. Where possible, create outdoor break areas with shade covers and seating that ensures physical distancing.
  • Warehouses should minimize transaction time between warehouse employees and transportation personnel. Perform gate check-ins and paperwork digitally if feasible.
  • Warehouse workers should clean delivery vehicles and equipment before and after delivery, carry additional sanitation materials during deliveries, and use clean personal protective equipment for each delivery stop.


Rush to reopen California economy is a mistake

The risk is the kind of second-wave surge that killed thousands in the Bay Area during the 1918 Spanish influenza

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he will open up book stores, clothing stores, toy stores and florists for curb-side pickup. (By Area News Group File Photo)
By Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, May 5, 2020

This is no time to go back to business as usual.

The intense longing for a return to normalcy in California and other states is understandable. But the rush to reopen businesses is premature and ignores the warnings of health experts and the basic science of the novel coronavirus.

The risk is the kind of second-wave surge that killed thousands in the Bay Area during the 1918 Spanish influenza. Indeed, a draft government report forecasts sharp increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths nationally beginning around May 14.

Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the next stage in reopening California’s economy will take place Friday. The governor said that he will allow book stores, clothing stores, toy stores, florists and other businesses to reopen for curbside pick-up. Associated manufacturers that support those retail stores will also be allowed to resume production. Some counties in more rural areas will be allowed to decide whether to reopen restaurants that have made accommodations for social-distancing dining.

Newsom’s gamble is similar to one Bay Area county health officials made last week in allowing construction projects to resume. It threatens the lives of workers and their families, neighbors and acquaintances. The economy will eventually bounce back. But lost lives can never be recovered.

The governor said the state was ready to move into “Phase 2” of the reopening process because it is on schedule with six different criteria: stability of hospitalizations, personal protective equipment inventory, health care surge capacity, testing capacity, contact tracing capability and public health guidance in place.

But California’s contact tracing capability is almost non-existent. Its testing capacity is at 25,000 tests per day in a state with a population of nearly 40 million people. That is equal to 62.5 tests per 100,000 people. Estimates by Harvard University researchers indicate that the minimum number of tests should be 152 per 100,000 people, meaning California is only doing 41% percent of the minimum.

It is absolutely essential that store owners and manufacturers follow the state’s new orders to ensure employee and customer safety. The failure to do so could result in a surge of hospitalizations, setting California back months in its recovery.

California isn’t the only state risking opening for business too soon. Governors in nearly a dozen states, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are going well beyond Newsom’s orders.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp opened up movie theaters Monday after allowing hair salons, massage parlors and bowling alleys to resume business last week. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told department stores and retailers that they could start allowing shoppers in their businesses. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee allowed restaurants, retail outlets and gyms to reopen last week. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will allow general offices to open next week, along with retail businesses.

The moves threaten the governors’ credibility and residents’ confidence in their leadership.

In California, the decisions on when to open businesses should be based on science — not hope and a prayer.

Benicia staff releases dire financial forecast in response to COVID-19 pandemic

By Roger Straw, May 1, 2020

“Stark and immediate”shortfalls expected

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a serious impact on our City’s finances.  The Benicia City Council will discuss a staff report with financial forecasts at its May 5 videoconferencing Council meeting.

From the staff report’s introduction:  “This financial forecast provides an initial update to the General Fund revenues and expenses due to the sudden impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local revenues. At this time, the projected shortfall for the General Fund for 2019-20 is approximately $2.5 million and for 2020-21 the projected shortfall is approximately $8.5 million.”

The staff report and detailed financial forecasts are included in the May 5 agenda packet (see links below).


Staff has reviewed the City’s General Fund budget and created an initial financial forecast in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its estimated impacts on the City’s local economy. The forecast focuses primarily on the City’s revenues and incorporates information sourced from economic experts as well as financial trend analysis based on the City’s economic history.

Due to the quick-changing nature of information and action from both the State and City in response to COVID-19, staff prepared this forecast to present a potential scenario based on the best available information available at the time it was prepared. The purpose of the forecast is to review and discuss the potential budgetary impacts, with the intent to adjust the budget when staff returns with a mid-cycle budget update in June 2020.

There is no action or budget adjustment associated with this report.

Move to accept the General Fund Financial Forecast for Fiscal Years 2019-2021 as shown in Attachment 1.

Staff Report -General Fund Financial Forecast in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

1. General Fund Financial Forecast

Risky opening: Cal Maritime Academy in Vallejo to begin face-to-face classes on May 10

[Editor: This is way too soon, even with various restrictions and accommodations.  Solano County is still at risk, not to mention Vallejo’s current cluster outbreaks and the active spread of the virus in some of the many locations from which students are returning to Vallejo.  I hate to think that Cal Maritime students, faculty and staff might be guinea pigs in California’s staged re-opening.  Is it too late for Gov. Newsom to reverse this decision?  – R.S.]

Coronavirus: Cal Maritime Academy approved to resume in-person classes beginning in May

ABC7 News, By Liz Kreutz, April 27, 2020

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) — As California weighs extending its shelter-in-place order, there are signs some restrictions are beginning to ease.

California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo says it has received approval from the state to begin face-to-face classes in their spring semester.

“I am pleased to report that as a result of the hard work and good planning of our COVID-19 task force and the academic leadership team, Cal Maritime received approval from Governor Newsom’s office for a limited reopening of our campus to resume face-to-face instruction for the completion of our spring 2020 semester as planned,” Cal Maritime president Thomas Cropper said in a letter to students on Friday.

Cropper said the decision was run through the Chancellor’s Office and various internal entities of the Governor’s Office, including the State Department of Public Health, who provided additional guidance on reopening.

Sarah Sanders’ son Noah is a freshman at Cal Maritime and currently taking virtual classes as he shelters in place with his family at their home in Marin County. Sanders said she was shocked and concerned when she heard classes would be resuming so soon.

“It’s weird, all my friends who have college age students have their kids for the summer and can keep them home, and that’s not our case, which is good and bad,” Sanders said. “I guess they’re kind of a trial case. We’ll see how it goes.”

Bob Art, the Vice President for University Advancement at Cal Maritime, told ABC7 that the school is taking extreme safety precautions, and that when students return to campus it won’t look like it did before. An email from the president to students tells students to “please be prepared for a different campus experience.”

According to Art, cadets who plan to return to campus will be surveyed with a health questionnaire while at home and then given a health screening upon their arrival on campus.

Art said that each cadet will be housed individually in a residence hall room without roommates, and that meals will be grab-and-go or delivered straight to a students door. Everyone will also be health screened daily, including a temperature check, and need to wear a face covering when they are outside their room or office.

“Social distancing will continue in every aspect of campus life- so it will be quite different,” Cropper said in the email.

In that email, Cropper said the initial plan was for students to return to campus on May 10. Face-to-face instructions would tentatively begin on May 13. And a planned ocean voyage would also continue and tentatively begin on June 10.

Art says that since Solano County, where the academy is located, has just updated the shelter in place order to May 17, the new tentative start date for classes is May 20- but that the date could still change.

Cal Maritime is a small, isolated school with just under 1,000 students. Many classes are hands on and cannot be taught virtually. For these reasons, Art believes they are in a unique position to try a partial reopening. He said roughly 500 students are expected to return to classes this Spring.

Although Sanders had concerns, she realizes the school might be a good blueprint for others.

“I can tell you, if it doesn’t work we’ll really know it will be hard for these bigger schools,” she said. “If it does work, I’ll be excited.”

Cal Maritime is part of the Cal State University system. Still, an official for the chancellor’s office told ABC7 News that the reopening of Cal Maritime is unique and separate from the other universities, and that at this point it’s “too early” to say when the other schools will reopen.

Jesse Melgar, a spokesperson for Governor Newsom, released the following statement regarding the partial reopening of Cal Maritime:

“The CSU Maritime Academy trains merchant marines and the maritime workforce is required for shipping and logistics. This specialized maritime workforce is essential to the California economy, as 90% of U.S. trade moves by sea. Nearly $500 billion of trade moves through the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex alone – the largest on the U.S. Pacific coast – supporting roughly 200,000 jobs. The Administration has provided conditions that must be met for the Academy to resume limited in-person instruction for 513 merchant marine officer cadets after May 10, including strict, unique health and safety guidelines.”

“This includes screening each cadet and instructor every morning, maintaining physical distancing, offering grab-and-go meals, using PPE and providing hand sanitizing stations. This is the only academy of its kind in the state and does not serve as a precedent for other colleges or universities in California.”