LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – As Georgia and other states push ahead with plans to reopen for business following the coronavirus shutdown, where does California stand?
It was nearly a month ago when Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a grim warning that more than half of all California residents – amounting to more than 25 million people – “will be infected” with COVID-19 as he announced the deployment of USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles.
“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period,” Newsom wrote in the letter dated March 18.
As of April 20, there were less than 29,000 confirmed cases across the state and approximately 1,070 deaths.
The administration later clarified its projections did not account for social distancing and other measures taken statewide to slow the spread of the virus.
In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, Newsom activated the California National Guard to help with food distribution and even signaled that he would be willing to enact “martial law” in response.
“If you want to establish a framework of martial law, which is ultimate authority and enforcement, we have the capacity to do that, but we are not feeling at this moment that is a necessity,” Newsom said.
But this week, the governor appeared to pivot to other needs stemming from the pandemic, including addressing the “digital divide” among schoolchildren across the state in getting laptops into the hands of those who need them most.
Speaking on CBS This Morning Tuesday, Newsom took objection with several protests in Orange County and other states calling for stay-at-home orders to end.
“If we all pull back, we could see a second wave that makes this pale in comparison,” he said.
When asked what he thought about the prospects of baseball games in July – nearly three months away – being played in California, Newsom said, “The idea of tens of thousands of fans coming together across their differences, high-fiving one another, hugging each other after a base hit or a strikeout, is not something I’m anticipating anytime soon.”
Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19 that has no set end date.
Last week, he outlined a framework to reopen California’s economy based on six key criteria, with a pledge of more information to come this week.
Most U.S. states have stay-at-home order that are set to expire April 30 and President Donald Trump indicated last week many states can reopen by May 1 after sharing federal guidelines for restarting the economy with governors.
Georgie will allow many of its businesses to reopen by the end of the week, and Tennessee could be next to ease its social distancing guidelines.