Salons, churches begin to re-open

Governor continues to relax operational restrictions relating to COVID-19

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Salons, churches begin to re-openSalons, churches and day cares are the latest operations that have been granted permission to resume — so long as regional variance has already been granted and state guidelines are adhered to.

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference updating Californians on the state’s progress in containing coronavirus outbreaks and cautious steps toward further reopening the commercial sector.

Last week, restaurants were allowed to re-invite patrons into their dining rooms and retail shops opened up to in-store traffic — so long as distancing and hygiene protocols were implemented.

Over the weekend, churches were granted similar flexibility, with approval to open up to 25-percent capacity or 100 worshipers — whichever was fewer.

Newsom said that as a nation, we had eclipsed a the milestone of 100,000 lives lost from the virus. In California, positive cases ticked up to that number — though California’s mortality rate remains low compared to other states.

“While we have fared better … by no means have we been immune,” said Newsom.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to take this seriously.” He said during the re-opening transition, citizens need to be vigilant — “arguably now more than ever.”

As reported last week, Newsom has granted regional variances to counties — including Kern, along with most in California — that can attest to having plans for containment and continued resources to serve public health needs.

Now that groups that have previously been isolated begin to inter-mix, Newsom encouraged individuals to continue practicing physical distancing where possible, and wear face coverings when proximity is unavoidable.

“We are not even out of the first wave of this pandemic,” he said.

Newsom has continued to embrace a flexible approach — noting that if evidence can be presented to support more or less restrictions, he is willing to consider them.

“This is a dynamic process … we are open to argument. We want to see how these phases go before we make additional modifications.”

With the reopening of salons, California has official entered the first phase of Stage 3 in his four-part plan. Guidance for other Stage 3 operations will continue to be published this week, he said. (Guidance on reopening for specific industries is available at covid19.ca.gov.)

Newsom originally hinted that Stage 4 — which covers mass gatherings such as concerts, sports arenas and other similar events — would not be allowed until a vaccine had been developed. However, with the implementation of Stage 3 earlier than anticipated, many have speculated the final stage may also come sooner than expected.

“We are all walking into the unknown, the untested — literally and figuratively,” Newsom. “We must practice what we preach not just to keep ourselves, but others, safe.”

Follow “California Governor” on FB for updates.

Story First Published: 2020-05-29