Newsom Warns Californians “we’re not going back to normal…until we get to immunity and a vaccine”

As California Governor Newsom prepares for the Stage 2 re-opening that will take place Friday and include limited industries being allowed to open with guidelines, he warned Californians that “going back to normal” is not happening any time soon.

Newsom warned until immunity and a vaccine is available, a “new normal” is what must take place.

SFGates reports California Gov. Gavin Newsom said as many counties around the state prepare to reopen retail for curbside pickup Friday, maintaining physical-distancing measures will be crucial to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.

“We’re not going back to normal,” said Newsom, who gave Tuesday’s press briefing from the site of a Sacramento business called Display California. “It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine.”

Newsom first announced yesterday that some retail sectors (including bookstores, clothing shops, sporting goods stores and flower shops) can resume business as long as their local officials give approval and they make changes in their operations, such as having workers wear masks. The governor will detail the new guidelines and requirements later this week.

This marks the start of the state moving into the second of four phases for reopening (read about each stage on SFGATE). Restaurants and hospitality are also a part of Stage 2, and while Newsom didn’t announce a statewide reopening of those sectors, he said they can resume operations in rural counties with approval from elected leaders and health officers.

The modification to the state’s shelter-in-placer order allowing retail to open conflicts with a new mandate issued Monday in six Bay Area counties. The new Bay Area order prohibits most retail from opening through May 31. Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara have allowed essential businesses such as grocery stores to remain open during the pandemic and on Monday allowed outdoor retailers such as plant nurseries to welcome back customers.

Newsom said counties can keep their more strict guidelines in place and do not have to come into compliance with the state order. “We are not telling locals that feel it’s too soon, too fast to modify,” he said.