With several counties already defying California's statewide stay-at-home order, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that some retail stores may be able to reopen with modifications by the end of this week.
The Los Angeles Times reports that bookstores, music stores, florists, sporting goods stores, and other retailers may open for pickups on Friday. More detailed guidelines are to be released this week.
Local decision making regarding COVID-19 may be expanded in the weeks ahead, potentially allowing some jurisdictions to move ahead of statewide policy. This will be contingent on meeting requirements for hospital beds, testing kits, and the ability to track infected persons and conduct contact tracing, according to the Times.
In Los Angeles County, which accounts for more than half of the confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, the timeline may be slower. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti indicated on May 4 that the stores and restaurants are not on track to reopen by Friday.
The reopening of certain low-rise businesses represents the start of the second step of the four-phase plan to reopen California following the COVID-19 pandemic. In phase two, some retail businesses, offices, manufacturing centers, schools, and childcare centers will be able to reopen with adaptations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Stage three would allow higher-risk settings, including hair salons, gyms, movie theaters, and churches to reopen with limits on the size of gatherings.
The fourth and final phase would fully lift the stay-at-home order, allowing concerts, conventions, and live sporting events to resume. This may not occur until mid-to-late 2021, according to the Times.