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Western States Pact may Keep Orange County Waiting to Open Businesses

Orange County has seen protesting over the past few weeks in support of opening businesses and resuming life. As impatient as county residents may be, there are some challenges Orange County has to face outside the county before opening up.

In a press conference Monday, Governor Newsom said any decisions on reopening would be done in collaboration with other western states. Currently there is a Western Pact with California and four other Western states.

OC Board of Supervisors Vote on Guidelines to Reopen Businesses

The Orange County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday and unanimously voted 5-0 on a set of guidelines for businesses to reopen when local health officials state it is safe to open the county.

This decision came after Governor Newsom announced his guidelines to modify California’s stay-at-home orders and while the Orange County Board of supervisors have a unanimous vote, the county still needs approval to reopen.

Governor Newsom noted that getting to stage two, which focuses on reopening low-risk businesses, could come in a couple of weeks. This stage involves opening low-risk businesses only.

Stage three of Newsom’s plan focuses on high-risk businesses and this stage is several months away from being considered as a sector to reopen.

Orange County’s new Health Care Agency Director Clayton Chau and Orange County Health Officer Nichole Quick have not addressed the guidelines or given a date to safely open the county publicly as of this time.

Below is the official press release from the Board of Supervisors with guidelines.

Orange County Board of Supervisors in session.

Newsom Says Orange County Beaches Could Prolong Lockdowns

Governor Newsom addressed crowding at Orange County beaches over the weekend in a press conference. Lifting the beach ban up the coast drew over 40,000 people to Newport Beach over the weekend.

Newsom said stay at home orders could be prolonged due to a lack of social distancing in a move to put pressure on local authorities.

The county’s beaches, parking lots and trails have already been closed with few exceptions and after the weekend more precautions have been set-up.

Laguna Beach, February 2020.

Western States Pact

California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington made a pact on Monday April 13 to collaborate on setting guidelines for modifying stay-at-home orders.

The multi-state collaboration resulted in the Western States Pact in solidarity to work together while fighting Covid-19.

California will have its own plan, which was presented Tuesday, but the states in the pact agreed to key principles: safeguarding residents’ health, basing decisions on science and not politics and working collaboratively, Newsom said during his daily briefing.

Multi-state pacts have sprung up on the West coast and with Northeastern states in efforts to fight Covid-19 while waiting on federal actions.

The pacts had Donald Trump weighing in with the false claim stating he has total authority to supersede Governors. This false claim had Trump backtracking his statement and now he says he’ll “authorize” individual governors’ plans for reopening.

Below is the joint statement press release from the governors of the Western State Pact.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s Press Release

4-Phase Plan to Open CA

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 4-phase plan to reopen the state has 6 key indicators to guide California’s thinking of when and how to modify the ‘stay at home’ order.

If social distancing reduces the number of new cases, Newsom says the second stage could come in a few weeks.

Stage three is months away, and the final stage relies on the development of treatment, meaning it is a matter of months, maybe more than a year.

Below is the outline for Governor Newsom’s 4-phase plan to reopen California.

Image from Covid19.CA.Gov

Stage 1: Safety and preparedness

  • The state will build up testing, tracing, PPE and hospital capacity
  • Prioritize safety for workers and customers in essential workplaces
  • Prepare safety guidelines for expanded workforce, broken down by industries

Stage 2: Lower-risk workplaces

  • Gradually open some lower-risk businesses and workplaces, adapted for social distancing
    • Curbside pickup for retail businesses
    • Reopen manufacturing businesses
    • Office workers may return if telework is not possible
    • Increase access to public spaces

Stage 3: Higher-risk workplaces

  • Use restrictions on gathering sizes and other limits to reopen higher-risk workplaces
    • Salons and gyms reopen with restrictions
    • Sports (without live audiences) and movie theaters
    • Religious services return to in-person settings

Stage 4: End of stay-at-home order

  • The highest-risk environments will be reopened once appropriate treatments are developed
    • Live sporting events with fans
    • Concerts and festivals
    • Conventions
Image from Covid19.CA.Gov

    The pact is unconstitutional. There will be consequences.

    May 4, 2020

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Western States Pact may Keep Orange County Waiting to Open Businesses