California Governor Gavin Newsom says that the state is likely "months" away from reopening concert venues.
At a press conference earlier today (Tuesday, April 28), Newsom and director of the department of public health Sonia Angell outlined a four-stage framework for reopening the economy.
In order to move into Stage 4, where stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and people will be allowed to come together in large numbers, including concerts, treatments for the coronavirus will need to have been developed, Dr. Angell said.
The four stages of modifying the stay-at-home order are as follows:
Stage 1: Safety And Preparedness (This is the stage we are currently in)
* Continue to build out testing, contract tracing, PPE, and hospital surge capacity
* Making essential workforce environments as safe as possible
* Prepare sector-by-sector safety guidelines for expanded workforce
Stage 2: Lower-Risk Workplaces
* Gradually opening lower-risk workplaces with adaptations
* Retail (eg. curbside pickup)
* Offices (when telework is not possible)
* More Public Spaces
Stage 3: Higher-Risk Workplaces
* Open higher-risk environments with adaptations and limits on size of gatherings
* Personal care (hair and nail salons, gyms)
* Entertainment venues (movie theatres, sports without live audiences)
* In-person religious services (churches, weddings)
Stage 4: End Of Stay-At-Home Order
* Reopen highest-risk environments and venues once therapeutics have been developed
* Convention Centers
* Live audience sports
Newsom said that the transition to Stage 2 will be "in weeks, not months," while the transition to Stages 3 and 4 will be in "months, not weeks." He also cautioned Californians to not ease up on their commitments to flattening the curve through physical distancing.
"We are able to make these announcements and begin to have a more public conversation with you about opening up with adaptation and with modification, meaningful changes to our stay at home order, again because people have taken seriously overwhelming the stay at home orders and physical distancing," Newsom said. "But I want to caution everybody if we pull back too quickly and we walk away from our incredible commitment to not only bend this curve but to stop the spread and suppress the spread of this virus, it could start a second wave that could be even more damaging than the first and undo all of the good work and progress that you've made.
"The virus has not gone away. Its virulence is still as acute, its ability to be transmitted still is dominant, and so we by no stretch are out of the woods," he added. "We could be lulled into this quiet sense of confidence, change our behavior, put ourselves at risk, and put this broader agenda of reopening with modification at risk."
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday showed that only 27% of those questioned would go to a concert, movie theater or live theater performance when venues reopen. Thirty-two percent said they would wait for a vaccine before going back to the movies, theater or concerts. In all, 55% of Americans said those events should not resume before a vaccine is available.
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.
Public health experts have repeatedly expressed their concern that Americans are underestimating how long the coronavirus pandemic will disrupt everyday life in the country.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the the head of the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases and part of the White House's coronavirus task force, has said a vaccine may be 12-18 months away, but other experts said it could take even longer.
As the coronavirus disease continues to spread, live event organizers have been canceling or postponing large gatherings, including concerts and festivals.
Entertainers, crew and other workers in the industry have already lost billions of dollars as a result of COVID-19-related cancelations, representing only a small fraction of the financial devastation that will be experienced by workers in the sector as cancelations continue to roll in.
CA has made progress bending the curve but the risk of #COVID19 is still very real.
Today, Governor @GavinNewsom announced details on how CA plans to modify the Stay-At-Home order in the future.
These modifications are based on science, health & data & will happen in 4 stages: pic.twitter.com/KUDhu7sowk
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) April 28, 2020
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