California Gov. Newsom weighs easing virus order for businesses

Posted at 6:23 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 09:23:56-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering a strategy for reopening business in a state divided between rural areas with small numbers of coronarivus cases and urban areas struggling with still-rising death tolls.

Newsom on Tuesday plans to outline what it will take to ease his stay-at-home order that closed most businesses. Health officials say the efforts have helped flatten the curve of virus outbreaks but they also caused economic upheaval.

Six rural counties have asked the governor to carefully ease business restrictions while six San Francisco Bay Area counties on Monday said they'll extend their local restrictions through May.

During his Monday press conference, the governor was critical of beachgoers who crowded California’s beaches over the weekend, saying those ignoring public health orders threaten the state’s progress made against the coronavirus.

"The images down in Orange County and Ventura County on our beaches, those images are an example of what not to see people, what not to do, if we're going to make meaningful progress that we've made in the last few weeks extend into the next number of weeks," Newsom said.

Newsom said he plans to work more with local agencies on enforcement of the state's health orders.

"The reality is we are just a few weeks away, not months away, from making measurable and meaningful changes to our stay-at-home order," Newsom added. "However, that's driven by data. Driven by behavior. And as we change our behavior, we can impact the science, the health, the data. This virus doesn't take the weekends off."