On Friday, California’s Department of Public Health released new guidance about the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. According to this new guidance, schools, gyms, bars, and film studios will be allowed to reopen, starting June 12.
This guidance is the latest in California’s multi-stage reopening plan. Late last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced that places of worship could hold services with up to 100 attendees, and stores in Los Angeles County could operate at half-capacity.
The state health department’s announcement covers a number of other sectors as well. The full list of industries that will reopen on June 12th is as follows:
- Schools Day camps Hotels Tribal casinos Gyms Bars and restaurants Museums Campgrounds Zoos Music, film, and television studios Professional Sporting Events (without live audiences)
Many of these businesses, such as zoos, campgrounds, and day camps, are popular summer hangout spots. The June 12 date will give them time to reopen before the season begins in earnest.
The new rules on reopening schools and day camps will apply statewide, but local health officials in each of California’s 58 counties will have the final say on whether the other industries can reopen in their area. These counties will have to have shown “epidemiological readiness” — in other words, there needs to be evidence that the county has the spread of coronavirus under control.
However, even if schools and bars reopen, citizens still need to be careful.
“Guidance doesn’t mean ‘go,'” Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “Just because some businesses are opening doesn’t mean your risk for COVID-19 is gone. We all need to continue to keep physical distancing, wash our hands and wear face coverings in public.”
The state plans to distribute 123,000 N95 masks to school-based health professionals around the state, along with 143,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. Officials will also distribute approximately 2.4 million face shields for every school teacher and childcare worker.
This news comes as the state health department tracks “an increase in the number of positive cases,” which they attribute to the higher number of COVID-19 tests being taken. As of Friday, the state had confirmed 126,016 positive cases of COVID-19, with 4,559 deaths.
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