SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that California will start peeling back some of stay-at-home guidelines later this week.
The governor announced at his daily press conference on Monday that the state will be moving into the second of four phases of reopening. The move will mean that many retail businesses that have closed due to the coronavirus stay-at-home order can reopen – with modifications.
Stacks of boxes and shopping bags full of goods all purchased online have become the new normal for the shoe and sporting goods store, Fleet Feet. Instead of shipping to customers, store manager Ben Cook hopes new state rules will bring customers back to the store.
"Hopefully it is a flurry of activity. We would love that. Ideally, if it allows us to bring back a few more staff that would be phenomenal 34:03 our hope is that we can bring back some folks," Cook said.
Since their doors closed weeks ago, half the staff is furloughed and business is down by 90%.
"We have to phase back into this progressively and every little step towards that is exciting to us," he said.
Under Governor Newsom's plan businesses like clothing stores, book stores, music stores, sporting goods stores, florists and the like can start reopening for pick-up in this second phase.
"Let me make this point, we are entering into the next phase this week," Newsom said.
Some manufacturing businesses can also start reopening in the coming phase. Offices, seated dining at restaurants and shopping malls will remain under orders to close, however.
It's a welcomed move Cook is already preparing for.
"We will probably ask folks to pop their trunk or roll down their backseat window so we don't have to necessarily exchange. The idea is also not taking any cash or credit cards, that everything will be done over the phone," Cook explained.
Select customers are already testing the looser restrictions out.
"As a consumer, I think it is also important too that we are able to access and purchase items on a more regularly-typed basis. I think it is going to help, it is certainly going to help the economy," said customer, David Faingold.
Time Tested Books in Midtown is also taking precautions with gloves, masks, and even disinfecting books before they reach customers' hands. Finian Scott-Small works at the bookstore and estimates they're barely bringing in half of their normal revenue.
"I would hope this would help us get another 10-20% back easily," he said.
Still, they aren't sure even if given the go-ahead, how long it will take them to fully reopen.
"I don't see how we can have an open bookstore in the way we need to operate as a physical bookstore safely until there is more testing," Scott-Small explained.
The new guidelines, which Newsom said will be announced on Thursday, will mean that those businesses can start back up as early as Friday.
Newsom also hinted that other counties could start easing back restrictions at a different rate than others. California's more rural counties – where coronavirus infection rates have been lower – have been pushing for this ability to loosen the order.
The state would still be allowed to intervene in the counties' plans, Newsom cautioned. Health officers will need to certify the move as well.
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