In a press conference on April 14, Gov. Gavin Newsom
outlined a framework state officials will rely on to decide when to make changes to the existing statewide stay-at-home order.
That order has been in place since March 19, and has forced many businesses to close and millions of Californians to apply for unemployment. This order was a key part of the state’s effort to slow the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Then the state, local governments, hospitals, and clinics ramped up health care supplies to deal with any surge in COVID-19 cases. During the press conference, Newsom said this next phase is about suppressing the virus and relying on herd immunity before the development of a vaccine.
“But in this transition where we do see light at the end of the tunnel, where there is a ray of optimism and hopefulness that this too shall pass, it’s also perhaps the most difficult and challenging phase of all,” Newsom said.
The framework Newsom announced
PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM
NEXT STEPS During a press conference on April 14, Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined the framework the state will use to decide when to lift the existing stay-at-home order.
includes six indicators that state officials will use to weigh the decision to roll back the existing public health orders. The most important piece of this framework is the ability to expand testing and to be able to trace and track the spread of the virus between individuals. This is necessary for the state to transition from an overall population approach, to a more individualized approach, Newsom said.
Other indicators include the ability to protect the most vulnerable from the virus, for hospitals to handle a surge in cases, to reimplement health measures if necessary, and for businesses and schools to function while supporting physical distancing, as well as the development of therapeutics.
During Santa Barbara County’s daily COVID-19 press conference on April 14, county Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said the county is ready to follow the state’s direction on the timing of this transition. Although, local needs will also have to be considered.
Ansorg also provided updated numbers on the county’s COVID-19 caseload. He said 313 Santa Barbara County residents have tested positive for the virus, many of whom have recovered or are recovering at home, although 40 people are hospitalized because of the virus. The number of hospitalized cases has remained relatively flat since April 6.