Newsom implies communities not allowed to lift stay-at-home orders yet

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday implied local leaders in the state won’t be allowed to lift coronavirus stay-at-home orders yet as certain communities have expressed interest in easing restrictions and hundreds of protesters took to the streets last weekend, according to reports.

“I imagine there’ll be some examples of people just getting ahead of that collaborative spirit,” he said in a news conference, according to The Los Angeles Times. “And we may have to dial a little bit of that back.”

He said local officials may ease stay-at-home restrictions as long as they don’t conflict with state orders but would "encourage" any local officials who go too far to "pull back."

Ventura County, for example, will reopen golf courses, some small businesses that don’t deal with the public, allow gatherings in cars and in-person meetings of fewer than 5 people and in-person car sales on May 15, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles reported.

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He said “appropriate queries” about local changes to the stay-at-home order have been brought by certain counties, including San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Placerville and said he hoped to work with local leaders to coordinate any easing of restrictions in certain areas, The Times reported.

San Luis Obispo County officials said this week they are planning to gradually lift restrictions and reopen businesses but said any changes would need the governor’s approval, KTLA reported.

“I caution those, including local election officials, that practicing physical distancing has worked to keep those numbers relatively modest in terms of growth, but if we pull back too quickly, those numbers will go through the roof,” Newsom stressed.

Last week, he outlined criteria that must be met before the stay-at-home order can be lifted, including widespread testing, developing therapeutics and potentially a vaccine, enacting social distancing inside businesses, protecting the vulnerable and addressing needs of hospitals.

“Normal it will not be, at least until we have herd immunity and we have a vaccine,” he said.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Huntington Beach over the weekend, claiming the lockdown was too restrictive.

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“If we pull back too quickly, those numbers will go through the roof,” Newsom said. “And I don’t think any of the people, in their goodwill and the spirit in which they are wanting to loosen things up, want to see those numbers increase," The Times reported.