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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that restaurants can begin reopening for dine-in customers and malls can open for pickup amid the coronavirus pandemic, so long as they abide by restrictions and guidelines set forth by the state.
All businesses must perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan. They must train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms. They must also implement individual control measures and screenings, disinfecting protocols and physical distancing guidelines.
Offices may also reopen if it's not possible for employees to work remotely and shopping outlets can offer pickup options. Other businesses that are eligible to reopen include outdoor museums and manufacturing industries that support retail. Counties are required to meet 14 criteria before they can open their doors again.
Newsom also issued a list of guidelines that restaurants must follow if they wish to offer dine-in services.
Restaurant guidelines state that dirty linens should be removed and instead of shared condiments, single-serve items should be used, instead. Restaurants should also ask customers to wait in their cars and alert them via phone when their table is ready. Seating should be outdoors and customers should be screened for symptoms.
The 12-page restaurant guideline booklet also has instructions on how to physically distance and how to properly clean kitchens and eating areas. Employees are expected to wash their hands, wear face masks, stop sharing equipment and stay at least 6 feet away from each other.
So far, only Butte and El Dorado counties claim to have met the criteria that would allow them to move to Stage 2 of the reopening plan, according to the California Health Department.
Newsom, who has become an unlikely ally of President Trump in recent months, said his administration is currently coordinating with 27 other counties, but that no other areas have been given the go-ahead to proceed yet.
He explained that current guidelines are subject to change and will be modified as the death rate from the virus fluctuates.
"We are not in Phase 3 yet," Newsom said at his daily news briefing on Tuesday, KTVU FOX 2 reported.
His guidelines also warn businesses that any failure to comply with the regulations could result in an immediate shutdown.
As of Sunday, there were more than 67,000 positive cases of coronavirus in California and over 2,700 deaths. Nationwide, there were more than 1.3 million cases and over 80,000 deaths.
Of the over 9.3 million tests issued in the U.S., 14.4 percent have come back positive.