California Set to Reopen Schools, Bars and Gyms Next Week

If they can handle the modifications, winery tasting rooms and amusement parks have also been given the green light to reopen to customers.

Black Stallion Winery in California’s Napa Valley. (Anthony Germain photo for Courthouse News)

(CN) — California will permit bars, gyms, hotels and other facilities to reopen with certain restrictions starting June 12 in locations that meet state criteria for Covid-19 containment and preparedness, California health officials announced Friday. 

The new guidelines will also allow professional sports leagues to train and compete without live audiences. They also permit the resumption of music, television and film production starting June 12.

Both sports and the entertainment industry must have approval from county public health officials before they can resume. The state says athletes, cast and crew members and other workers must adhere to state guidelines for reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission and abide by labor agreements with management.

Although the state is moving forward to reopen more sectors of its economy, California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell warned that residents should keep following recommendations aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Just because some businesses are opening doesn’t mean your risk for Covid-19 is gone,” Angell said in a statement Friday. “We all need to continue to keep physical distancing, wash our hands and wear face coverings in public.”

California health officials also released guidelines for reopening schools and school-based programs on Friday. The school reopening plans include requirements for temperature and symptom checks, social distancing of students and teachers, cleaning procedures and nose-and-mouth coverings.

The state will dole out 47,000 no-touch thermometers, 2.4 million face shields for every teacher and child care provider, 14 million cloth face coverings for students and staff, 16 million disposable masks, 123,000 N-95 masks for school health professionals and 143,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. The supplies will be distributed to public schools, private schools and child care facilities.

Some California counties have already begun moving forward with plans to reopen schools. Santa Clara County announced Thursday that it will reopen schools in the fall. San Francisco public schools are scheduled to reopen Aug. 17. Both counties are still working with public health officials to develop protocols for in-person instruction and distance learning.

The state also released additional guidelines for reopening day camps, gyms, bars and wineries, amusement parks, hotels, casinos and campgrounds.

The guidelines generally require new trainings for staff and volunteers, checking staff and patrons for Covid-19 symptoms, limited sharing of communal materials, wearing face coverings, maintaining adequate space for social distancing and more frequent and thorough cleaning of facilities.

The state has not yet authorized the reopening of nail salons.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that hair salons, restaurants and barbershops would be allowed to open in 47 of the state’s 58 counties as part of the state’s Phase 3 reopening plan.

The state also authorized county health officials last week to permit churches to reopen with gatherings limited to 100 people or 25% of building capacity, whichever is lower. That announcement came after a Pentecostal church in San Diego County lost its federal appeal seeking a court order to allow it to reopen immediately.

California reported 122,901 positive Covid-19 cases and 4,485 deaths from the virus as of Thursday, June 4. The state reported that 4.5% of Covid-19 tests came back positive and hospitalizations declined 2.9% over the last 14 days.

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