COVID-19 News: May 6, 2020

  • Governor Newsom issued two new executive orders last week, the first of which allows for marriage licenses to be issued by county clerks via videoconference. The second executive order temporarily changes the protocol for verifying need for certain welfare programs administered by CalWORKS. These changes expire on June 30, 2020 unless the Department of Social Services re-imposes any requirement as necessary to comply with any federal requirement. The text for all of the executive orders issued since (and including) Governor Newsom’s March 4, 2020 Emergency Proclamation are available on our site via a live tracker.
  • Governor Newsom announced during his May 4th press conference that Stage 2 re-opening will begin on Friday, May 8th. Guidelines will be released on Thursday, May 7th. Early Stage 2 business can open as early as Friday, 5/7, if they can meet the guidelines provided by the state. The governor issued an executive order on May 4th outlining directives to the State Public Health Officer. The text can be accessed via our live tracker.
    • Some examples of businesses that can open with modifications include bookstores, clothing stores, and florists. Other Stage 2 businesses (including dine-in restaurants) will be part of a later Stage 2 opening.
    • The Governor acknowledged that counties can opt to maintain more restrictive measures based on their local conditions and resources.
    • Alternatively, some counties may be able to move more quickly through Stage 2, provided they can meet the state’s readiness criteria. Counties must create and submit a readiness plan to the state and accessible to the public before they are able to accelerate through Stage 2 re-opening.
    • The state issued a report card outlining the information they utilized in order to determine the timeliness of the Stage 2 re-opening. You can read the full press release here.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.” This information is helpful for all Americans, particularly those who manage households, office buildings, school buildings, and public spaces. Read more here.
  • As of May 4th all essential workers in San Francisco are eligible for free testing, regardless of symptoms, per an announcement from Mayor London Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax.
    • Essential workers can get tested for free at one of the two CityTestSF sites at the Embarcadero and in SoMa. These sites are able to test 1,500 people per day.
    • Tests for the general public are also available for anyone with one or more COVID-19 symptoms at a number of testing sites around the city.
    • More information regarding testing available to San Francisco’s citizens is available here. Mayor Breed and Dr. Colfax’s full announcement is available here.
  • The National League of Cities’ (NLC) blog has provided some helpful information for cities and local governments as well as best practices when it comes to a number of city/county functions that need to be adapted while social distancing and shelter-in-place orders remain necessary. Some highlights include:
    • NLC staff posted an article regarding the processes by which access to local permits and licenses can be obtained, including tips on how to provide access to electronic filing, staff limitations, and other relevant matters. You can read the article here.
    • A NLC partner provides information and forecasting regarding public and private partnerships, particularly partnerships with the technology sector, providing a glimpse into what may be the “new normal.” You can access the full article here.
    • A report indicating that counties nationwide could see a $144 billion hit to their budgets through the end of 2021 due to COVID-19. In addition, an estimated $54 billion in property tax revenue is at risk in states where counties have not begun to or have not completed collecting all property tax revenue. The full report is available here and the article is available here.
    • An article from last week highlights some of the factors counties in California and other states are considering as they prepare to “re-open” and reiterates counties role in leading re-opening efforts nationwide. The article is available here.
  • The SacBee reported that California is the first state to borrow funds from the federal government to assist in the payment of unemployment funds. The state has borrowed $348 million dollars in order to ensure that Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments are available to eligible workers. You can read the full article here.
  • Sacramento County’s health director, Dr. Peter Beilenson, anticipates the county to be next in the wave of California counties to reopen, per Governor Newsom’s proposal for a region-by-region reopening (see more above). The county has experienced a slow in local spread of COVID-19 and plans to follow in the footsteps of Yuba and Sutter counties to re-open some businesses capable of following sufficient social distancing and disinfecting protocol in order to boost the economy.
    • Per the governor’s announcement Monday, counties that plan to move faster than the state statute must first produce publicly accessible documents containing their plan to protect lower income and older residents as well as capacity at their local hospitals should infections begin to rise.
    • You can read more about Sacramento County’s plan to reopen and the requirements to do so here.’

For more information about COVID-19’s impact on California’s political and administrative landscape, visit our coronavirus webpage.

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2020-05-13T19:33:14-07:00May 6th, 2020|