CA Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 Transition Plan: ‘New Normal’ To Be Determined by Your Local Government

Nossaman eAlert

In the coming weeks, as California determines when and how the ‘Stay-at-Home’ orders relative to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic might be modified, local governments will need to determine their own version of the ‘new normal.’ Governor Newsom announced on April 14th that the State needs to determine we are making progress addressing the COVID-19 pandemic within the framework of six specific indicators prior to easing any Stay-at-Home orders. Once progress has been shown, and likely in the next couple of weeks, the Governor will outline a timeline to modify the current State orders.

While this will provide a framework in the direction we are headed, local governments will need to make their own determinations on how exactly to relax their own local restrictions they have put in place. For example, when your favorite local restaurant is allowed to reopen, will the number of tables available be limited by the fact that they must be spread a certain distance apart? When you enter the restaurant, will a face covering be required, and will the maître d' check your temperature before seating you? Will your local school begin staggering your child’s arrival time and the times at which your child will arrive at and attend school? Will they ever resume recess and PE? How will that effect your ability to work?

If you are a local government, as the pressure mounts to return life to something resembling the way it was, how will you quickly make these decisions? As Governor Newsom indicated, you will need to make decisions based on your population density, the number of COVID-19 cases in your area, and some professional assessment of the risk to residents and community. The State will assist local governments that need more tailored approaches, but the responsibility will be on the local government to deal with these kinds of restrictions based on what the pandemic looks like locally.

Nossaman specializes in representing county and local government entities. Our professionals, including former local, state and federal officials, can get you the counsel you need, including navigating regulations and funding at the state and federal levels to safely begin the journey to the ‘new normal.’

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