Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday warned that, while California will move into the next phase of reopening its economy this week, it is “not going back to normal” until there is a vaccine.
Newsom this week announced that the state will move into the next phase of its recovery plan by Friday, May 8, allowing certain businesses — like bookstores, flower shops, clothing stores, and sporting goods stores — to reopen with certain modifications, which will be provided this week. According to the governor, offices and dine-in restaurants “will be part of a later Stage 2 opening.”
Per his office:
The announcement for Friday does not include offices, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls or schools. As the Governor noted last week, the state is working with school districts and the California education community to determine how best and safely to reopen. That continues to be the case – this May 8 announcement does not move up this timeline.
Newsom’s office noted that individual counties “can choose to continue more restrictive measures in place based on their local conditions.”
Despite the slow and steady effort to return to a place of pre-virus normalcy, Newsom told Californians on Tuesday that the state will not return to normal until “we get to immunity and a vaccine.”
“We’re not going back to normal. It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine,” the governor said during Tuesday’s press briefing.
While researchers are working on a vaccine for COVID-19 specifically, no vaccine for other forms of coronavirus have ever been approved, casting doubt on the efforts.
Christopher Whitty, the U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer, told a parliamentary committee last month that there are no guarantees in the development of a vaccine.
We need “to be careful that we don’t assume that we are going to have a vaccine for this disease as we have had for, let’s say measles, which once you have it you’re protected for life,” he said, according to Business Insider, adding, “We cannot guarantee success.”
President Trump, meanwhile, remains hopeful, telling reporters over the weekend that America will likely have a vaccine by the end of the year.