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California is lifting restrictions. But it’s still worried about the variants and vaccine rollout

California has lifted its stay-at-home order. But public health officials worry danger could be around the corner

SHARE California is lifting restrictions. But it’s still worried about the variants and vaccine rollout
In this Friday May 8, 2020 file photo A pedestrian wears a mask as he walks past the closed Echo Barber Shop in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles

In this Friday May 8, 2020, file photo, a pedestrian wears a mask as he walks past the closed Echo Barber Shop in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Associated Press

California recently lifted its strict stay-at-home order, which had been added back in December amid a COVID-19 surge within the state, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. But that hasn’t stopped officials from worrying about what’s next.

  • The order gives restaurants, local businesses and personal care services a chance to reopen, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer said it’s not time to give up on staying vigilant against the virus, according to CNN. She said the coronavirus variants could pose a threat to people still even if things are opening up.

  • “They will become dominant and will make it easier for people to become infected and lead to a surge,” Ferrer said.
  • “This would not be the time to think just because we are reopening that things are looking rosy,” she said, according to CNN.
  • “We do need to move through the next few weeks with caution. At many other points where we’ve been reopening our sectors, we in fact have seen a bump up in our cases,” Ferrer said.

Questions about the data

The Associated Press reports that there have been questions about the data California uses to decides whether or not to reopen. Little data has been released.

In fact, on Monday, California released “previously secret projections for future hospital intensive care unit capacity throughout the state, the key metric for lifting the coronavirus stay-at-home order,” according to The Associated Press.

  • That said, officials “did not explain how regional per capita virus cases and transmission rates that also were released might influence how much ICU space will be available in four weeks,” according to The Associated Press.

In fact, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is exploring an election challenge to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California needs to release more data so Californians know what’s happening in their state.

  • “Californians want to follow the science. Instead we’re forced to follow a governor who decides on a whim the fate of millions of Californians while refusing to release the data behind his contradictory and arbitrary decisions,” Faulconer tweeted early Monday.