Governor Newsom is staring down protesters, law enforcement personnel, and sun worshipers in often-conservative Orange County today as he pledges that revised "Phase 2" sheltering orders are on their way early next week.
Parts of Orange County are promising a revolt Friday after the governor singled the county out on Thursday to declare a "hard close" of its beaches for the coming weeks. As the LA Times reports, multiple officials down there are saying they won't enforce Newsom's order, including members of the Huntington Beach Police Department — and Huntington Beach was the site of one of today's loud anti-shelter-in-place, "Reopen California Now" protests.
"Look, we’ll see what happens over the course of this weekend," Newsom said during his Friday press event. "If we have the kind of weekend that I hope and expect we will where we don’t see those huge crowds descend, then we’re going be in a position as early as Monday, Tuesday I hope to make some announcements on new strategies and partnerships that we’re working on in real time to address those large crowds."
But, was Newsom suggesting that if Orange County or other localities continue to defy sheltering orders, he'll be in a position to slap more wrists and punish everyone for their lack of compliance?
SFGate suggests this was an "ultimatum," but that's not totally clear. The plan has been, as of earlier this week, to begin a "Phase 2" in a four-phased reopening of the state beginning next week. And that will include the reopening of certain kinds of businesses — including, as he said today, restaurants, though it's not clear what the details of the order will be.
As this video describes, a second phase would likely focus on businesses that serve essential workers — so, perhaps, healthcare workers and others with easy access to testing will be able to sit down in restaurants? Not sure how you enforce that.
"The only thing that’s going to hold us back is spread of this virus, and the only thing that is assured to advance the spread of the virus is thousands of people congregating together not practicing social distancing or physical distancing," Newsom said today. "If we avoid that, then we’re going to get to other side of this with modifications a lot quicker. So I just hope people will consider that."
Locally, county public health officers in six Bay Area counties have said that our shelter orders are going to remain, with this week's modifications, in place until the end of May — and in cases where our orders and the state's differ, the stricter of the two will apply.
But this is bound to get confusing, and controversial, as some businesses reopen and others don't.