More easing of California's state-at-home order could be "many days, not weeks" away, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.
During the daily press conference, Newsom provided updates on the key indicators, while still showing a rising death toll across the state.
Some areas to be affected in this first wave of reopening include retail and hospitality, including restaurants, Newsom said. All will have serious modifications and experts are looking at each industry and developing guidelines to begin to return to normal, he added.
He announced an additional 91 people died in the last 24 hours, marking a tragic milestone of 2,046 COVID-19 deaths.
The state has also surpassed more than 50,000 confirmed cases of cornavirus. That number, Newsom said, shows improvement in testing with more than 650,000 conducted since the outbreak began. Health officials are now averaging 25,000 daily with plans to ramp that number up tens of thousands in the coming weeks.
Other positive news, Newsom pointed out, was the flattening of ICU numbers. Hospitalizations went down two percent. The state also saw a 13 percent decline in people under investigation for the virus.
Although he did not give a specific timeframe to when restrictions in California could be eased, Newsom said he was close to giving an announcement.
“We’re getting really close to making really meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order. We are weeks, not months, about four or five days ago,” Newsom said. “I want to say many days, not weeks, as long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications, we will be making some announcements.”
He thanked residents who continue to practice social distancing.
"Because of your individual behavior, your physical distancing you have done at scale, that's why I feel confident that over the course of the next week, we're going to be able to make some announcements that will give people more announcements and ability for California to get back on its economic feet."
Meanwhile, NPR reported two cities in Orange County voted Thursday night to legally challenge Newsom's forced closure of county beaches.