Most California counties fall short of reopening criteria as coronavirus cases climb

California
A closed sign in St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop along Main Street in Santa Monica.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A closed sign in St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop along Main Street in Santa Monica.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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Most big California counties are not close to meeting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strict standards that would allow a wider reopening of the economy, including dine-in restaurants and shopping malls, a Times data analysis found.

Newsom announced Thursday a series of benchmarks each of California’s 58 counties would need to reach to significantly reopen. Can the county show that people have stopped dying from the coronavirus? Have new cases fallen to a manageable level? Can officials adequately test people? Do they have enough detectives to track down newly infected people? And do they have enough medical supplies?

The Times conducted an analysis to see which counties could pass just the first two criteria — whether deaths have stopped in the past 14 days, and whether there is no more than one case per 10,000 residents in that same time period. Most of California failed that test.

In fact, 95% of Californians live in counties that don’t meet that standard, The Times analysis found. Not a single county in Southern California nor the San Francisco Bay Area met the criteria.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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