California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday began relaxing his stay-at-home order that was issued to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, while also announcing that the state has a staggering $53.4 billion budget shortfall.
The plan to reopen will only allow certain retail businesses and manufacturers’ warehouses to start opening up again, according to The Associated Press.
Other stores that will be allowed to reopen with curbside service — if they meet government standards — are bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods businesses.
Hair salons, gyms, offices and dining-in restaurants will be opened during a later phase. Counties are also expected to meet certain testing criteria and must be able to accommodate a surge of patients at local health care facilities.
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Newsom originally issued the stay-at-home order on March 19 and has faced protests for not moving forward fast enough with his plan to reopen.
He also highlighted the economic damage done by COVID-19 by announcing that the state’s $21 billion surplus from one year ago has turned into a $54.3 billion deficit.
Newsom reportedly discussed unemployment figures and painted a bleak picture of America’s financial future, as the dust begins to settle from the pandemic.
“These numbers are jaw-dropping,” Newsom said. “I just hope that people are preparing themselves … for the effort that we all need to engage together to undertake to unwind that and get back on our feet.”
“The next few years we’re going to have to work through these challenges,” he said on Wednesday. “But we’ll work through them. And we’ll get out the other side.”
California is already set to receive more than $26 billion in federal funds because of the coronavirus, according to The AP. However, Newsom claimed the current climate “underscores the necessity of further federal stimulus to help states and local governments.”
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Brie Stimson contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.
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