California Gov. Gavin Newsom Describes "New Normal" When Stay-at-Home Orders Loosen

Gavin Newsom -  August 22, 2018 in San Francisco, California - Getty -H 2019
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Newsom spoke with Ellen DeGeneres about his swift reaction to the novel coronavirus pandemic and his "strategy to pull back from stay-at-home orders" with his six-point plan.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom made a Friday appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, during which he spoke about his swift reaction to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As one of the first U.S. governors to order a stay-at-home rule and encourage social distancing statewide, Newsom admitted that some "people thought it was too much, too soon, too fast."

"But, I think, ultimately it’s helped advance our efforts to, as I said, bend this curve. And what I mean by that is nothing more than this: We had models showing the massive increase in the total number of infections," he told DeGeneres, who has been filming her talk show from her home in Los Angeles.

"But because of 40 million Californians taking these directives very, very seriously — staying at home and practicing physical distancing when they went about their essential work or going grocery shopping or getting medical supplies — we have substantially impacted that curve and put ourselves in a position where, just today, I was able to put out a framework to begin the process of considering a strategy to pull back from the stay-at-home order," Newsom said.

Describing what a "new normal" might look like for Californians, Newsom said: "There will be no normalcy as we knew it in the past until we have a vaccine or herd immunity. But we are processing potentially into a new phase."

He predicted that at "every establishment you go to, you've got a mask on, your temperature is taken. When you walk into that establishment, it has half the number of aisles that it used to have. If it's a restaurant or a bar, half as many seats as it used to have. You may have a waiter come over with gloves. You may have a menu that's disposable."

Newsom told DeGeneres that he plans to "prescriptively" loosen the stay-at-home orders but noted that there still will be "no mass gatherings or semblance of what we once understood until we get that vaccine."

As of Friday, more than 24,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in California, with more than 800 of those resulting in deaths. The U.S. has seen more than 677,000 confirmed cases nationwide with more than 34,000 deaths.

During a Tuesday news conference, Newsom announced a broad six-point plan to reopen the state’s economy and relax strict "Safer at Home" guidelines. California Department of Public Health Director Sonia Angell joined him in revealing the framework. However, no timeline was provided.

"I hope all of us are sobered by the reality of the moment but left with a little optimism that this is not a permanent state," the governor said. "You’ve met this moment in a remarkable way for us to present a road map, but it is all conditioned on us staying the course, staying at home and continuing to practice appropriate social distancing."

Watch Newsom's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show below.