West Coast states announce pact to coordinate COVID-19 response decisions

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Gavin Newsom says he will announce a detailed plan on Tuesday for lifting coronavirus restrictions, a decision he says will be made without "political pressure" in an apparent message to President Donald Trump declaring himself the ultimate decision-maker of when states can reopen.

California is developing a plan to ease social distancing rules incrementally as the pace of new cases and hospitalizations from the novel coronavirus appears to be moderating in the most populous us state, Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday. Kate Brown has said she will spell out her framework for reopening the state during an 11 a.m. press conference Tuesday.

The state will join with OR and Washington to develop a coordinated West Coast plan, governors of the three states said.

"COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness", said the statement from the governor's office".

"We are announcing that California, Oregon, and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies-one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business", the Mercury News reported Newsom saying on Monday.

First, they said, people's health has to come first.

With one in six Americans residing on the West Coast, the governors recognize that the region has a large role to play in containing and ultimately defeating COVID-19.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom says California is beginning to have discussions on re-opening its economy while controlling the spread of COVID-19.

The statement stressed that state leaders would need to see a decline in the rate of the spread of the disease before large-scale reopening and that each state is also building a state-specific plan.

"COVID-19 doesn't follow state or national boundaries", the governor's office said in a statement Monday. Now, our public health leaders will focus on four goals that will be critical for controlling the virus in the future.

The governors also intend to examine the ability of the health care system to ensure proper care can be provided to those who may become sick with either COVID-19 or other conditions. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

"Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what's happening on the ground", the governors said.

"We've got to continue to practice physical distancing, social distancing, and safe practices that have helped us bend this curve and mitigate what some had thought would be a surge that was exponentially worse than so far it has been", Newsom said.

Each governor will work on specific guidelines for their state, but collaborate on how to gradually lift social distancing measures across the board.

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