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Governor: Schools and retail may reopen in weeks, educators and businesses gearing up

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Perhaps a glimmer of light at the end of this coronavirus tunnel for residents here in California: Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out his four-phase plan to reopen the state, which could mean back to business for schools and retail businesses in a matter of weeks.

The governor's optimistic message Tuesday brought some hope for business owners and educators, who are included in Stage Two of his plan, which they say leaves a lot for them to still figure out.

Newsom said the increase in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths appears to be stabilizing statewide – a "point of some cautious optimism" for him.

Joy Meredith's shop in downtown Palm Springs, Crystal Fantasy, has been closed since stay at home orders were enacted. She said times have been tough for every locally-owned shop in the valley.

"Every day seems to be really, really stressful trying to work with utility companies, with landlords," Meredith said.

After the governor's announcement, her store could reopen soon – with pandemic adaptations like curbside pickup and social distancing requirements.

"We're just trying to figure out exactly who can touch things," Meredith said. "If you're in a clothing store, what happens when people want to try on things?"

Newsom also said the state is considering starting school in late July or early August – appearing to take districts like Palm Springs Unified by surprise.

Sandra Lyon, superintendent of PSUSD said at the district's meeting Tuesday evening, "I think this is our challenge: we hear something, a bold statement that says our schools are set to start late July – and we have more questions raised than clarity around what that will look like."

Newsom said to get to stages three and four of his plan, it will take months – not weeks.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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