Mr. Newsom tracked down the reopening process, allowing counties to move at different speeds, repeatedly declaring “localism is determining” and promising to collaborate with county governments, not to issue orders. Church congregations were allowed to comply with restrictions.
Proponents of the reopening such as Ms. Dhillon felt vindicated.
“I feel that our lawsuits were responsible for opening large sectors of the California economy much earlier than the governor originally intended,” he said, adding that he received countless calls from business owners. “People are absolutely devastated.”
But Newsom was also criticized by those who feared the state would reopen too quickly.
Dr. Sara Cody, director of health for Santa Clara County and architect of the Bay Area home-stay orders, said the system was puzzling for residents who regularly cross county borders.
“It is incredibly confusing to the public,” said Dr. Cody in an interview. “What’s the message? How can something be right here and in the next county it’s not?
The measures have become even more disparate in recent weeks. In Napa and Sonoma counties, wine tastings and meals are allowed in restaurants both indoors and outdoors. In San Francisco, restaurants are only available outdoors. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced last week that the city would postpone the reopening, scheduled for Monday, of beauty and hair salons, massage shops, museums, tattoo parlors and open-air bars.
Diana Dooley, a former secretary of state for health and human services who dealt with the Ebola and Zika pandemics during her tenure, said she had seen “with great empathy” how the crisis gripped California. Initially, she said, “it seemed that the Bay Area was driving the decisions.” And as the virus spread, Californians generally complied.
“But after several months, impatient people have made top-down orders very difficult to enforce,” he said.