California Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the citizens on Wednesday and alarmed them regarding the restrictive measures. He discussed the current challenges at hand and said that allowing visitors from areas with comparatively stricter restrictions could risk and endanger other lives. He believes that it could potentially “defeat the point.”
“This is the big challenge: You open up in a dense, urban environment right next door to a community that’s not open, people start rushing into that dense urban environment and coming back into their community. That’s why we want a regional focus.” – He said.
The state has permitted the reopening of 17 rural Northern California Counties. This way, they might move forward rather quickly compared to the state as far as the reopening of businesses is concerned. This information must be understood in light of the second of Newsom’s Four-stage plan he implemented back in March.
The judgment is based on the counties confirming no deaths in the last two weeks and minimal confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, including the requirements for testing and the capacity of hospitals to cope with possible surges caused by the infection.
Counties that meet the requirements are permitted to allow customers in stores and dine in restaurants. However, churches, hair and nail salons, gyms and concert venues are supposed to stay closed for now.
San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino – four of the most densely populated counties of Southern California, are eager to reopen but they fail to meet the standard set up by the authorities. The most critical factor that they can’t seem to control is the number of deaths. They have sent an official letter asking the Newsom to discuss the matter.
These counties have a population of more than 11 million people. Hence, according to Curt Hagman, the chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor, these counties face different and much bigger issues compared to the less populated counties up in the north.
“We have strength in numbers. We just want to make sure we’re part of the equation.” – He said.
Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego, has confessed that the local businesses are prepared and ready to reopen safely. Workers are ready to work again, and customers are aware of the precautions.
“The current requirements could keep many businesses shut down indefinitely. We have safe plans to reopen. It’s not about going back to normal. It’s about the new normal.” – He said.
Source: Los Angeles Times
He believes that local officials should feel more empowered “to develop, implement and monitor local plans to be able to adapt quickly based upon the facts on the ground.”
Newsom’s current reopening plan allows the counties to control internal matters until and unless they don’t move faster than the state. This happened in six counties of the San Francisco Bay Area, which imposed their stay-at-home orders three days before Newsom.
Los Angeles County, where 40 million residents of California reside, is moving rather cautiously. It reopened the beaches on Wednesday despite the warnings from officials.
The officials have strictly asked the beaches to remain closed for a couple of months, but locals have opened it for “active recreations” such as walking, surfing, and swimming. Activities like sunbathing, picnicking, volleyball and other forms of sports continue to be banned. People are asked to maintain distance and wear masks as soon as they get out of the water. Mayors have warned the residents that the beaches will close again if people disobey the restrictions.
Hagman agrees with Newsom that not all businesses should reopen instantly. He’s been having a hard time explaining to his constituents why homeless residents are being housed in hotels when check-in at hotels is still banned.
Carla Hass, an El Dorado County spokesperson, has said that they have regular talks with the county official in the Sacramento region regarding their approach to reopening businesses. For example, Amador and Yuba counties have reopened restaurants, but Yolo and nearby Sacramento have not. She has been urging people to continue to follow the social distancing guidelines if they come from elsewhere. Non-essential traveling is also banned to the Lake Tahoe tourist region. Counties worry that tourists could potentially bring the virus along.
“We’re hopeful that whether you are a resident of El Dorado County just going from one spot to another, or if you happen to be a resident in a different county, that you’ll maintain those disciplines so that we don’t see a spike in our cases.” - She said.
Los Angeles County has further revealed that all retailers that aren’t located in an indoor mall or shopping centre can reopen. These retailers can continue with curbside pickup and delivery. Manufacturers who supply to these retailers can also reopen.