Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has responded to two California counties that announced last week that they would adopt public health guidelines with looser restrictions than the governor’s order so that they could begin re-opening the local economy.
“They’re making a big mistake, they’re putting their public at risk. They’re putting our progress at risk,” said Newsom during a Tuesday press conference, in reference to Sutter and Yuba counties, which have allowed dine-in restaurants and hair salons to re-open. “I’m well aware of those examples. These are exceptions. These are real exceptions. The overwhelming majority of Californians are playing by the rules, doing the right thing.”
Newsom also mentioned that California plans to enter phase two of the coronavirus reopening plan shortly, a move that will allow the re-opening of schools, childcare providers, non-essential manufacturing and retail stores (pick-up only).
Hair salons and dine-in restaurants do not fall into the phase two guidelines, but fall into the phase three guidelines. Newsom also says that when counties enter phases ahead of the rest of the state, those regions put local businesses and communities at risk.
“I would encourage them just to do the right thing, and know that we are committed to working with them as we have been, and their county representatives,” said Newsom, who argued that local officials need to work within the state’s outlined process. “We believe in ‘ready-aim-fire,’ not ‘ready-fire-aim.’”
Despite the strong statements condemning the individual counties — which have a combined population of about 175,000 residents — Newsom declined to share whether the state would pursue any legal remedies.
In a statement last Friday, the Yuba-Sutter public health officer affirmed that the move was designed to balance public health and the economic consequences from the coronavirus outbreak and shutdown.
“We cannot wait for a vaccine without seeing extreme economic damage done to our community,” said Dr. Phuong Luu, the public health officer for both of the neighboring northern California counties. “The consequences of waiting will be additional health concerns brought on by stress and the very real dilemma for those with limited resources whether to buy life-saving food or life-saving medicines.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the Yuba County public health office has stressed that the new guidelines do not mean that the coronavirus pandemic is over, and that the onus is now on the approximately 78,000 residents to resume public life in a safe manner.
“This is a time for personal responsibility in minimizing our movements and physical interactions,” said the Yuba County public health office on Friday. “It is up to all of us to show respect for each other’s health and safety by adhering to guidance on facial coverings, social distancing, small group gatherings, and good hand hygiene.”
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