Activists in Carlsbad call for business, schools to reopen

Supporting businesses and schools reopening
Posted at 8:56 PM, Aug 15, 2020

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - Dozens gathered in Carlsbad Saturday afternoon protesting the closures of businesses and schools due to the coronavirus.

"We got to get our economy going again and we need our businesses and schools open at the same time," San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond said.

The rally comes as San Diego is seeing progress during the pandemic, eligible to fall off the state's watch list and potentially reopen schools in two weeks.

RELATED: Del Mar increases mask enforcement as crowds fill beaches

Activists at the Shoppes at Carlsbad say that is too long to wait.

"The longer this pandemic and the shutdown occurs, the more likely some of these businesses are never going to reopen," Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss said.

In the crowd was Juan Velasco, co-owner of Slight Edge Hair Salon in Oceanside. He said one of the hardest decisions he had to make was telling his 12 stylists he had to close down.

"It was so disheartening because it doesn’t allow us the opportunity to allow them to work and to provide for their families," Velasco said.

RELATED: What happens next? San Diego County eligible to fall off of California watch list

Supervisor Jim Desmond preached the need to reopen schools and businesses together, saying, "they need to have their kids in school to go back to work, they don’t have time to do the homeschooling ... We want to do it with the social distancing we want to do it with the masks."

Desmond gestured to the crowd saying they were promoting social distancing and mask-wearing at the event. Most of the crowd was wearing masks.

"Right now, there are not enough choices out there, there are some waivers that are working their way through the process but we want to get more schools open sooner rather than later," Desmond added.

RELATED: CDC: After COVID-19 recovery, patients are likely unable to spread virus for 3 months

While the shutdown is devastating, last time San Diego reopened for dining in and retail, three and a half weeks later, the county started to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. Then, gyms, bars, and hotels reopened and another huge spike forced a rollback in reopening measures.

Businesses lost a huge amount of revenue, after installing precautions to meet county standards and buying perishable products.

While it's a risk, business owners like Velasco are hopeful to get back to work.

"If we get the word on Monday, I bring them back on Monday," Velasco said. "With everything they’ve lost, to give them the opportunity again it would be the highlight of the year for me."

But reopening could mean a resurgence in cases.