Board of Supervisors approve accelerated reopen, 'Stage 3' pilot plans

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Posted at 12:30 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 20:23:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to reopen more "Stage 2" businesses, including in-store retail, dine-in restaurants, and swap meets.

The county's plan will need to be approved by the California Department of Public Health.

If the state approves the plan, businesses would be allowed to reopen with restrictions starting Wednesday under county guidelines for reopening (available here), which include policies about physical distancing and curbside pickup.

RELATED: California to allow counties to reopen faster under new criteria

County leaders say the accelerated reopenings are now possible under California's new criteria for reopening amid the coronavirus, which was announced Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The criteria includes:

  • Counties cannot have more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents or no higher than an 8% positive rate among people tested for COVID-19;
  • Hospitalizations cannot see a more than 5% increase over seven days on average or must have fewer than 20 hospitalizations over 14 days;
  • Have the capacity to test 1.5 per every 1,000 residents and at least 15 staff per 100,000 county population trained and available for contact tracing; and
  • Have hospital capacity for a possible surge of 35% of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases in addition to providing usual care for other patients.

The loosened requirements will allow 53 out of 58 counties to reopen businesses at a faster pace than the state's guidance, Newsom added.

Supervisors also approved a pilot reopening plan incorporating some "Stage 3" services starting Friday, including:

  • Research labs,
  • Therapeutic and peer support groups (individual therapy and support groups less than 10 people),
  • Modified youth sports/clubs,
  • Salons (appointment only and at 25% capacity),
  • Fitness facilities (appointment only and at 25% capacity),
  • HOA/apartments/condominium pools (at 25% capacity), and
  • Outdoor religious services

Supervisors Greg Cox, Kristin Gaspar, Dianne Jacob, and Jim Desmond voted in favor of the plan, while Supervisor Nathan Fletcher voted against the pilot program.

"Governor Newsom has said he believes we will be ready to move into 'Stage 3' at the beginning of June. That is less than two weeks away and I believe a wiser course of action is to fully and safely implement 'Stage 2,' monitor any impact of our public health situation, and prepare for successful implementation of 'Stage 3' in the coming weeks," Fletcher wrote in a release.

RELATED: Aerosols, lack of PPE worry some as San Diego's dental offices reopen

Monday, San Diego County reported 5,946 coronavirus cases and 211 total deaths from the virus. The county has reported 108,426 tests.

No date was given on when the county intends to begin full "Stage 3" and "Stage 4" reopenings.

Stage 3 businesses include movie theaters, religious services, sports leagues, tours and sports fishing, arts and culture venues, colleges and universities, and personal services, according to the county.

Stage 4 businesses include stadiums, conferences, bars and clubs, conventions, and theme parks. Stage 4 would also mark the end of the stay-at-home order.