Leaders in San Diego's North County push for May 1 reopening

Posted at 11:45 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 15:45:45-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) -- North County leaders are pushing California officials to allow businesses to reopen by May 1.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond held a joint news conference Tuesday with the mayors of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista to call for some businesses to be reopened on May 1 and for recreational activities to be reopened immediately.

Desmond said essential businesses have created the blueprint for how non-essential businesses should reopen. He mentioned businesses like salons, restaurants, large retail as well as golf courses.

"We've figured out how to safely do it with the essential businesses, let's give the non-essential businesses the same opportunity," Desmond said. "You can run a thousand people through a grocery store a day; you think you'd be able to move 50 people through a car dealership."

Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss said, “Right now, you can go to the store and buy fish, but you can't go out on your boat and catch a fish.”

During the news conference, which was held via Zoom, the mayors each spoke on the innovative methods that businesses in their communities are offering to comply with social distancing rules.

There is little that can be done if the state does not approve plans to allow local jurisdictions to exercise control over what opens, but that is what leaders are hoping for.

“We need to crack this door open. We need to start the economy going again,” said County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

San Diego County’s order expires on April 30, so they would need a new order to open certain businesses and activities.

Desmond stressed May 1 could be the date, but it could also be later, and businesses would need time to plan and create new protocols.

The group also recognized that consumer confidence and willingness to take risks in public will also take time.

The leaders said they want the openings to happen under the direction of county health officials.

“We’re asking the state and health care professionals to take a look at the situation [and] come up with a balanced approach. People are suffering; this can’t go on forever. We need to find some kind of path,” said Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara.