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San Diego County asks Gov. Newsom for more reopening guidance, days after hitting pause

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Posted at 1:12 PM, Jun 23, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to send a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom requesting more reopening guidance, after hitting pause on reopening businesses last week due to community outbreaks.

With Supervisor Nathan Fletcher as the only dissenting vote, the board voted to send a letter requesting state guidance on reopening wedding receptions, hotel meetings and conferences, street fairs, playgrounds, and team competitions.

They heard from dozens of people pleading with them to help save their industries.

"Our industry is struggling to survive. There are people still wanting to celebrate these events which is leading to bootleg events," said one caller who works in the event industry.

Another woman called in to share the challenges of trying to plan a wedding." I've had to push my wedding back twice this year and have lost thousands of dollars due to the uncertainty of when private events will be allowed," said Rachel Lee.

The request doesn't mean the county is reopening more businesses early, but it will allow them to prepare to do so under state guidance once local health officials give approval.

RELATED: San Diego County pauses future reopenings after hitting community outbreak trigger

"Today my motion to push for state guidance to open more businesses and activities was passed by a 4-1 vote. We will send a letter to Gov. Newsom on behalf of the BOS. This requests local control, for our public health officials to control reopening as safe and appropriate," Supervisor Jim Desmond said in a statement.

The request comes after the county paused any reopenings, even if approved by the state, on Friday after reporting eight community outbreaks in a week. Monday, the county reported 10 community outbreaks.

The county's limit is seven in a week. Exceeding that limit allows the county health officer to modify the public health order.

RELATED: How San Diego County officials monitor coronavirus trends

In addition to the temporary suspension of any more businesses reopening, the county said it would begin targeted enforcement of businesses that violate public health orders.

Fletcher issued a statement on Tuesday saying, in part, it's "reckless and irresponsible" to propose the additional reopenings.

"San Diego County has hit the community outbreak 'trigger' for six consecutive days and recent days have generated not only the highest reporting of new COVID cases but also a doubling of the percentage of total tests being positive. Given these facts, it is reckless and irresponsible to propose expedited re-opening of additional in-door close contact group gatherings without any restrictions on the number of attendees," Fletcher said. "This would not only increase the spread of COVID but also threatens our economic recovery. We need to exercise caution, restraint and slow things down, not speed them up."