San Diego County to present plan to reopen Stage 2 businesses faster

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 3:08 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 18:55:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After Gov. Gavin Newsom announced counties would be allowed to reopen businesses faster under new criteria, San Diego leaders will meet Tuesday to discuss how to proceed locally.

Monday, Newsom loosened requirements for counties to reopen businesses at a faster pace than the state. While the state will still need to approve those plans, Newsom said 53 out of 58 counties qualify to reopen faster under the new criteria.

Tuesday, San Diego's leaders said they intend to submit their plan Monday and meet Tuesday to discuss reopening further.

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"We are submitting our plan today ... it is for the accelerated stage two," said Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

Wooten added that she believed San Diego met the new metrics to open more stage two businesses, including shopping in stores and dining at restaurants with social distancing.

"County staff will give us an update on where we are at this stage of our fight against the pandemic and we will additionally be hearing about the governor's latest updates," said County Supervisor Greg Cox. "I don't want to jump ahead of our staff report, but I have to tell you, I'm very optimistic."

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Monday, the county reported 5,946 coronavirus cases and 211 total deaths from the virus.

To reopen stage two businesses sooner, 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.

"If we are clear on these standards, then we believe that in the coming days we can see progress around in-store retail and dine-in restaurants," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "Now for all these entities they need to be prepared to move quickly in the event we get the okay to open."

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The county's safe reopening plan forms are available online here and California's recommended guidance on reopening for businesses can be found here.

Newsom said Monday that California is only a few weeks away from seeing statewide restrictions lifted on shopping in stores, churches and hair salons, and possibly professional sports.