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Supervisor Jim Desmond wants San Diego County to not follow California tier system

Posted at 8:47 AM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 11:47:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A showdown is brewing between two San Diego County supervisors about the reopening of the local economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video on his Twitter account, Supervisor Jim Desmond said current California metrics make it impossible for the county to full reopen.

During a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Desmond plans to ask the county to not follow the state’s tier system, which determines when more businesses can reopen.

Desmond said on Twitter: “San Diego has been backed into a corner. The State has given us impossible guidelines, which will keep businesses closed or limited for many more months! Tomorrow, I will be asking for businesses to open up in San Diego County and NOT to enforce the state rules.”

In response, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher called Desmond’s proposal “reckless and irresponsible.”

“Jim Desmond has discounted the lives lost, spread mis-information and impeded our ability to safely re-open. I hope my colleagues will join me in rejecting this non-sense,” Fletcher tweeted on Monday.

Under the new state monitoring metrics, San Diego County is currently in Tier 2, also called the Red Tier. Last Tuesday, San Diego's state-calculated unadjusted case rate was 6.9 per 100,000 residents and the testing positivity percentage was 4.2%. If the county reaches a case rate of more than 7 per 100,000 residents or a testing positivity percentage of more than 8% for two consecutive weeks, the county would move back into Tier 1, or the Purple Tier.

Also, during Tuesday’s meeting, supervisors are expected to vote on a stimulus program that would distribute money to small businesses.

Under the program, $2.5 million in funds would be granted to nearly 500,000 businesses. The money is from a relief program Fletcher established in May.

The majority of the money available will be given to businesses in communities experiencing economic challenges and poverty.

Applications are still being accepted on the county's website.