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Supervisors pen letter to Gov. Newsom, request business reopenings, more local control amid COVID-19

Many restaurants to open on Christmas Day
Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 21:41:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- County Supervisors Wednesday sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom asking him to take a second look at San Diego, potentially allowing shuttered businesses to reopen amid COVID-19.

In the letter, Supervisors Kristin Gaspar, Jim Desmond, and Councilmember Chris Cate of the sixth district said Newsom’s “one-size-fits-all approach to closing entire business sectors is misguided as evidenced by the many sectors in San Diego forced to close their doors again despite not having contributed at all to the rise in our local cases.”

Supervisors also pushed the governor to give more control to local leaders and health officials.

RELATED: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, other local leaders take action to keep restaurants open

“It is time to give local control of this public health emergency to the elected leaders and clinical team closest to the people so that we can begin community specific healing based on local data,” the letter reads.

The letter was sent after San Diego was added to the state’s watch list, forcing some businesses to halt indoor operations.

Following the new rules, Mayor Kevin Faulconer signed an emergency executive order making it easier for restaurants to operate outdoors.

RELATED: San Diego to close some businesses as COVID-19 cases spike

The Poway City Council also voted to provide picnic tables to local restaurants in an effort to help businesses move outside.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Governor Newsom,

Thank you for your leadership during this difficult time. As you know, San Diego County led jurisdictions in the State of California by declaring its public health emergency on February 14, 2020 and initiating a public health order shortly after. Since that time, we have diligently built capacity in our healthcare system, implemented triggers for modifying our public health order, and developed a comprehensive roadmap to guide the safe reopening of San Diego.

The Board of Supervisors, County staff and healthcare leaders continue to carefully monitor the reopening of our economy on the local level. We are proud of our business community for developing robust safety and physical distancing protocols to demonstrate that they are committed to compliance with all State and local health orders. In addition, our residents continue to exhibit a high level of compliance with all public health orders and understand that it is unlikely that we will resume “business as usual” anytime soon. County leaders also continue to closely monitor our local influx of COVID-19 patients from Mexico and Imperial County.

Unfortunately, the recent statewide order for counties appearing on the watch list is particularly discouraging to the San Diego businesses who have been faithfully following all mandated health guidelines. This statewide one-size-fits-all approach to closing entire business sectors is misguided as evidenced by the many sectors in San Diego forced to close their doors again despite not having contributed at all to the rise in our local cases. As such, we are requesting the review of our County’s data to take place as soon as possible, thereby allowing San Diego businesses to re-open if appropriate.

As you know, California is a diverse state with 39.5 million residents across a total area of nearly 164,000 square miles. San Diego is the second largest county in the State of California and the fifth largest in the nation. Our County is home to some of the best clinical minds in the country. It is time to give local control of this public health emergency to the elected leaders and clinical team closest to the people so that we can begin community specific healing based on local data. We are confident that San Diego County is well-positioned to serve as a model in this effort.