San Bernardino County supervisors are eager for restaurants and churches to resume operations after weeks of coronavirus-related closures but are waiting to see how county data pairs with new state guidelines. At their meeting yesterday, they discussed the risks associated with reopening ahead of the state. Supervisors agreed to hear more from county staff before expanding the second of the state’s four-phase plan to reopen businesses. Supervisors will meet in a special meeting at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, May 21) to further discuss the matter.
“Our small businesses have sat and waited,” Supervisor Robert Lovingood said. “They’ve waited patiently as long as they can. They cannot suffer this economic suppression any longer.”
Lovingood and Supervisor Dawn Rowe, who represents our Morongo Basin, supported moving forward with the county’s recovery plan, which assesses risk and offers guidelines for reopening safely. Because that item was not on the agenda, the board agreed to tomorrow’s special meeting. Supervisor Hagman expressed concern over the risk to businesses if the county allows them to reopen earlier than allowed by the state. Supervisor Janice Rutherford cautioned Lovingood against defying the state and jeopardizing county taxpayers.
County officials continue to review Newsom’s latest loosening of the statewide stay-at-home order, which could see retail stores, churches, barbers and hair salons, restaurants and even professional sports—without live audiences—return in a few weeks.