Despite a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the general trends in Riverside County have all been down and a group of local leaders want to reopen businesses now.
During a news conference on Monday, supervisors from Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties demanded that the state do more to help individuals and businesses struggling with the economic effects of COVID-19.
“The local elected leaders of Southern California recognize what the governor seems to fail to understand, and that is we know our communities best, we know best how to help our communities, we know how to keep our communities safe,” said Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner.
In the city of Banning, 29 people out of more than 31,000 residents have died with COVID-19. But the mayor says the economic damage to small businesses is also devastating.
“We have empty storefronts, some to never be reopened again,” said Mayor Daniell Andrade.
In the city of Riverside, Councilman Chuck Condor says services like street and sidewalk repair, tree trimming and parks maintenance, among other things, could see cuts.
Although he hopes to spare public safety, Condor had this message for struggling businesses:
“Go back to work if you need to. Do it by industry standards, be careful, do everything you can. Do what you need to do, there’s safety in numbers. Go back to work, open your businesses,” he said.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt ended the news conference with a message about masks.
“Everybody listen, if you don’t feel this is important, still carry one around and show respect, because we have to start treating each other as though we’re neighbors and not enemies,” he said.
In that county, the Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to potentially reopen businesses much more quickly than the state’s guidance currently allows. They could vote on that plan at their meeting next week.
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