Two More CA Counties Defy Democrat Gov's Order, Vow to Re-Open
Three California countries now re-opening in defiance of Gov. Gavin Newsom
Two more California counties have vowed to re-open in defiance of Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order.
The neighboring counties of Yuba and Sutter in Northern California have decided to re-open with social distancing measures, despite the governor’s lockdown measures still being in place.
Gov. Newsom has said his order takes precedence over any county directives.
The pair of counties appears to have followed in the steps of Modoc County, which announced earlier this week that it would begin to re-open businesses.
Modoc says it will lift the measures by modifying the state's order, such as opening dine-in restaurants with half-capacity seating.
“This is a time for personal responsibility in minimizing our movements and physical interactions,” the Yuba County public health office said in a statement.
“It is up to all of us to show respect for each other’s health and safety by adhering to guidance on facial coverings, social distancing, small group gatherings, and good hand hygiene,” the statement added.
In a statement on Friday, Yuba-Sutter County health officer Dr. Phuong Luu said that waiting to re-open would exacerbate economic and health problems, unrelated to coronavirus, in the two communities.
“We cannot wait for a vaccine without seeing extreme economic damage done to our community,” said Dr. Luu.
“The consequences of waiting will be additional health concerns brought on by stress and the very real dilemma for those with limited resources whether to buy life-saving food or life-saving medicines.”
According to The Daily Wire, the order, which will take effect on Monday, categorizes businesses based on a risk threshold instead of calling them “essential” or “non-essential.”
The public health office says these new designations will allow businesses that have both “low-medium risk for contact intensity” and “low-medium risk for number of contacts,” including restaurants, gyms, and barbershops, to open as long as they adopt appropriate public health measures.
“The new local order places a lot of responsibility on the citizens and business owners of Yuba and Sutter counties to make good decisions,” said Dr. Luu.
“Please don’t take the change of rules in the new order as a signal we are out of the woods and to act irresponsibly.”
The two counties have a combined population of about 175,000 people, and as of Friday, they reported a total of 50 coronavirus cases, 36 recoveries, and 3 deaths.
Politico reports that Gov. Newsom has so far declined to comment about whether he would enforce the state’s public health measures on counties that adopt looser guidelines.
In a press conference on Thursday — during which the governor appeared to stand down from an anticipated declaration that would close every beach and state park in California — Newsom declined to affirmatively answer a question about Modoc County planning to re-open ahead of the statewide timeline.
"The stay-at-home order overlays all the orders in the state," Newsom said.
"You can go further, and be more prescriptive and restrictive, but when you loosen up and you loosen beyond the California [orders], then it’s in conflict, and there it becomes a challenge."