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County ‘Phase 1’ re-opening cannot begin on Friday, May 8, county says 

san luis obispo and paso robles covid-19 coronavirus updateCounty officials say they continue to ‘advocate for local control, await more details from State’

–Following the state’s recent announcement that California can soon move to an “early Stage 2” of reopening, County of San Luis Obispo officials said Tuesday that this move would not authorize the county to implement its START Guide to phased reopening.

The county says it cannot implement this framework until three things happen:

1 the state lifts or modifies its Shelter at Home order,
2 the state allows for local control, and
3 the county issues another executive order moving to Phase 1.

Local officials say the state has not afforded local control, even with its announcement for “regional variation” to reopening on Friday.

“It’s unclear whether the state will give us the latitude to move forward in our own measured way with the approach outlined in our START Guide,” said County Public Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein. “This is very disappointing because our community is ready to move forward. We continue to advocate and plan for local control and will revise our START Guide, as promised.”

It’s unclear if SLO County will be allowed to do anything beyond allowing retail businesses to open only with curbside pickup and delivery (no in-store shopping) on Friday, county officials say. In the meantime, county officials say they are developing a new parallel executive order even as officials work to understand the state’s approach to reopening and advocate for local control.

“We had hoped we could enter our START Guide’s Phase 1 to allow for more openings, namely faith-based services, salons, and parts of our gyms, but we can’t do that yet,” Borenstein said. “We will continue to reconcile our Executive Order with the state’s proposed plan and actions as more details become available.”

The START Guide released last week represents the county’s desired approach for reopening, but the state’s plan and actions supersede local desires.

“We appreciate the state’s efforts to move toward reopening, but we would like authorization to move forward with our approach as outlined in the START Guide,” said County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director Wade Horton.

The County Health Department has been going live on their Facebook page between 3 and 3:15 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to provide updates on the shutdowns and latest data.

Newsom will provide an update Today, Wednesday, May 6, on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The update will be streamed at the @CAgovernor Twitter page and California Governor Facebook page.

 

Related: Update from the City of Paso Robles: Clarifications of START Guide and State ‘Phase 2’

 



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.