Actions follow Executive Order and call for pause to reopening
EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Imperial County has come up with an action plan in response to California Governor Gavin Newsom's call for the county to put its reopening plans on pause.
The Imperial County Board of Supervisors met with state officials Monday evening to discuss a list of proposed actions that could curb the Valley's prolonged surge in cases.
The proposal includes:
- Increase, repeat, and reinforce the message to stay at home except for essential trips, and to wear a mask whenever out in public
- Strongly encourage businesses to enforce mask requirements
- Close all non-essential business to in-store traffic and allow curbside pickup only
- Further educate restaurants about proper pickup procedures
- Strongly encourage people not to shop in a family group - one person per family per store
- Ban non-essential gatherings of any size
- Encourage churches and places of worship to conduct virtual services
- Encourage businesses to allow employees to work from home as much as possible
- Close all county parks and recreation areas, and encourage cities to close municipal parks as well
- Collaborate and engage with cities and local law enforcement on local health orders
- Enlist community and faith-based group to help create a new outreach plan
- Continue the binational partnership with Mexicali to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in both countries.
The Governor still must sign off on the action plan. While it waits for a response, the county has begun working to better inform the public about their role in reducing infections.
“As the County Board of Supervisors, we are committed to adopting additional measures to diminish the impacts of COVID-19,” said Luis Plancart, Chairman of the Board and District 2 Supervisor . “We ask for all governing bodies in our County to increase engagement within their communities to help us improve the health and safety of its residents.”
Once the proposal gains approval, the Imperial County Public Health Officer, Dr. Stephen Munday, will issue a revised Public Health Order.
The action plan comes on the heels of Gov. Newsom's call for the county to put reopening plans on hold. The governor first made the recommendation Friday. The Board of Supervisors met and decided not to slow down reopening, but rather focus on better educating the public about prevention methods. Then, on Sunday, Newsom ordered bars in 7 counties, including Imperial, to close. On Monday, the governor once again called for multiple counties, including Imperial, to take a step back.
[Related Story: Newsom hits “dimmer switch” on reopening in several counties]
California has seen a 45% increase in positive test results, and a 43% increase in hospitalizations, over the past two weeks. Imperial County currently has a 23% positivity rate, which means nearly a quarter of its 175,000 residents have contracted the virus. That compares to slightly less than 6% statewide.