In an emergency meeting held on June 26, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors met to discuss the recent announcement by Gov. Newsom asking Imperial County to revert back to the Stay-At-Home order since the positivity rates for the county are high and hospitalizations have increased. Imperial County Board Chairman Luis Plancarte said the county was notified of this announcement prior to Newsom’s announcement.
Plancarte mentioned during his press conference that county allowed businesses and religious services to reopen based on the guidelines from the State and have done everything in their power to keep the residents safe.
“We plead with our residents to follow the Stay-At-Home order that is currently in place,” Plancarte said. “We will continue to collaborate and work with the state government over the weekend to assess and identify where resources can be utilized and what additional steps can we make,”
Plancarte asked everyone to avoid large gatherings and wear face masks so they can protect themselves and others.
Beyond Borders Gazette asked if the Governor’s order meant that the County would go back to Stage 1 forcing the businesses that opened during Stage 2 Lower-Risk this month close once again. Plancarte said that at this point there is no decision to make any changes yet. Over the next few days, they will be working with representatives of the Governor’s office and see what the best path going forward will be.
“We have the stay at home order and that has not changed and we will look at where some changes can possibly be made and it will be in conjunction with the governor’s office,” Plancarte said.
Gov. Newsom spoke about Imperial County at the beginning of his press conference advising that the county should go back to the Stay-At-Home order.
“Over 500 people have been transferred out of the local hospitals in the last 15 days,” Newsom said during his press conference, “While our response to help Imperial County has been robust, we are advising them to have the Stay-At-Home order again to reduce the positivity rate.”
The Imperial County Health Department said in a statement on social media that the Stay-At-Home order for the county was issued March 31, 2020, and continues to remain in place for Imperial County residents except for essential needs and services. Those over 65 or with underlying health conditions should continue to stay at home to protect themselves from the virus.
“Imperial County continues to experience high rates of COVID-19 infection in all age groups,” the statement read.
The Imperial Valley Business Recovery Task Force made a statement regarding the Governor’s announcement:
“Today’s recommended action by the Governor is, in many cases, a devastating turn of events for our businesses who have worked hard over the last several months to implement proper safety precautions for a safe working environment. We understand the struggle our businesses continue to face, and we stand ready to assist the local businesses while they navigate this challenging time,” said Katie Luna, Task Force Coordinator.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia said in a press release that it is important to act with urgency and make sure people are safe during this pandemic.
“The situation in Imperial County is alarming, and we need to be doing a lot more to address the sustained surge of COVID-19 cases. Those stakes come at a high human cost. We need to get everyone on board and ramp up our mitigation efforts, medical capacity, as well as overall community awareness of the importance of testing and adhering to personal safety measures. We all must do our part to save lives. Staying home is certainly one of the most effective ways of keeping each other safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Garcia said.
Earlier this month, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Gov. Newsom requesting that consideration be made to advance the entire state to Stage 2B to allow counties the ability to decide if they can reopen businesses, closed due to COVID-19, in a safe manner that fits the with the circumstances of the county.