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Imperial County to Expand Committee to Reopen Economy

By: Mario Conde, Reporter

The closure of non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people and their way of living but now there is light at the end of the tunnel and the possibility of a strong comeback.

At the Imperial County Board of Supervisors meeting held on April 28, the board spoke about a draft guideline to reopen the economy. The direction was given to County CEO Tony Rohoutas to include people from the medical sector, chambers of commerce, cities, education, and faith-based groups to be part of the committee.

The announcement came as the owner of 4:13 Fitness, Terry “Duece” Robertson II, went before the board and gave a presentation about how his gym would abide by social distancing guidelines.

“We can apply social distancing guidelines for our clients since we have the infrastructure in place,” Robertson said.

Several non-essential businesses closed last month as California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered everyone to stay at home to combat COVID-19.

The county announced that in coordination with the Public Health Department, it is currently reviewing Federal and State guidance as it relates to easing COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions and reopening the local economy. At the local level, county officials including the CEO, public health officials, and the Board of Supervisors have begun discussions on how to make these decisions.

County CEO Tony Rohoutas said that the county must continue to reinforce measures that have already been put in place to keep the residents of the county safe and healthy, the phased approach would possibly start with lower risk environments that are easier to apply social and physical distancing measures.

Kathleen Lang, Brawley Chamber of Commerce President, said she looks forward to the opportunity to work with the county as they build the road map to recovery.

“We recognize the importance of following CDC and California Department of Public Health guidelines to establish and ensure the safety of our community and our local businesses,” Lang said in a statement to Beyond Borders Gazette. “We want the business community back in action as soon as possible. However, it is equally important to recognize the value of a safe, phased-in approach. The road to economic recovery may be longer than anticipated, but, we will overcome the challenges ahead. Over these past seven weeks, we have seen the strength of our businesses lie in their ability to quickly adapt as the guidelines changed daily. We appreciate their dedication to their employees, their customers, and the community. Let’s get back to business!”

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