By: Mario Conde, Reporter
The road map to recovery has been set but it will take a regional effort to make sure this plan works.
The county of Imperial held a press conference along with representatives from all the seven cities to present a coordinated effort to reopen the economy and regain some sense of normalcy.
Over the last weeks, Imperial County and its stakeholders have worked in coordination with the California Department of Public Health, to create a meaningful framework that supports the decision to reopen the local economies.
The Imperial County’s Roadmap to Recovery provides the guidelines for reopening, which will begin a slow and gradual move from stage to stage.
The plan is made through various phases. Stage 1 is making workplaces safe for essential workers, planning, and recovery.
Stage 2 consists of re-opening with modifications. Curbside retail,
including but not limited to bookstores, jewelry stores, home and furniture stores, music stores, florists, shoe stores, and toy stores.
Stage 3 will see the re-opening of a higher risk environment with adaptation and limits on the size of gatherings. Nail salons/barber shops, massage, body art, fitness centers, bars, entertainment venues, educational institutions, youth activities, and senior facilities.
The county said that the threat of COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. There is a high probability that Imperial County will experience continued outbreaks that will force ti revert to earlier stages at some point during the reopening process.
Calexico Mayor Bill Hodge said the key here is to support each other and have a coordinated effort.
“The solution here is coming together and have each of the cities play a role in this roadmap,” Hodge said.
Calexico is the city with the most cases of COVID-19. Hodge said that border crossers and the fact that people still gather at homes is one of the motives of this high number.
El Centro Mayor Efrain Silva said they project the economic impact because of COVID will be of $3 million.
“Restaurants will be at half capacity and that will be an impact, fortunately, we have reserves in our General Fund that will help us navigate through this,” Silva said.
Brawley Mayor Norma Jauregui said that Brawley will be impacted by COVID-19.
“Our sales tax is down and we had to reduce our staff,” Jauregui said, “We won’t have our summer programs but we will see how we can increase our revenues anyway we can.”