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  • Riverside County supervisor wants to defy Sacramento, reopen businesses faster

    By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise

    Saying families are suffering, a Riverside County supervisor wants to reject the state’s coronavirus reopening framework in favor of a county-controlled plan that would allow businesses to reopen faster and with no restrictions like capacity limits.
    Jeff Hewitt’s proposal is on the Board of Supervisors’ Tuesday, Sept. 22, agenda. If passed, it would set up a showdown between one of California’s largest counties and Sacramento over when and how to ease mandates imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
    Representatives from the governor’s office and state Department of Public Health did not immediately respond Friday afternoon to requests for comment.
    Like the rest of California, Riverside County is subject to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a four-tier, color-coded system that lifts COVID-19 restrictions based on case levels and positive test rates for the virus.

    Currently, the county is in the purple, or most restrictive, tier. But as early as Tuesday, improving metrics could move the county into the red tier, which would allow shopping malls, restaurants, and other businesses to resume indoor operations with limits on how many people can be inside.
    Before the four-tier system took shape, Riverside County, in a letter to state officials, proposed a phased reopening of businesses starting after Labor Day. Supervisors have openly expressed frustration with Sacramento’s changing COVID-19 rules, which they see as stifling the county’s earnest efforts to revive a pandemic-battered economy.
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