Desert Sun: Some counties could have reopen plans OK’d by Tuesday; Ruiz pushes for tribal health care funding
By: Christopher Damien, Mark Olalde and Nicole Hayden, Palm Springs Desert Sun
Published: 9:06 a.m. PT May 11, 2020
More than two dozen California counties have asked for permission to loosen their stay-at-home plans beyond what the state allows, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday, promising a speedy review as more than 4.5 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in a coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
Newsom relaxed restrictions last week to allow for curbside pickup at most retailers and for manufacturers to resume operations with some limits. But he said counties could go further if they meet strict state standards, including no coronavirus-related deaths and no more than one confirmed case per 10,000 residents in the past two weeks.
Riverside County public health officials on Monday reported 150 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional virus-related deaths. A total of 217 people have died in the county since the pandemic began.
In neighboring San Bernardino County, health officials on Monday reported 51 new coronavirus cases and one additional virus-related death. A total of 115 people have died in that county due to COVID-19 complications.
Newsom said his administration has talked with 19 counties, with nine more planned. Some could have their plans approved by Tuesday. But it’s been difficult for some highly populated counties to meet state standards. Officials in Kern County, where one nursing home has accounted for most of its deaths, have asked Newsom to reconsider those rules.
“We’re open to argument, interested in evidence,” Newsom said during his daily news conference. “There is a lot of really interesting nuance within these large counties and that obviously needs to be taken into account.”