Desert Sun: Supervisors say Riverside County is ready to lift coronavirus orders, move toward reopening

By: , Palm Springs Desert Sun

Published: 1:36 p.m. PT May 4, 2020

Local officials from throughout Riverside County took to their corners on Monday ahead of what is sure to be a contentious fight over the future of the county-wide orders in place to contain coronavirus at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The question over whether Riverside County should continue issuing its own public health orders on the directive of Public Health Officer Cameron Kaiser or defer to statewide guidelines has jumbled traditional alliances and voided norms. It’s pit Democrats and Republicans against their fellow party-members and led to a rare instance in which city, state and federal officials have opined directly about an item under deliberation by county officials.

Supervisors V. Manuel Perez and Karen Spiegel, a Democrat and Republican, introduced the motion to rescind Kaiser’s orders only one day after he extended them until June 19. Kaiser has not commented on the idea.

But other officials haven’t parsed their words. Here’s a survey of where they stand.

In favor of rescinding Kaiser’s orders

Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce

In a letter to the supervisors, chamber president and CEO Joshua Bonner stressed the need to reopen the local economy and lift restrictions.

“We believe our economy will suffer severe, irreversible damage if the current shutdown stretches into the summer months,” Bonner wrote in the letter. “Retail, food and beverage, hospitality, and more have already suffered major losses due to the shutdown. For now, our businesses look to re-open soon, and a return to some semblance of normalcy and economic activity that has been deferred to the Fall.”