SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to submit a resolution to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for more predictable reopening guidelines.
Specifically, the resolution called for Newsom to make the process counties must follow to reopen businesses more stable; attach the state’s testing metric to a fixed number rather than the median testing number of all 58 counties; and allow communities with historically low rates of infection to reopen.
“The constantly changing criteria for reopening counties have been devastating to our residents and businesses,” Board Chairman Curt Hagman said. “Our county has adhered to all state public health guidelines. We have slowed the spread of COVID-19. We have lowered hospitalization rates, increased capacity and protected skilled nursing facilities. We have implemented extensive testing and tracing programs. And we have made critical investments in support of our local business, non-profits, schools, and disadvantaged communities.
“Now we are asking the governor to offer consistent, stable guidelines and consider a few common-sense accommodations.”
Hagman said that the county, which spans 20,000 square miles, is the nation’s largest county by area and many of its more remote, rural areas have suffered from mandated closures despite having very low rates of COVID-19 infection.
“It really isn’t reasonable for far-flung communities with minimal infection rates to endure the same closures and restrictions imposed on more-populated urban areas,” he said. “This one-size-fits-all solution produces lots of harm and little or no benefit.”
The resolution was adopted after it was revealed the county’s case rate was at 9.6 per 100,000 residents and its positivity rate was 6.4%. While the county’s positivity rate has been within the accepted parameters to move to the red tier, the case rate has failed to fall below the 7.0 per 100,000 residents needed.
Health officials Tuesday reported 122 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and four additional deaths, bringing countywide totals to 56,522 cases and 966 deaths. A reported 53,735 people had recovered.
As of Sunday, 175 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized — 49 of whom were being treated in intensive care units. A total of 654,884 people have been tested.