Businesses reopen amid covid19

More businesses to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and retail stores. Robert Ybarra watches as Darrin Harmon sanitizes a table.

The California Department of Public Health approved the county’s request to reopen more businesses, as part of the governor’s accelerated phase two. The county submitted a revised request to move into the next phase on Thursday, May 21 based on the new criteria announced by the state earlier this week.

As part of the state’s accelerated stage two, the following locations can now reopen in Riverside County: destination retail stores, including shopping malls and swap meets; dine-in restaurants; and schools with modifications. Pease note, the local health order prohibiting primary schools for grades K-12 is still in effect until June 19.

“This is a huge success for the county and our local businesses that Riverside County was approved for regional variance by the California Department of Public Health,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “That means that Riverside County is now in the accelerated stage 2.5 in the state’s reopening plan, and we can safely reopen shopping centers and restaurants for dining in, all with modifications. While we are excited to move into stage 2.5, and we look forward to the state allowing more sectors of the economy to open in the coming days and weeks, I emphasize that we can’t let our guard down when it comes to protecting ourselves and our communities from the coronavirus.”

The governor on Monday announced the expansion of the avenues of eligibility for counties to accelerate business reopening in a phased approach. The governor’s announcement follows a letter sent by Riverside County along with other Southern California counties that comprise over a quarter of the state’s population seeking consideration of criteria to make urban counties eligible for regional variances.

“Because of the hard work and sacrifices of the community, we have been able to take positive steps and reduce the impact of the epidemic,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Riverside County supervisor. “The data demonstrates that we are moving in a positive direction and we want to continue that trend. We look forward to reopening our regional economy in a safe and methodical manner.”

Businesses are encouraged to implement guidelines available on the county’s website at www.RivCoBiz.org for modifications and other measures to keep employees, customers and clients safe. Specific statewide guidance for dine-in restaurants and shopping centers is also available on this site.

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