SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The California Department of Public Health approved San Bernardino County's request on Saturday to reopen dine-in restaurants, retail stores, and malls with safety guidelines since the county has flattened the COVID-19 curve and secured the resources needed to continue keeping the novel coronavirus under control.
“San Bernardino County businesses and residents worked very hard and made tremendous sacrifices to make this moment possible. Your efforts to keep our community safe and healthy have paid off. We can now proceed significantly further toward resuming our normal lives,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman said in a statement.
This approval comes after the state's shutdown orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak that lasted more than two months
“This virus is still very present throughout our county, state, and nation, so we must remain vigilant by physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and washing our hands often. But our goal of minimizing illness and building the capacity to protect the vulnerable, serve the sick, and track the virus in our communities has been achieved,” Hagman said.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our public health and healthcare professionals, who are putting in long hours on the front lines of this battle, and to our County Government team for working around the clock in support of those efforts,” he said.
The California Department of Public Health approved the county’s request to reopen more businesses as part of the governor’s accelerated phase two plan.
Businesses that plan to reopen are required to follow state guidance detailed at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/.
Gyms, hair and nail salons, barbershops, movie theaters, sports and entertainment venues, libraries, bars and wineries, hotels and motels, and public swimming facilities won’t be able to reopen until stages 3 and 4 are announced.
Drive-in and virtual worship services and faith-based counseling services are authorized to proceed, and the governor said additional guidance for religious services will be announced on Monday, May 25.
Recently, Ventura, Riverside, and Orange counties have already begun moving forward with reopening under an accelerated version of stage two as part of the state's four-phase plan to ease restrictions.
According to officials, "The county is helping small businesses operate safely and stay open through the COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program. By agreeing to enforce physical distancing, require customers and employees to wear face coverings, and practice proper hygiene, small businesses can receive up to $2,500 to implement those measures."
Businesses can apply through the county’s COVID-19 website, http://sbcovid19.com.