San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman announced what the county is doing in light of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Stage 2 reopening plan.  

Newsom announced that low-risk businesses could reopen on Friday, May 8.

“Retail stores with online ordering and curbside pickup only can reopen,” said Hagman. “Examples of low-risk businesses are clothing, book, jewelry, sporting goods and furnishing stores.”

Hagman said supply and manufacturing chains also could reopen to support retail.

Hagman also announced the county will start to remove certain local health orders so stores can reopen without being in violation.

“Wearing face masks is no longer required but recommended,” said Hagman.

Hagman said the plan is to pull back county-specific guidelines and transition to following state orders only.

Newsom’s Stage 2 plan sets a high bar to begin the reopening of businesses such as malls, offices, schools and restaurants.

One of the benchmarks outlined is the need for a 14-day period without deaths related to COVID-19, something Hagman and the board believe isn’t equitable for the county.

Hagman said the number of cases to population ratio for the county is encouraging.

“We sent a letter to the governor addressing our need for more local control,” said Hagman.

“We want permission to develop our own set of criteria that can be met easier while still being safe.”

Hagman said he believes the criteria for Stage 2 reopenings are not feasible long-term and will need to be adjusted accordingly by the state.

The county approved $30 million in funds for its COVID Compliance Plan.

“We will share health guidelines for businesses who want to reopen,” said Hagman. “Businesses who follow our list of guidelines will receive a $2,500 check.”

The compliance plan began on Thursday, May 14. The application for the plan is on the county website.

During the board’s special meeting on Wednesday, May 13, it was announced that county hospitals were down from 461 COVID-19 patients to 227.