Local emergency order lifted, county official gives further insight as restaurant owners weigh in

Posted at 12:07 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 10:07:53-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It’s been 24-hours since the Kern County Public Health Department announced the cancellation of the emergency order that went into effect on April 2. On Sunday, a county official gave insight on what this change means and local restaurants weighed in.

The emergency order set for Kern County residents has been lifted and was implemented on Saturday at 6:30 pm.

Sergio Aguilar is the owner of Fresco Mexican Grill and has been in business here, for the past 13 years.

Like many other restaurants in the area, he has now been offering take out and drive-thru services only.

He says the announcement by Public Health could be a positive sign if done correctly.

"I have mixed emotions because I am very happy for those who have been greatly affected by this and who are completely shut down, but I am also cautious," said Aguilar. "I spoke with my brother, my business partner, and we plan to adhere to whatever the governor says."

Aguilar shares, thankfully, he has not laid off any staff members during this time. On the other hand, he has lost a great deal of business.

"It's a good sign that we are moving forward and I like it but I am cautious," Aguilar said. "We are going to continue to do the same thing as we have been doing moving forward and practice safe social distancing."

On Sunday, Kern County's Chief Administrative Officer, Ryan J. Alsop, when asked if this decision meant if the county is back open via Twitter, he replied with the following.

“Negative. The entire state of California, no matter where you live, is under a stay-at-home order issued by Governor Newsom, along with limitations he’s issued on which businesses are allowed to operate.”

Public Health also included its reasoning to cancel the order.

The department's decision was based on the governor's remarks made on Friday, during his daily COVID-19 briefing.

The governor stated that he was close to making adjustments to the statewide order.

Aguilar says he is remaining hopeful during the pandemic and wants all business owners to stay encouraged.

He also has this message to Kern County officials who are planning to discuss the reopening of the county.

"What I would like to do as a business owner, is maybe open up 25 percent and see how that goes. [During this time we] make sure the businesses are practicing safety and distancing," Aguilar said. "Then [open up to] 50 percent. We have to open up and give this a try because the remedy for this pandemic can’t be worse than the pandemic itself. "

More information is expected to be released on Monday and the Board of Supervisors are scheduled to discuss the matter on Tuesday.