NewsCovering Kern County


Newsom unveils rules and provides roadmap for phase two of reopening

Posted at 5:27 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 02:38:40-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Starting tomorrow Kern County and the State of California will start its preliminary stages of reopening the economy but the Governor is reiterating that we are in no means returning to normal.

“Today we would put out guidelines to move into what we call phase two” Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday as he made good on his promise and announced new coronavirus safeguards and protocols. These guidelines are for retail stores and other workplaces eligible for reopening Friday and in the coming weeks ahead, as California attempts to rekindle the states economy. “We’re moving away from essential and non-essential to lower risk.”

According to Newsom and local public health officials, book stores, music stores, toy stores, flower shops, sporting good retailers, clothing stores and others can reopen for curbside pick up on Friday. “We’re encouraging those retailers to install hands free devices that maybe it’s not direct payment at a cashier like we’re used to but a click and swipe type of methodology.” Officials said as part of phase two we will see a lot more hand sanitizer outside of retailers and more employees wearing gloves and a mask when they deliver to your car. Manufactures and supply plants that provide goods to these businesses can also resume operating their factories and business on Friday, but they must have workers further apart, close down indoors break rooms and employees must be supplied with protective gear and sanitization materials.

As part of phase two and under this plan, in-restaurant dining, car washes and some office buildings could be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks, but our county public health department has to show data as proof to the state that our COVID-19 numbers are stabilizing. That includes going 14 straight days with no new deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 people in the next 14 days. For a look at what else has to happen in your community for the county to start reopening these business click here.

While many retailers and business are complying with curbside others said they are reopening up their business entirely regardless, “I’m reopening as soon as they say we are allowed to,” one local flower shop owner told 23ABC News.

Kern County Administrator, Ryan Alsop told 23ABC that even though the county has the power to shut down businesses that are not allowed to fully reopen like restaurants and bars, businesses will not be fined or arrested if they don’t comply. “But we are communicating with business throughout the county, we believe it has worked well, we believe it is something that will work, we will continue to reinforce that the Governor is calling the shots.”

Many businesses have already been doing curbside pick up which means not much will change for many Kern County businesses following the Governor's announcement Thursday.