SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved Orange County's request for the reopening of businesses as part of the second phase of a plan to ease restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Saturday.
Meanwhile, the county's health officer issued a new order and additional strong recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Effective immediately, in-restaurant dining and shopping centers may be patronized by the public as long as employees and customers adhere to physical distancing and other specified health guidelines.
Other businesses that are allowed to reopen include manufacturing, offices where telework is not possible, and outdoor museums.
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"We understand that many businesses are hurting at this time and greatly want to re-open with as little issues as possible," said Supervisor Don Wagner. "However, the state is requiring training and assessments to be done prior to opening. We ask that businesses work as best as they can to meet these guidelines."
In a statement, officials said the county was able to successfully demonstrate that it meets the state's required criteria as described in the "California Resiliency Roadmap."
Noting that Orange County issued guidelines for businesses to operate three weeks ago, Michelle Steele, chair of the Board of Supervisors, said: "It is our goal to ensure all Orange County businesses have the confidence to open as safely and as soon as possible without concerns about the state order."
The county health officer's new order requires most people to wear face coverings when in public, and also mandates self-isolation for all those with COVID-19, and self-quarantine for all those who have been exposed to the virus.
The cloth face-covering order does not apply to children under the age of 2; anyone who has trouble breathing or is incapacitated; persons with a medical or mental-health condition, or development disability that prevents wearing a face-covering, the Orange County Health Agency said.
"The order includes necessary preventative measures to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help preserve the capacity in our local health care system, which was one of the metrics the California Department of Public Health took into account before approving our plan to move deeper into Stage 2 of re-opening Orange County,'' Dr. Nichole Quick said.