OC leaders to request meeting with Gov. Newsom for rapid reopening of local economy

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick said Orange County did not meet the Governor's criteria to move through phase two ahead of the state.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The message from dozens of speakers addressing the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday was to reopen the county's economy now.

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick said Orange County did not meet the Governor's criteria to move through phase two ahead of the state.

During a presentation to the board, Dr. Quick said the category the county completely failed to meet was epidemiologic stability. This has to do with the number of COVID-19 related deaths and the rate of new cases in the preceding two weeks.

The OC Healthcare Agency reported 30 deaths and a rate of four new cases per 10,000 people in that time period.

"You can have pretty much essentially zero deaths in the preceding 14 days. We clearly are not there in Orange County, nor are we at the top metric that is no more than one case per 10,000. This is true for the vast majority of large counties certainly in Southern California right now," Dr. Quick said.

The Board of Supervisors decided to take a regional approach alongside surrounding counties.

They'll ask the state for what they call more realistic criteria for urban counties to fast-track past phase two.

"I think a regional approach makes a lot of sense and putting together some realistic numbers and expectations, and percentages that we know our large urban counties can meet," Orange County Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said.

The board sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, asking that he meet with leaders from Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties to "identify strategies for achieving a safe, reasonable, and sustainable reopening of our economy in coordination with the State."

Tuesday, the board also voted to reopen parking lots in county urban parks, excluding beaches.

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