Riverside County outlines 3-phase plan to gradually reopen businesses after Labor Day

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Riverside County officials are making a push to gradually allow more businesses to reopen starting after Labor Day.

County Executive Officer George Johnson outlined the three-phase plan in an Aug. 12 letter obtained by the Press-Enterprise to state public health officials.

"The intent of this Advocacy Platform is to actively engage with (the California Department of Public Health) on an earnest discussion of the steps that we can take together to achieve positive outcomes and plan for the gradual re-opening of our society and economy in a measured and safe way, one which balances the many aspects of public health needs that we collectively are tasked to address," Johnson wrote in the letter.

Johnson pointed out ways the county has already been actively trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 and educate residents, including distributing 10 million face masks as part of its "Masks are Medicine" campaign.

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Riverside County is ramping up efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 by distributing 10 million face masks to its residents.

The county's plan would allow for dine-in restaurants to resume services, as well as places of worship and non-essential officials. However, the tentative Sept. 8 reopening date still needs approval from state officials.

Those businesses fall under the first phase of the county's plan. The second phase, starting Sept. 22, would authorize wedding receptions, group meetings and indoor shopping malls to resume.

The third phase would give the green light for gyms, movie theaters and bars to reopen starting Oct. 6.

"Having a plan which set target dates and expectations will provide a tangible goal to our residents and create a groundswell toward achieving the realistic metrics within the 30-day timeframe," Johnson added in the letter. "A commitment from the state will provide clarity to our residents that the sacrifices being asked of them will have a connected purpose to both achieve a more stable and sustainable spread of the disease and to reopen portions of our society and economy."
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