Coronavirus restrictions: Riverside County allows reopening of some pools as other guidelines remain in place

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- On a hot spring day, Riverside's Shamel Park was empty on Thursday afternoon, still temporarily shut down because of coronavirus restrictions.

And pools remained closed in most areas of Riverside County, even though some were now allowed to operate.

"We're getting calls for clarification," Jose Arballo, a spokesman for the county health department, told ABC7.

According to Aballo, the new guidelines apply to pools at apartment complexes and those operated by homeowners associations.

"It allows people who live together to swim together," he said. "We still want social distancing, we want swimmers to stay in their lanes, no group gatherings outside the pool, but at least it gives them an opportunity to return to a regular recreation that people are used to."

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As for businesses, Gov. Gavin Newsom said California is not yet returning to normal.

"It's going to take longer than people think," the governor said at a Thursday briefing, in which he discussed reopening the state in stages.

Some retails stores may be able to open on Friday, with curbside pickup, but restaurants and shopping malls will have to wait. Places like nail salons will open even later.
At Riverside County's weekly Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, dozens of people voiced their frustrations.

"We want our communities back to work," one man said, holding an American flag as he addressed the panel of county supervisors. "We want America back to work."

The board did not vote on Tuesday, but was instead scheduled to meet again Friday afternoon to discuss whether to lift certain health restrictions.

"At this point the board is scheduled for an afternoon session tomorrow to go over some of the same issues regarding county orders regarding face coverings, social distancing, golf courses and short term rentals," Arballo said Thursday. "Those are still in place for now."

Meanwhile, leaders from several evangelical churches are vowing to reopen this month in defiance of stay-at-home orders.

Under Newsom's four-stage reopening plan, churches are categorized under stage 3, along with places such as barber shops, nail salons, gyms and movie theaters.

The churches, including Water of Life Community Church in Fontana, plan to reopen on May 31, the Day of the Pentecost. Church officials say they plan to follow physical distancing guidelines.
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