Coronavirus: San Bernardino County preparing for some businesses to reopen

But not all businesses will reopen, and officials remind the public that the process will be slow and methodical.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY (KABC) -- San Bernardino County officials have signaled they're ready to reopen some businesses later this week, if certain approvals come from Gov. Gavin Newsom, as expected.

But not all businesses will reopen, and officials remind the public that the process will be slow and methodical, with businesses deemed to be low-risk opening first.

"The low-risk businesses are going to be the retail outlets, and probably lodging," explained Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, who added that places like hotels won't be operating the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You're not going to have the breakfast buffet anymore."

Hagman said San Bernardino County officials have set aside funding to help small businesses get back on their feet. These funds will be used to help businesses become "COVID compliant."

Hagman explained that the funds could be used to help businesses purchase plexiglass barriers to help with social distancing and hand sanitizing stations to help slow the spread of the virus.

"We want to use a carrot and not a stick so to speak, to help our residents and businesses to get on their feet as fast as we can."

Hagman outlined possibilities for restaurants as well, although he cautioned that inside service won't be allowed right away.

"I see that coming in either phase 2.5 or early phase 3, which we're hoping to do," said Hagman. "Obviously a lot of them are open for takeout and delivery, but now can we set up some outside tables?"

Hagman outlined ideas that were recently brought up by a local mayor.

"I had a mayor come up to me suggesting half the tables inside (be open) and half in the parking lot. And with the nice weather, we can be six feet apart and we start with that. Those are the types of very pragmatic things that can bring people together."

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has a special meeting planned at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. It is expected the board will reveal specific plans for some businesses to reopen, once guidance is given by Gov. Newsom.

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