Coronavirus: Masks no longer required in Inland Empire

Businesses not authorized to reopen by the governor are still ordered to close in Riverside County, but officials signaled a willingness to push back.
INLAND EMPIRE (KABC) -- Officials in San Bernardino and Riverside counties announced Friday that face coverings are no longer required, but still strongly recommended.

According to a news release from San Bernardino County officials, although no longer regulated by a county health order, gatherings and short-term rentals are still prohibited and physical distancing at essential businesses are still required under the state's "stay-at-home" order.

On Friday night, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to rescind county health orders, lifting the requirement for residents to wear masks in the county.

Businesses not authorized to reopen by Gov. Gavin Newsom are still ordered to close in Riverside County, but officials signaled a willingness to push back against the governor.

In Riverside, a crowd of about 75 people gathered in front of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Many brought signs, most of them refusing to wear masks. All of them want the country back to work.

Some small business owners say they don't know how much longer they'll be able to last.

"We're ready to go, our numbers are low, the curve is flattened, the deal has been done, we've done everything we're supposed to do," said business owner Tom DeCarlo.

Inside the meeting, some pushed conspiracy theories. Others just want to go back to work.
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Officials in San Bernardino and Riverside counties announced Friday that face coverings are no longer required, but still strongly recommended.


"We hear this every day from big and small companies that this shutdown that we're imposing on them is killing them," said Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

Hagman says they were all surprised by Gov. Newsom's suggestion that counties need to show no deaths for two weeks before allowed businesses like shopping malls and dine-in restaurants to reopen.
But he believes that statement was targeted at smaller counties.

"His intention is to bring all of the counties together in a very slow process going forward."

In San Bernardino County, they'll soon be offering $2,500 cash to businesses who want to become "Covid-compliant" with things like hand sanitizer, transparent barricades and personal protective equipment.

"With those protocols in place, I think we can open things quicker than what we are doing right now," said Hagman.

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It's unclear when dine-in service at restaurants will resume and when gyms can reopen, but business owners are already making changes even though they don't know what will be required of them.

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