Statewide, Regional Organizations Urge Counties to Back Governor’s Reopening Plan

The California Chamber of Commerce joined other statewide, regional and local organizations this week in urging county public health directors/officers and county supervisors to unite behind the state’s June 15 reopening date.

In a June 8 letter, the coalition notes that June 15 marks a turning point in the battle against COVID-19.

The letter was signed by the CalChamber and 36 other business groups, including a number of chambers of commerce.

“Now, 15 months since California shut down,” the coalition tells the county officials, “we are asking you to unite behind Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to fully reopen the state, eliminate the tier system and create a booming economy so millions of families can return to work and school.”

In leading up to its request to back the reopening plan, the coalition comments, “Finally, normal life is on the horizon. The extraordinary public health emergency brought on by the novel coronavirus has receded. California now has one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in the nation and more than half of all Californians have received at least one vaccine dose. While the crisis is ending, we all know the virus has not disappeared and we are entering a new phase in the effort to stop this disease.”

The coalition acknowledges the efforts of the county health officers to keep communities safe by implementing ample COVID-19 testing and a speedy vaccination rollout, as well as being willing to work with the state and businesses to combat the virus.

“We look forward to our continued partnership ensuring that employees, customers and all Californians continue to remain safe, especially as the state and local governments relinquish their emergency powers and focus on how to manage this virus over the long-term.

“Whether it is supporting employees and customers who choose to continue to wear their masks, maintaining many of the cleaning measures we implemented last year, continuing additional delivery and outdoor options, or providing access to boosters for the vaccine, we are ready to implement this next phase as safely as possible. Our united vigilance will be critical as we move beyond the state’s June 15 reopening,” the coalition writes.

The closing of major vaccination sites creates a new challenge, the coalition points out, noting that neighborhood pharmacies “will play a critical role in maintaining the efficacy of the vaccine.”

The letter concludes: “It’s time to rally behind Governor Newsom’s reopening plan and move California forward.”