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Gov. responds to calls from rural areas to end stay-at-home orders

It appears that calls from rural counties to be treated differently from the rest of the state of California, will go unanswered at least for the time being. During his briefing today, April 30, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “We are all connected to each other,” and adding later in the news conference, “We are not out of the woods — no parts of the state.”

His declaration comes a day after Congressman Doug LaMalfa spoke with Governor Gavin Newsom along with the rest of the bi-partisan California Congressional delegation. LaMalfa said he asked Newsom to recognize the differences in the regions of the state and said that many areas, including much of Northern California, had already met or surpassed his (the governor’s) previous criteria for beginning to reopen.

In a statement released today, LaMalfa said, “We shouldn’t have to wait for Los Angeles or San Francisco to meet the goals we already have surpassed. If the reverse was true, we certainly wouldn’t see the state waiting on us to reopen major cities.” He added that the governor needed to realize “that if he didn’t move, the counties and local communities would likely open without approval.”

When Gov. Newsom was asked today what would happen if a jurisdiction elected to move forward before the statewide order was lifted, he didn’t answer directly. He did say that in the weeks to come, more decisions would be based on regions of the state and business sectors. He again stressed that his decisions were based on what’s good for the health of Californians, noting that to pull back too quickly would put people’s lives at risk.

The issue of enforcement came up again with regard to his decision to close all Orange County beaches because they were overcrowded last weekend. He said he didn’t want to be heavy handed, but when enforcement doesn’t occur, additional steps must be taken.

Enforcement is an issue that local authorities are grappling with as well. Last weekend brought crowds to the Graeagle and Lake Davis areas. The sheriff has said he doesn’t have the manpower to enforce the statewide stay-at-home order. The governor had signaled earlier this week that he would call upon the California Highway Patrol to become more involved in enforcement, but Lt. Erik Egide, the Quincy CHP area commander said that thus far there have been no directives.

“Our mission has remained unchanged through COVID,” Egide said, and that’s to keep the roadways safe. He added that they want to remain in view, which discourages certain behavior, as well as being a good support system for the sheriff.




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