Coalinga city council declared all of its businesses essential, which allows all of them to re-open and offer their services to the community. Some call it defiance, (of California’s Governor Newsom) while others see the move as looking toward survival for the community which already had many shuttered businesses prior to Covid-19 putting a greater strain on local economy.
Coalinga City Council’s vote was four approving the proposal with Mayor Ron Lander, a local barber whose shop has been closed since March 20, voting against the measure.
When asked, Mayor Lander stated that he intends to continue with his shop closed, meaning that neither he, nor his fellow barber, Luis Mendez, will be cutting hair any time soon.
Local division among residents remains stark and adamant on both sides of the issue: Open Everything versus a slowly paced opening following plans as set forth by Newsom.
Looking at the state and federal requirements to reopen California, the road is truly daunting and could extend for months, if not years. Many residents look into the future with fear and trepidation. If two months without working was tough, what will happen if it goes on for another two months? Or more?
Newsom presented four stages of re-opening California’s economy. Parts are vague and ill-defined. The phases of what is allowed are clear, but criteria is ‘iffy.’
California’s four phases:
Stage 1: Everyone is either staying at home or a member of the essential workforce
Stage 2: Reopening lower risk workplaces, including
- Non-essential manufacturing (toys, furniture, clothing, etc.)
- Childcare facilities
- Retail businesses for curbside pick-up
- Offices where working remotely isn’t possible, but can be modified to make the environment safer for employees
Stage 3: Reopening higher risk workplaces, which require close proximity to other people, including:
- Hair salons
- Nail salons
- Movie theaters
- Sporting events without live audiences
- In-person religious services (churches and weddings)
Stage 4: Ending the stay-at-home order, which would allow for the reopening of:
- Concert venues
- Convention centers
- Sporting events with live audiences
For the past eight weeks, California has been in Phase One: The most restrictive setting. In order to transition to Phase two, each area would have to meet these criteria.
Requirements for Phase 2
- No virus deaths in 14 days
- Only one case per every 10,000 residents over 14 days
- Minimum of 1.5 tests administered per 1,000 residents
- 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents.
Based on this alone, Coalinga does not qualify for Newsom’s Step Two Re-opening Plan. That being said, Here are the plans the City of Coalinga has presented in opening the following businesses.