City assistance available as County begins Phase 2 reopening
The City of Redlands is working to assist local businesses as the County of San Bernardino begins implementing Phase 2 reopening of business under the State guidelines announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors late Thursday, May 7, announced some businesses can start to re-open Friday.
The City of Redlands Economic Development Office is available to assist local businesses in navigating State and County requirements and ensuring that they meet public health guidelines for Phase 2 and, later, Phase 3, reopening. The City provides a listing of COVID-19 resources for small businesses on the City’s website at www.cityofredlands.org/pod/covid-19-financial-technical-assistance-business-resources. Additional employment resources for businesses and workers are available at www.cityofredlands.org/post/employment-resources-job-shop.
Businesses may contact City of Redlands Economic Development Manager Cruz Esparza at (909) 335-4755, ext. 1, or by email at email@example.com.
“During this crisis, City staff and elected officials have been working with State and County representatives to get to a point of reopening our local businesses in as safe a manner possible,” said Redlands Mayor Paul Foster. “As we move into Phase 2, our City staff are prepared to provide assistance to those businesses who are reopening as well as businesses still under lockdown orders.”
Phase 1 has been essential businesses, which were never required to be closed. Under the initial portion of Phase 2, “lower risk” workplaces, including but not limited to bookstores, jewelry stores, clothing and shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores, and florists can begin reopening while implementing public health guidelines. Reopening efforts should be phased in, starting first with curbside pickup until further notice.
Supply chains supporting the Phase 2 businesses can also open under this early stage, specifically in the manufacturing and logistics sectors. All businesses will need to modify operations to reduce contact, ensure proper distancing, and ensure proper PPE and sanitation equipment for all employees, preferably with outdoor breakrooms and physically distant seating. When businesses eventually open their doors to patrons, a workplace should restrict entry to 25 percent capacity and slowly advance from there as health indicators are evaluated.
“This is a key step in reopening our economy responsibly and safely,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “By beginning with mostly curbside operations for early Phase 2 businesses, we are giving business owners an opportunity to begin the process of ramping up their operations and ramping up our economy while ensuring the safety of their employees and patrons.”
In the second stage of Phase 2, workplaces in additional sectors will open. Timing for this will be evaluated and announced as early as next week, and could include:
- Destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets
- Offices, with physical distancing (although telework is still being encouraged)
- Seated dining at restaurants, but with physical distancing
- Personal services (not requiring close proximity with patrons), such as car washes and pet grooming.
- Schools and childcare facilities
- Outdoor museums and open gallery spaces
Under State and County guidelines, the ability to continue opening workplaces in Phase 2, and eventually higher risk Phase 3 businesses, will rely on several criteria. First, businesses must demonstrate their adherence to safety and social distancing guidelines. Second, county residents should also continue to practice accepted safety guidelines, such as the use of face coverings, six-foot distancing, and frequent hand washing.
Third, and most importantly, is the county must continue to demonstrate a flattening curve. Combined COVID positive and suspected cases must continue to go down (COVID positive cases in San Bernardino County has been relatively flat for the past month). Hospitalizations and ICU utilization have been well below projections. The use of ventilators has remained stable, and County hospitals still have significant capacity to accommodate a surge.
High-risk individuals, and anyone who is sick, should continue to follow strict safe-at-home guidelines until further notice.
Additional information and updates are available on the County’s COVID-19 web page at http://sbcovid19.com/ or at the City of Redlands COVID-19 page at https://www.cityofredlands.org/coronavirus-covid-19.