There were a lot of mixed emotions over the Coronado Mayor’s petition for the state of California to re-evaluate its reopening plan.
More businesses are operating outdoors after San Diego county moved into the Purple Tier.
The Mayor of Coronado is calling on the state of California to re-evaluate its reopening plan. Mayor Richard Bailey said restrictions associated with the purple tier aren’t targeting the root of the problem and are only hurting business owners and their employees.
San Diego County fell into the state’s purple tier this week after a steady increase in cases. It’s the state’s most restrictive tier and prohibits indoor operations for some businesses like; restaurants, gyms, places of worship and museums.
Many business owners have been struggling through the pandemic and some are feeling even more discouraged now.
“It means we're cutting our staff, it means we're not getting as many hours. we follow all the regulations as they’re given to us,” said Marc Esquivel, a server and bartender in Coronado.
Esquivel is in support of Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey’s petition for a “better, more nuanced COVID-19 policy.”
“You have to look at it per case, per county, how people are handling it and where they’re contracting it,” Esquivel said.
“We’re using everything we can to stay open. We’re following protocol, so yeah, it hurts a little,” said Elia Soltero, a manager at Miguel’s Cocina in Coronado. She said she’s worried about business moving outdoors only, again.
“It affects us big time!” Soltero said.
However, not everyone agrees.
Mary Sikes, who has lived in Coronado for 40 years, is opposed to the petition.
“We have been battling this with him for seven months,” Sikes said. “We’re all trying to stay well in this out of control pandemic right now. it’s not the time to fight health advice.”
“As their representative, that’s my job, is to speak up on their behalf, to call for better policy that protects their right to earn a living, keep food on the table for their family and a roof over their head, while also at the same time recognizing that we are in a pandemic. So, we do need to have precautions in place to mitigate the risk and protect those who are vulnerable, and I think we can do that, but the current policy is lacking,” Bailey said.
Which is why he said he decided to launch a petition.
Mayor Bailey says his plan is in line with the county’s adjudication request to the state, filed November 5th, which reads – “San Diego’s increased cases are not due to the sectors impacted by moving into a more restrictive tier.” – signed by public health officer, doctor Wilma Wooten.
“The purpose of this petition is really to help build a coalition of affected business owners and employees to call upon the state of California for a better, more nuanced policy,” explained Bailey.
Bailey pointed at recent data released from the county about COVID-19 exposure settings.
“You're seeing a lot of spread occur actually in workplace settings that are not affected by these latest shutdowns, and so I think putting our attention there as opposed to on the businesses that are not contributing to the spread of COVID, would be a really good start. And I expect you'll see beginning early next week, a message and a call to action that we will be asking the County Supervisors to consider at their Tuesday board meeting,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, more than 4,600 people have signed the petition. Earlier this month, County Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, requested the county remain in the red tier. In the adjudication request she explained the region's increased cases are not due to sectors impacted by moving into the purple tier.