The County of San Diego is facing an unprecedented emergency in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary goal of our entire response has been to keep the residents of our region safe and healthy, particularly our most vulnerable. The collective efforts of San Diegans have helped our entire region avoid the catastrophic impacts other places around the world have experienced. As we look toward the future, we know that life will not return to the way it was before until a pharmaceutical intervention exists. In light of this, the County has cautiously eased restrictions on recreation; and instituted additional safety measures such as facial coverings, as more San Diegans begin to leave their homes.
The Governor’s Stay at Home Order covers essential businesses, and he has made it clear that he alone has the authority to lift those business restrictions. We, as a region, need to be prepared for when the Governor takes this action. As members of the Board of Supervisors COVID-19 Subcommittee, working in coordination with the Public Health Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer, we have developed the Reopen San Diego Business Safety Framework (Framework). This is a baseline series of actions that businesses will need to implement to safely reopen non-essential businesses when the time comes. The measures, which are likely to be included in future Public Health Orders lifting business restrictions, reflect input the County has received from the REsponsible COVid-19 Economic Reopening (RECOVER) Advisory Group established by Chairman Greg Cox and Mayor Kevin Faulconer, construction industry associations through Supervisor Gaspar, and North and East County business owners through Supervisors Desmond and Jacob. It is anticipated that this Framework may be further modified as the recommendations from the RECOVER Advisory Group are received. We are asking the Board of Supervisors to approve and to promote the Framework with businesses throughout the county.
We need to encourage all businesses to take steps now, following the Framework, to prepare for the reopening of San Diego when the Governor takes the necessary steps to allow San Diego County to go back to work.
RECOMMENDATION(S) CHAIRMAN GREG COX AND SUPERVISOR NATHAN FLETCHER
1. Adopt the Reopen San Diego Business Safety Framework.
2. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to update the Framework as necessary to correspond with the work done by business groups, including the RECOVER Advisory Group, and/or update Public Health guidance.
There is no fiscal impact associated with these recommendations. There will be no change in net General Fund cost and no additional staff years.
BUSINESS IMPACT STATEMENT
If approved, this recommendation will potentially benefit local businesses in better preparing them to reopen according to safety guidelines once the State’s Stay at Home Order is lifted.