Last Friday, it was discussed at the last “Roadmap to Recovery” Advisory Committee Meeting I attend each week that the County’s health officials were going to reach out to the State of California to appeal the inevitable move to the most restrictive, purple tier as part of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. It was a strategy to delay, or best-case-scenario, avoid, what many in the business community have been dreading.
The strategy did not work. The State quickly rejected the appeal. So here we are facing the music once again. Those hardest hit are likely to be many restaurants that do not have outdoor seating options, bars that do not serve food, movie theaters, card rooms, fitness centers and a few others. For guidance on what the purple tier means for your industry, please CLICK HERE.
The frustration and fear and anger come from people’s livelihoods on the line. Those that have called us with deep concern over the past week do not understand why all are being punished when the source of the community spread has been traced to two primary sources: the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry students and a couple senior care facilities. In fact, this is the message that was delivered during the appeal process to the State last weekend, to try to make the case that to shutdown additional business types is not logical. County officials basically said that there is no data to support that spread is occuring in restaurants and other restricted business types to warrant their closure. Earlier this week it was reported that the cases connected to the school and to the care facilities were dropping. Here is a link to that ARTICLE.
The Shasta County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting this morning to discuss whether or not it is possible to opt out of the State’s restrictive tier system. To watch the meeting, please CLICK HERE.
Our perspective is that we want all businesses back open as quickly and as safely as possible. We must never choose livelihood over human life. We must continue to do what we can, each one of us, as Chamber member businesses, to get back to a less restrictive tier. That said, we recognize that for those who are most damaged by the restrictions imposed by the purple tier, it is killing their businesses, OUR businesses. I do not know if there is a perfect solution. This is a mess.
The glimmer of hope in all this is that the COVID cases in Shasta County are beginning to go down, and, if the trend continues as it did in Butte County following the transition of Chico State to only distance learning, we may be transitioning back to a less restrictive tier in a matter of weeks. The issue is that each time a business is forced to close it becomes more at-risk of closing permanently and we recognize that. Color it anyway you wish, the talk of the purple tier has many seeing red.