2020015-bc-oilmeeting (copy)

In this file photo, supervisors get ready to begin at a 2 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to approve a measure that could result in restaurants and retail locations opening their doors to the public by the weekend.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said individual counties will be able to move more quickly through Stage 2 of his four-part reopening plan if they meet certain requirements. During the afternoon portion of Tuesday’s board meeting, the County Administrative Office said the county met the state’s requirements and presented supervisors with a COVID-19 attestation form substantiating their claims.

Supervisors voted to send the form to the state, along with a letter of support signed by Chairwoman Leticia Perez. If the state approves the form — a process county officials say takes one to three days — certain businesses will be allowed to reopen with social distancing modifications.

In addition to destination retail and dine-in restaurants, Stage 2 includes manufacturing, offices, summer school, childcare facilities and additional public spaces. The state has issued guidelines businesses must follow in order to reopen.

Restaurants in particular will be required to provide adequate space for social distancing and follow strict sanitary rules.

“It’s going to be different than you experienced than the last time you were in that (establishment),” Supervisor Mike Maggard said during the meeting. “I just ask the public to be as cooperative and mindful of that as they can be.”

The governor has said the entire state may soon be ready to move into Stage 3, which includes hair salons, gyms and movie theaters. As of Tuesday afternoon, 23 counties had received regional variances from the state, allowing them Stage 2 at an accelerated pace.

The CAO’s Office hoped to send the form to the state Tuesday afternoon, which could allow businesses to open by Memorial Day Weekend.

“I’m happy to see how far along Kern is,” Perez said. “It’s encouraging.”

As early as last week, Kern County didn’t meet state requirements to receive a regional variance. It was only when the state relaxed the criteria by which it judged counties’ readiness to advance through Stage 2 that Kern qualified.

The county, backed by local hospitals and health officials, had lobbied the governor to switch the criteria from measuring deaths and rate of infections to hospitalizations. Apparently, the state listened.

Under the new metrics, the county needed to demonstrate that COVID-19 hospitalizations remained stable and less than 8 percent of tests returned positive over a seven-day period, in addition to other coronavirus containment and readiness measures.

During Tuesday’s meeting, CAO Manager Jason Wiebe reported hospitalizations had decreased by 0.8 percent over the last seven days and 218 tests out of 3,552 had come back positive over the same time period, about 6 percent.

While acknowledging the approaching milestone of being able to allow more businesses to reopen, Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine urged caution.

“Even though we are optimistic we can open up some of these businesses, it’s imperative that we stay strong and don’t lose any ground that we’ve made,” he said during the meeting. “This is a good first nod to the hard work in Kern County and how we’ve all done a good job at making sure we’re safe.”

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

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(16) comments

Jerry Todd

J don't know if you allow links, but this Orange county doctor lays it out nicely in a calm and reasoned way.



Can't wait to hear about the Whiteout at the Golden Corral.


I was in the LA area yesterday and noticed a number of restaurants open for dine-in and most people walking around without masks. Thought they were under strict orders? Hmmm....

Masked 2020

that's funny.........lets not wear a mask.... folks might think the world is experiencing a pandemic.. or we are robbers........and Jesus wouldn't do it....... and if we deny it enough we can cure it with happy talk and it will disappear by Easter.... Holdel's here we come.... yummy....... and God Bless ICE and America and InstaCart...... and Nancy and Joe and the morbid obese leader of the Late Great America....... what nice beautiful weather were having......what if that little special girl knows something


Are you ok? Your comment is incoherent. The staff in your home need to make sure you’re taking your meds as prescribed. You should ask a family member to talk to them.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Veritas- that's become typical of Yorkies lately. It started around the same time they changed their chatroom name to something nobody can read (REAL smart Yorkies)...




I hope surgical masks are not required of the restaurant staff because it gives a message that the restaurant is infected with something contagious. Social distancing is going to kill business since tables are very close to each other, waiters deal with customers at a close range and eating food is supposed to be done in a clean environment. Wearing masks and gloves give an impression of infection.

Boogerface Nutter

I'm sure masks will have to be worn by servers and employees at restaurants. That masks are for YOUR protection.

Perhaps you won't go to any place with employees wearing masks. That will mean you won't go anywhere.

Just go with it, amigo. If things continue to improve, it may all go back to something approaching normal. Normal may mean employees in eateries wearing masks. So bit it.

Perhaps that's part of making America great again.

Independent Voter

How do you feel about this, Dweeb? Do you support The Guv's push and encouragement to fast-track reopening? Do you plan to dine out as soon as local establishments open up?


I support whatever the Governor thinks is best. Unlike our so called President, he uses science to make his decisions, not politics.

No, I will not risk getting sick for a meal out. I get better food delivered by Instacart from Costco.

I definitely feel ALL Supevisors should be front and center in line to done out if they are going to recommend it. Let's see what they and they're wives, kids, parents do. Let's have them put their money where they're mouths are.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Like a lemming to the sea ("I support whatever the Governor thinks is best."), go ahead and keep worshiping (on bended knee) at the altar of your false deity.

The rest of us will live our lives, while you continue to cower in fear under mommy's dining room table.

You truly define snowflake, Dweeb...


I sense a stampede on the horizon! Stand back and everyone prepare to be polite!

Jerry Todd

My esthetician daughter's shop has face shields, gloves and gowns, but still can't open to earn a living. Shannon Grove's SB-806 was dumped by the totalitarian Dems in the Legislature.

I do hope folks know a restaurant can't survive on 25% occupancy. Doesn't even pay the rent.

Time for a few bold moves. Both the "hated" Chick-Fil-A and In n Out Burger have lines over 50 cars each. Others not nearly as busy. Walk in restaurants are in deep.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Waiting for Dweeb and his "is a restaurant meal worth your life?" post...

Independent Voter

It just amazes me, Jerry, that "we the people" tolerate this. So sad.

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