Counties seek local control on COVID restrictions |

Counties seek local control on COVID restrictions

Despite COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations soaring across the state, more jurisdictions across California are looking for ways to circumvent Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus mandates.

According to Supervisor Dan Miller, while there is little Nevada County can do to appeal the state’s purple tier designation, county supervisors are looking for other ways to lobby Sacramento.

While the state Capitol has been stage to many reopen rallies in the last several months, Miller said a protest proposed for next week could include a number of county supervisors from across the state in an attempt to get the governor’s attention.

“There’s a lot of supervisors out there that are angry, because it’s almost like we’ve been pushed out of the picture as far as the decision making process,” Miller said. “Supervisors are elected to represent the people and it’s almost as if we don’t have any representation, so it’s not sitting well with them.”

Southern California cities like West Covina and Pasadena, for example, plan to establish their own guidelines for outdoor dining while the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said it will not expend resources on enforcement. According to Placer County officials, businesses won’t be fined or penalized for defying COVID-19 public health orders.

“This is a big state and I don’t think the state has the manpower to try and induce any type of enforcement unless they want to shutdown 51 counties, and that’s going to be a tall order,” Miller said. “I think it’s becoming more of a quagmire that the state’s getting us into, and without any type of solution.”

Miller said enforcement would be difficult particularly during the holiday season when workers and businesses need money the most.

Placer County and Nevada County officials could not be reached for comment about whether ignoring these guidelines would come with consequences from the state.

While there are no immediate plans for the county to eschew state guidelines, Miller said the threat could be handled locally with more citizen buy-in.

“People need to wear their masks, they need to be conscious of where they are, they need to respect other people and their fears ­­— as easy as that,” he said. “Unfortunately, people seem to be taking a very selfish approach on this.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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