Let's Protect Our Life and Liberty And Reopen Riverside County

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Enough is enough.

It's time to reopen. We simply cannot wait anymore.

Businesses are suffering. People are losing jobs. The longer we wait, the more Americans and our economy will suffer.

Testing is becoming more widely available. Stop taking our liberty and freedom away Gavin. Open us up.

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt said this about opening Riverside County again.

"As a Riverside County Supervisor, I began receiving updates on COVID-19 in late January when, in the heart of my district, we were to receive the first repatriation flight of diplomats from China.

Our amazing team sprung into action. They tested, triaged and cared for all 195 Americans onboard, with safety at the forefront.

It would be a short time later that we would see the beginnings of community spread in Riverside County. This was every elected official’s nightmare. The safety and well-being of my constituents was at risk. We saw early projections that estimated we would have over 100,000 cases in Riverside County by May 30 and the morbidity rates would be sky-high.

At first the numbers were starting to reflect the rate of growth that had been predicted. But as more information came to light, the worst-case scenario projections did not materialize, our hospitals were not overrun and we set up testing sites that began to clarify how bad the impact really was. It was the herculean efforts of the Riverside University Health System, Riverside County Public Health and the Riverside County Emergency Management Department that prepared us for this wave.

As I write this today, it saddens me to say that we have 83 people in intensive care units receiving care for COVID-19. I am heartbroken to report that we have lost 161 souls to this pandemic. Of those who have passed, approximately one-third were living in skilled nursing facilities.

My team and I have been working on new policies to help prepare our skilled nursing facilities in the county so they can include safe visitation rooms for residents to visit with families, and establishing bonus compensation for certified nursing assistants to restrict themselves to the faculties they work at to help protect our most vulnerable community members.

I have confidence that we here at the county have all the resources and skills to cope with the challenge at hand.

Moving forward, it is essential that we open businesses immediately. We find ourselves in a place where public health orders are choosing economic winners and losers. Why is it that large box stores are open for business with lines wrapped around the building while small mom-and-pop stores remain closed? I abhor the injustice of forcing small businesses to close, laying off hundreds of thousands of “non-essential employees.”

Our society is based on mutual respect. We have to respect the rights of those who need to engage in economic activity, and we must respect those who are immunocompromised and at risk of falling ill. Every paycheck is essential, and every life is essential.

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