Despite Just Entering Red Tier, Riverside County Residents Urge Officials To Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Despite just entering the red tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors has voted to draft a plan to accelerate reopening after residents urged them to abandon Gov. Newsom’s guidelines and lift all restrictions.

In a board meeting on Tuesday, hundreds of residents said they think the governor’s restrictions are based on fear and want to see all restrictions lifted in the county.

“The last six months have been an all-you-can-stomach buffet of fear,” said resident Loren Dean. “It falls to you — this board — to step away from a governor who is paralyzed by fear.”

Riverside County has been operating under the purple tier of the state’s monitoring system until this week. Under the red tier, retail stores can operate at 50% capacity, while restaurants and places of worship can reopen at 25% capacity. Gyms can resume indoor operations at 10% capacity.

Jim Willowbridge, the commander of the county’s 18 VFW posts, said that the shutdown orders are severely impacting local veterans.

“Due to the COVID-19, our posts have been closed,” Willowbridge said. “We haven’t been able to help our veterans like we’ve been doin since 1899.”

Another resident, Samantha, said she has a daughter with a compromised immune system — yet she and her family do not support the restrictions either.

“But, guess what? We don’t want everything to stay shut down,” she said. “We know how to protect the vulnerable.”

Robert Brown has stage three lung cancer.

“You’re taking the life I have, whether that’s another year and a half or 20 years…you’re taking the life I have away from me,” he said to the board.

The board meets again next month, when it will likely vote on the plan.

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