Riverside County Poised To Move To Red Tier As Supervisor Set To Propose Motion To Accelerate Reopening

CORONA (CBSLA) — Riverside County is poised to move from the state’s purple to red tier on Tuesday, but at least one county supervisor says his district cannot afford to wait to reopen any longer.

Supervisor Jeff Hewitt has told reporters that the state’s unclear boundaries for reopening have put jobs, businesses and homes on the line, which is why he is expected to propose Tuesday that restaurants, wineries, places of worship, indoor offices and indoor malls reopen fully.

And it’s a plan that some county residents agree with.

“I think it’s enough. I think we should open,” Estella Salmeron, a Corona resident, said. “Our economy needs to get back, and I think we are all aware of the disease and we are protecting ourselves and I think it’s time to reopen.”

“Businesses need to reopen and get back to normal,” Felipe Salmeron, a Corona resident, said. “Many places are basically probably at 30-40% of what they used to bring, so they’re hurting.”

Under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s tier system, Riverside County restaurants are in the most restrictive tier — purple. But on Tuesday, the state is expected to announce that Riverside County can move to the red tier, allowing malls and restaurants can result partial indoor operations — a plan other residents would like to see the county stick with.

“We should continue the slowness, it’s only been helping everybody,” Gene Wilson, a Corona resident, said. “I mean, there’s no reason to go full bore when we can take actions now and not have to worry about it later. I mean, it’s ridiculous what they’re trying to do, it’s too soon.”

“The more we cooperate I think the quicker we will be able to get this thing over with,” Roderick Henry, a Corona resident, said. “I think the longer that those of us who are not professionals try to make decisions just based off our feelings and emotions, we’re just going to drag this thing out longer and longer.”

If the motion passes, it could set up a showdown between one of California’s largest counties and Sacramento with some supervisors concerned about losing funding with Newsom recently saying that counties that open in violation of state orders could lose disaster funding.

As of Monday, Riverside County reported 57,419 total coronavirus cases, of which a reported 52,469 had recovered and 1,162 had died. There were 131 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with 47 being treated in intensive care units. A total of 613,711 people had been tested.


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