Expanding coordinated effort among first steps
An Imperial County Executive Office Release
April 28, 2020
El Centro, CA – Today, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors announced an effort is underway to develop a roadmap to recovery, citing a need to restart the economy by opening shuttered businesses when possible but to do so in a safe manner that meets state and federal guidelines.
County Executive Officer Tony Rouhotas during the board’s public meeting reported he’d met with city managers from throughout the Valley on Monday to discuss the recovery plan and sought a board directive to expand the coordinated effort to law enforcement, medical authorities, chambers of commerce, non-profits and schools. The board directed Mr. Rouhotas and county staff to continue their efforts and to include agencies that will be critical to the recovery of the Valley’s economy. “We will be unveiling this, as we can, on how to open businesses,” Mr. Rouhotas said, adding safety of all Imperial Valley residents remains the highest priority. “We will still maintain our ability to maintain the safety of our communities.”
The discussion of a roadmap to recovery comes as many businesses have remained closed since March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The closures have extended to Imperial Valley schools as well as Imperial Valley College and San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus, all of which are providing on-line education, also known as distance learning. For the most part, only essential businesses, like grocery stores and banks, have remained open. Most restaurants are open only for takeout services. Others chose to close all together.
While the health and safety of all Imperial County communities remains the highest priority, county officials said efforts have to move forward to determine how and when recovery will begin, and that dialogue must include those in healthcare to ensure the reopening of businesses takes place in a way that still protects human health and not cause new undue strain to medical facilities. As a first step toward returning to more normal activities in the Valley, the county reopened county parks and recreational facilities on Saturday, but in a measured way to ensure social distancing and other safety precautions remain in effect.
The efforts toward developing a recovery plan also come as Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month outlined plans for statewide recovery that he said would be based on science and data. The governor has also formed the Business Jobs and Recovery Task Force to develop a statewide recovery plan. He also announced this month a regional task force with Oregon and Washington to coordinate recovery efforts for the region.
The public is encouraged to visit the Imperial County Public Health Department website at www.icphd.org for the latest information about COVID-19 in Imperial County. Updates may also be found on the County of Imperial Facebook page and Twitter pages - @ImperialCntyCA.