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Public Health rescinds local order. What does this mean for businesses reopening?


In preparation for phase two of Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order by the end of this week, Kern Public Health rescinded its local order on Saturday night.

With that came some confusion about what this means for businesses and reopening.

So County spokesperson Megan Person clarified, “everything is still the same. The stay-at-home order is still in place today, and any nonessential businesses that are operating, do so in violation of the governor’s order. Law enforcement is able to take action against businesses who continue to not comply.”

So what does the lifting of this order do?

“We heard the governor recently said he believes that re-opening at home order is days away, not weeks,” Person said. “We know that we want to be in a position to react quickly.”

This may be helpful since Governor Newsom announced some retail stores could reopen with restrictions by this Friday.

“We want to thank you, Kern County, because you continue to impress us with how you’ve adhered to the governor’s order,” said Public Health’s Michelle Corson.

So far, Public Health has spoken to 2,000 local businesses not complying. Two have gotten police citations.

But Kern County’s most recent grade for social distancing is still a ‘D.’

There is some speculation if there was any political pressure to lift the order.

Person answered, “This isn’t about political pressure. This is about our local businesses wanting to get back to work.”

So if this wasn’t proposed by the Board of Supervisors or local senators, who did make the decision?

It’s unclear if this was a direct order from Public Health Director Matt Constantine, who does not attend most Public Health briefings.

“We work seven days a week—he is busy,” Corson responded. “You will see Matt Constantine at the times he decides to come out.

We still have a lot of questions for Public Health, like why was the order rescinded so suddenly, at such an odd hour on Saturday night? Why is Public Health so limited in the information it provides?

We are still waiting on these answers.

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