SACRAMENTO (AP) — A rural California county allowed nonessential businesses to reopen and diners to eat in restaurants on Friday, becoming the first to defy Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide orders barring such moves during the coronavirus pandemic.
Modoc County is “moving forward with our reopening plan,” Modoc County Deputy Director of Emergency Services Heather Hadwick said in an email to The Associated Press.
She said the county of about 9,000 in the state’s far northeast corner next to Oregon has had no COVID-19 cases.
Hadwick said the county had not heard back from the governor about its reopening plan, but asserted it aligns with Newsom’s indicators for reopening.
“We are utilizing his guidance of those plans and we have zero cases,” she wrote. “Our residents were moving forward with or without us. We really needed to create guidelines for them so that they could do this in the safest way possible.”
At the Country Hearth Restaurant and Bakery in the small town of Cedarville, three customers came in for breakfast, owner Janet Irene said.
Irene said her regular customers had been very cooperative with orders that had allowed her to only serve takeout since late March.
She said she remained concerned that the county did not have the governor’s stamp of approval.