Business, Press Release|

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Mike North 209-726-2744                                                                    

May 8, 2020   


MERCED—During a special meeting today, the Merced County Board of Supervisors took unanimous action to request that the Governor accelerate the reopening of Merced County’s economy and provide more control for local jurisdictions. 

Specifically, the Board authorized a letter in support of the Health Officer’s attestation stating that Merced County meets California Public Health criteria for a “variance process.” This would allow Merced County to relax restrictions on retail, education services, child care, offices, and limited hospitality services. Furthermore, the letter calls for more local control over the process.

The State recently entered into Stage 2 of its reopening process, which allows for the gradual reopening of curbside retail, manufacturing, and logistics. If the Board’s variance request to accelerate through Stage 2 is granted, it will allow Merced County to open additional factions of the economy as previously mentioned.

In its letter to the Governor, the Board is also requesting that the State Executive Order be amended to allow for movement beyond the State’s Stage 2 guidance, which would provide additional flexibility to operate with appropriate preventative and mitigation measures in place.

“The Board members have heard from their residents, and we empathize with them,” said Chairman Rodrigo Espinoza of the Merced County Board of Supervisors. “Many of them are facing substantial hardships due to the economic shutdown. We can’t disregard the health impacts of an economic shutdown, just like we can’t disregard the health impacts of COVID-19 itself.”

In addition to the Board’s action to accelerate the reopening of the local economy, the Merced County Department of Public Health also issued an amended Health Order today that aligns with the State’s transition into Stage 2 of the process and prepares us for the potential of an accelerated reopening. The Health Order as well as other applicable documents can be accessed at by clicking here. 

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