Imperial, California - Today, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom requesting that consideration be made to advance the entire state to the Expanded Stage 2 (also referred to as Stage 2B).  This approval would allow counties the ability to decide if they can reopen businesses, closed due to COVID-19, in a safe manner that fits with the circumstances of their county.

The request was made in consultation with the Imperial County Public Health Department, and considering special circumstances experienced in Imperial County.  Since March, Imperial County has followed all recommendations and best practice guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19; however, due to factors outside of the County’s control, all benchmarks, with the exception of one, in the Governor’s metrics guide to reopening have been met.  Currently, the test positivity rate remains above the required 8% as set by the Governor.

In the letter addressed to Governor Newsom, the Board explains, “Ours is unique in this state, as we are adjacent to two other counties within California that are following the state’s guidelines, and also bordered by another state and another country, with two different sets of guidelines and metrics, and that are in different stages of reopening.”  The counties of Riverside and San Diego have both successfully transitioned into Stage 2B; neighboring Yuma, Arizona and Mexicali, Mexico operate under different guidelines with fewer restrictions than Imperial County.

If consideration is granted, all measures to ensure guidance on how to reopen safely will be followed to reduce the chance of any detrimental effects to the health and safety of the residents and visitors of Imperial County.

Currently, Imperial County is operating in Stage 2A–Lower Risk.