Opinion

Two More Counties Refusing to Obey Governor Newsom’s Stay-at-Home Order

Written by Nicholas Vetrisek

Yuba and Sutter Counties have both recently announced that they will be reopening. This is in direct defiance of Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order, which he states overrules any county directives. 

Now, there are currently three counties refusing to obey the order, with Yuba and Sutter following the example of Modoc County, which declared last week that it will be reopening because of zero positive coronavirus cases.

“This is a time for personal responsibility in minimizing our movements and physical interactions,” the Yuba County Public Health Office said. “It is up to all of us to show respect for each other’s health and safety by adhering to guidance on facial coverings, social distancing, small group gatherings, and good hand hygiene.”

“We cannot wait for a vaccine without seeing extreme economic damage done to our community,” said Yuba-Sutter County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. “The consequences of waiting will be additional health concerns brought on by stress and the very real dilemma for those with limited resources whether to buy life-saving food or life-saving medicines.”

This is a very sensible move by the counties and more will likely follow. The governor’s stay-at-home order may work for areas like Los Angeles County that are hit heavily by the virus, but for many counties the destruction of their economy will do far more damage than the virus. For instance, there are 14 counties that have less than 10 cases, and four of them have no cases at all. If you look at counties with less than 100 cases, the number jumps to 25—almost half of the counties in California. 

Newsom’s statewide order needs to be ended. It’s causing far more problems than the virus at this point. The issue is that the order is being enforced evenly across the state, despite the fact that the virus has not had an even spread among counties.

Between the three counties that have defied the order, there have been only 50 combined cases. In addition, there are also numerous other counties that should reopen because they haven’t been affected at all by the virus, but their economies certainly have. Counties that should be candidates for immediate reopening include Trinity, Lassen, Sierra, Alpine, and Tehama. These are five counties with a total of two cases. 

Normally, breaking the law should not be encouraged or promoted, but in the case of counties disobeying the state’s order, it’s the right thing to do. Livelihoods are being decimated while authorities are on the hunt for what is in many counties a phantom virus. A virus can’t put 25 percent of the state out of work, but Governor Newsom did.