Desmond, San Diego businesses join ‘OpenCALNow’ push

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CARLSBAD – San Diego may be safe from dropping into the more-restrictive purple tier for two more weeks but some North County businesses and politicians say it’s not enough. They’re calling for Gov. Gavin Newsom to stay out of San Diego County’s reopening plans altogether.

“Everything we’ve built over the past 38 years is in jeopardy,” Lesly Cohn, owner of the Cohn Restaurant Group which includes the Prado, said.

Cohn joined San Diego Supevisor Jim Desmond and other business leaders at a news conference Tuesday in Carlsbad to announce a petition called OpenCALNow. It calls for the reopening of all local businesses and schools. The group wants the governor to relax restrictions or take a hands-off approach to the county’s reopening plans.

“We got to keep pushing, pushing in every way,” said Desmond, who was also joined by Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner.

San Diego County’s new adjusted case rate is 6.9, according to data the state released for the week that ended Sept. 12. A case rate higher than 7.0 would’ve landed the county in the purple tier, requiring businesses to close or limit indoor capacity more than they already have.

Cohn said even though the county didn’t drop into the purple tier, it’s important to move forward and ease restrictions. She said the governor’s plan isn’t sustainable for businesses like hers.

“Based on the current color-coded system, it will be difficult to reach 50 percent,” she said. “And we are frustrated there is no plan to get beyond 50 percent. He says there is no green plan. He doesn’t have a plan to open full throttle.”

Thousands of people had already signed the petition as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“Hopefully, the governor hears that the people closest to the situation should be the one making the rules and that is the county supervisors,” Cohn said.

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