Facing potential stay-at-home order, North County community braces for impact

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ENCINITAS, Calif. – There’s a hint of the Christmas spirit brewing in downtown Encinitas. Boutiques and restaurants alike along Coast Highway 101 are lining storefronts with lights and stocking shelves with holiday merchandise.

But with much of the state now facing a potential second stay-at-home order, some are worried it might go to waste.

“I just don’t think we need that type of control,” Cardiff resident Olivia Lasting said Monday, as she was in the area to get her nails done. “I think we’re capable of having an understanding of our health and staying home when we need to.”

She’s far from alone. Some San Diego area businesses say they’re gravely concerned about how another such order would impact them. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the order soon could be imposed for the vast majority of California to keep the health care system from being overrun with COVID-19 patients amid a continuing surge of cases.

In San Diego County, public health officials have reported 11 consecutive days tallying 900 or more new cases, including a record 1,859 cases on Saturday. The previous record of 1,802 cases was confirmed on Friday. Officials also have grown concerned as hospitalizations have tripled in about a month’s time.

Nearly 700 coronavirus patients were hospitalized as of Monday, with 180 of them being treated in intensive care units.

But Malia Bolen, owner of local art gallery and retail store Bliss 101, said another shutdown would be devastating for the company. That’s particularly the case as many businesses are looking to the holiday season to boost their bottom lines after managing pandemic-related guidelines and restrictions for much of the year.

“Not only for businesses, but for consumers who are out trying to get their Christmas shopping done and buy for loved ones,” Bolen said.

Newsom also announced the state will provide some financial relief to businesses impacted by the pandemic. Bolen said she plans to apply for every bit of funding. Bliss 101 has been in Encinitas for more than a decade and they want to remain there, she said.

Temecula resident Craig Pena said he’s not in favor of another stay-at-home order, but that the move would be another measure to get the pandemic under control.

“I don’t think anyone wants to, but it’s what you have to do,” Pena said.

For now, Bolen is calling on fellow residents to shop local whenever possible.

“If this is going to happen, please, please come out sooner than later and support small business,” she said, “because we may not be here.”

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