California News

Newsom Warns Counties That Are Defying His Lockdown Orders Could Lose Federal Disaster Aid

Sacramento Bee-

The most significant reopening of the California economy during the coronavirus pandemic started Friday with tens of thousands of businesses cleared to open with limitations and the governor expressing optimism residents may soon be able to eat in restaurants and shop in stores.

Nearly two dozen counties want to move further, which the state will allow under strict criteria on the number of cases, deaths and tests, Newsom said. But Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a stern warning to three Northern California counties that have been defying his orders, saying they could lose federal disaster money.

Leaders in Yuba, Sutter and Modoc counties have allowed businesses to reopen that are outside the scope of Newsom’s plan, including dine-in restaurants, hair and nail salons and shopping malls.

“If Yuba County believes there is no emergency, such that it can ignore the Governor’s Executive Orders or the State Public Health Officer’s directives, the county would not be able to demonstrate that it was extraordinarily and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” wrote Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “This could jeopardize its disaster funding.”

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