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'I'm Done With This BS System,' Owner Says as County Faces COVID Backslide
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By Jim Jakobs, Digital Producer
Published 4 years ago on
October 8, 2020

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Fresno County’s top health official is very concerned about the latest COVID-19 numbers he’s seeing. The county could be moved back into the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier for business operations as early as next week if the numbers don’t improve.

Places like movie theaters, houses of worship, and indoor dining could all be impacted as early as Friday of next week.

According to new state data, Fresno County now has a 5.3% test positivity rate (up from 4.8% last week), and 7.2 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 6.3 last week).

“This is killing the American dream we were taught to strive for! If you want to fine me, take my licenses, put me and my employees out of work….COME DO IT! I’m done with this BS system where the goal posts are changing daily.”Lewis Everk, Fresno restaurant owner

To stay in its current “red” tier, Fresno County numbers need to continue to have less than an 8% test positivity rate and reduce new cases per 100,000 residents to less than 7 over the next week.

‘Open Central California Safely’ Group

Lewis Everk, owner of Vyxn Restaurant & Lounge and creator of the Facebook group ‘Open Central California Safely’ shared a long post Thursday morning.

“How can we focus on providing for our families if we’re constantly being threatened by then next shutdown?,” Everk wrote. “This is killing the American dream we were taught to strive for! If you want to fine me, take my licenses, put me and my employees out of work….COME DO IT! I’m done with this BS system where the goal posts are changing daily.”

At the end of September, Everk talked with GV Wire℠ by phone. “We’re not going to support anyone going rogue and just opening up. We want to open and keep public safety on top of everyone’s mind,” Everk said at the time. He also said the new goal of the more than 20,000 members of his group is to make sure the county doesn’t close business again should it go back into the purple tier. He thinks such a move would be too costly and put some people out of business for good.

His Thursday morning post continued with Everk saying, “A heads up to the state agents who are living among us. You should be ashamed if you take action against any of our businesses who are barley keeping it together financially and mentally. We are your neighbors. Have a heart for your community.”

Fresno County Board of Supervisors

portrait of Nathan Magsig

“The county is working with the state and residents to keep businesses open.”Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig

“The county is working with the state and residents to keep businesses open,” Supervisor Nathan Magsig tells GV Wire℠ by text.

Supervisor Buddy Mendes tells GV Wire℠ by phone, “All I can say about that is it’s all speculation.”

If the county is moved back into the purple tier Mendes does not see the county using enforcement to close businesses back down.

“I think the Governor keeps trying to change the numbers just to keep everyone guessing. It’s all based on unregulated social behavior which can’t be controlled,” says Mendes.

Official portrait of Buddy Mendes

“I think the Governor keeps trying to change the numbers just to keep everyone guessing. It’s all based on unregulated social behavior which can’t be controlled.”Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes

Shasta County Fell Back to More Restrictive Tier

In Northern California, Shasta County learned the state is moving them from the orange tier back into red. Now, county officials are scrambling to alert businesses of the tighter restrictions that must be made this week.

“The change has to be made by Friday,” Health and Human Services Agency spokesperson Kerri Schuette tells GV Wire℠ over the phone.

Schuette says a couple of recent outbreaks at a skilled nursing facility and a school have had a dramatic and detrimental impact to the county’s COVID-19 numbers. According to KRCR-TV, 123 cases have been tied to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Students at the Redding school travel from all over the world to study and often live together in homes throughout Shasta County. Health officials have indicated that college-aged adults like those that attend Bethel are behind increased infection rates

Another cluster was traced to Windsor Redding Care Center, where 60 cases have been attributed to the assisted living facility.

“Just two weeks ago our county had 2.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. Now, that number has increased to 12.2 cases per 100,000,” says Schuette.

She says the business community is very frustrated at having to open, then close, then open outdoors, and now potentially close again.

Schuette says, “Our Board of Supervisors meetings have been very lively for the past few months.”

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