Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez is pushing an emergency ordinance that would “completely shut down” all retail businesses in the city of Fresno when intensive care bed capacity in the county reaches zero.
“The projections say we are 7 to 10 days out” (from reaching that threshold) said Chavez.
“The projections say we are 7 to 10 days out.”–Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez
Chavez spoke with GV Wire℠ by phone late Monday evening and said after a call with Fresno County’s chief administrative officer earlier in the day, he felt compelled to act. “We would basically treat every business in Fresno just like the restaurants and what they’re having to do right now,” explained Chavez.
The language of the ordinance includes an exception for “medical facilities.”
Chavez told GV Wire℠ he’s heard from management at Community Medical Centers that as many as 750 of their employees are off work either self-quarantining or are COVID-19 positive. (The CMC online dashboard was last updated at 10am Monday and shows 469 workers out).
The ordinance is currently in draft form, but Chavez says it will be ready for an immediate vote by the full City Council should ICU capacity be entirely used up.
The ordinance reads in part, “Upon notice to the City of Fresno by the Fresno County Health Officer that the number of available intensive care beds in the County of Fresno has been exhausted and is at zero all retail businesses throughout the city shall completely shut down and be closed without exception for all in-person sales and services for a period of five consecutive days.”
Violators would be subject to a fine of $1,000 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second offense, and $10,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.
At the end of the emergency shut down, should the ICU bed capacity not improve, the order could be extended for an additional five day period, according to Chavez.
Though the draft ordinance says businesses “shall completely shut down”, Chavez says the ordinance would not preclude businesses from offering curbside pickup.