Amid surging COVID-19 cases, conservative O.C. leaders at odds with state’s pandemic rollbacks

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A COVID-19 testing site staff member uses a tool to collect paperwork from a motorcyclist at a drive-up testing site at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, on Nov. 17, 2020. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

A COVID-19 testing site staff member uses a tool to collect paperwork from a motorcyclist at a drive-up testing site at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, on Nov. 17, 2020. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

In a sign of the continued political polarization surrounding COVID-19, officials in Orange County are expressing frustration following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to move the region into the most restrictive reopening tier amid a dangerous new surge in coronavirus infections statewide.

Conservative county leaders have long been at odds with the Democratic governor over the restrictions imposed on businesses, public spaces and activities, but it now appears that clash will stretch into the holiday season as California enters what could be its most challenging chapter of the pandemic.

The state has rolled back reopenings in much of California as cases have climbed. Some areas are considering even more local restrictions — including hard-hit Los Angeles County, where officials imposed new restrictions Tuesday and warned of a curfew and new stay-at-home order if conditions continue to deteriorate — while others, including Bay Area counties like San Francisco, have voluntarily added restrictions that go beyond the state requirements as a protective measure.

But Orange County leaders on Tuesday argued the state has gone too far.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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