San Bernardino County asks Newsom’s office for ‘fast-track’ approval to reopen malls, dine-in restaurants

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Aerial view of Ontario International Airport (ONT), San Bernardino County, situated 38 miles East of Los Angeles California, pictured on February 6, 2020. (DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

Aerial view of Ontario International Airport (ONT), San Bernardino County, situated 38 miles East of Los Angeles California, pictured on February 6, 2020. (DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

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San Bernardino County officials announced on Friday that an application was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office asking to quickly reopen malls, retail stores and restaurants.

Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said the application is asking the state for “fast-track” approval to move into “Later Phase 2” opening of malls, dine-in restaurants and retail stores since the county has met the readiness criteria set forth by the state.

Hagman said the county is hopeful to get the green light soon, maybe even before Memorial Day weekend gets into full swing.

“We know our businesses are hurting, and we know business owners are doing everything they can to prepare to open safely,” Hagman said. “We are with you on wanting to reopen as fast as possible, and we’re going to work around the clock until you can.”

Countywide, there have been 3,984 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 164 deaths, the San Bernardino County Health Department reported Thursday.

More than 46,285 people have been tested for the virus.

On Wednesday the county announced short term rental properties, including campgrounds and Airbnb, have been allowed to resume resume business.

In addition to essential services that have remained open through COVID-19, some additional businesses in the county have also been allowed to reopen. Retails stores are now open again for curbside service only, as well as health care and dental services, drive-in movies, golf courses, childcare services, offices, outdoor museums, drive-up religious services, car washes, dog walking, pet grooming, plumbing services and some others.

Drive-up graduation ceremonies are also being allowed. On Thursday the Fontana Unified School District announced some drive-up ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will be taking place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and the Ontario International Airport.

Last week, San Bernardino County officials unveiled the COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program to help small businesses ensure ongoing compliance with COVID-19 safety measures. Through the program, approved businesses can be reimbursed up to $2,500 after receiving a compliance certification.

Hagman said 3,500 businesses have applied for the certification. The first business to get the COVID compliance certification was Imperial Cleaners in Chino Hills.

Businesses can apply at sbcovid19.com through Aug. 31. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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