Bay Area nonessential businesses not to reopen despite state order

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Despite California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Monday announcement that the state is moving into stage two of reopening, businesses in the Bay Area will not be allowed to follow the looser state guidelines.

According to a press release from the city of Berkeley, the Bay Area’s health order is still in effect, preventing nonessential businesses such as florists and bookstores from reopening for curbside pickup as Newsom’s order allows.

“We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste,” the press release states. “It is critical to maintain our gains.”

When state ordinances and local ordinances contradict each other, the more restrictive order ⁠— in this case, the city of Berkeley’s ⁠— takes precedence, according to the press release. Bay Area health officials are studying how communities are faring in relation to COVID-19 and what the potential effects of reopening could be.

The press release adds that the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and that future outbreaks are expected, especially for vulnerable people.

“We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness or death, or overwhelm our health care delivery systems,” the press release states.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.