Some restaurants, like Casa de Pico in La Mesa, have closed while others continue to prepare take-out meals. Photo by Chris Stone

County supervisors Tuesday unanimously voted to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The framework offers guidelines on employee and customer safety, sanitation, physical distancing, and general business practices and communications.

According to a Board of Supervisors letter, business owners should prepare for when Gov. Gavin Newsom “takes the necessary steps to allow San Diego County to go back to work.”

Framework recommendations were based on input from the Responsible Covid-19 Economic Reopening Advisory Group, which includes county supervisors, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, small business owners and construction industry associations.

Faulconer said the group is bipartisan, bi-national and features a diverse makeup. He also thanked business groups and organizations “who jumped in with both feet” to offer input.

“We are not out of the woods yet, but what we are doing in San Diego is working,” the mayor added.

Board Chairman Greg Cox said it has not been easy for businesses to adapt, but the framework allows them to reopen smoothly and safely.

As part of the framework plan, the county will send a letter to Newsom proposed by Supervisor Dianne Jacob requesting “total local control” on COVID-19 decisions.

During the meeting, more than a few residents expressed their frustrations with Newsom’s orders shuttering non-essential businesses, along with the county’s rule requiring residents to wear masks.

Others told board members they have taken all the necessary steps to ensure their businesses are safe for customers.

After the vote, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said it’s important to “start the difficult work of rebuilding our economy, but it is vital that it be done right.”

Supervisor Jim Desmond said the county should consider an ombudsman to help answer questions about the business guidelines.

Tuesday’s meeting was the fourth held via teleconference since the pandemic began, with supervisors voting remotely.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.