Get a handle on the virus before opening the SLO County

OPINION by RICKI LANSING

My elderly parents live in San Luis Obispo County where they are considering opening the county now. I have some concerns about SLO County reopening.

I understand through the news media that SLO County is considering opening. While I understand the need to do so for the economy, I have major concerns. How will the county enforce people coming from Southern California, where the virus is still out of control? If our beaches, restaurants, stores, bars, and other non-essential services open, we could see an increase from these infected areas and thus bring more COVID-19 here.

Also, people from the Valley coming here to camp on the beach and use our resources will impact the safety of our residents. Look at our grocery stores, while they ask for masks to be worn, walk through Vons in Arroyo Grande and you will see it is not enforced, just a sign asking you to wear them.

I sure hope we open slowly and make contingency plans for not allowing non-residents from other counties to use our resources. Look at our golf courses, many people from outside the county come to use them. In fact, Monarch Dunes now checks ID and does not let non-residents use the course over the weekends.

On another note, I would hope the state/county would thoroughly review all types of businesses before allowing them to open.

In our area, there are many antique stores and secondhand stores. Many of these stores are like Petri dishes with so much stuff in them, it looks like a hoarding home. The isles are narrow, and the cubby holes for each dealer are even smaller. People come into these stores and touch everything. In some cases, you can smell the mold/mildew in these stores from all the old stuff. Many of the people who come into these types of stores are either tourists or older people who are high risk from the danger from COVID-19.

These stores should not be opened in the first or even the second round of openings. Let us make sure that we have a handle on the virus and enough testing both for COVID and Anti body testing before we open these Petri Dishes.

I would hate to have SLO County become the states next hot spot for the virus, because of our greed and lack of enforcement.

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