Protesters call for reopening the economy in San Luis Obispo County

Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 22:09:46-04

Protesters gathered in downtown San Luis Obispo Monday afternoon, calling for county control to get the local economy reopened by May 1.

With signs, masks, and chants people wanted their voices to be heard as they spoke out against Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to extend the state's stay-at-home order until mid-May.

"We came together to peacefully gather in order to support the county's goal to re-open the county in two weeks and we want Governor Newsom to know that we support our county," said Alison Bowen, protester.

"It's about the governor following the constitution of America and the state of California and the constitution, to my knowledge, drills down to the county level to do things like quarantine," said Scott Andrews, protest organizer.

Protesters called for businesses to re-open and pointed to the fact that San Luis Obispo County hasn't had a major rise in cases and only one death.

People questioned when leaders will start to not only consider the health impacts of the coronavirus but will take into account the damages to the economy by extending stay-at-home orders.

"At what point do we call the entire economy and say we're done in America? At some point, we have to take that first step," Andrews said.

"At some point, we have to weigh the risks with breaking our economy and making it worse on the vulnerable," Bowen said.

San Luis Obispo County officials also addressed plans for reopening the economy during their press conference Monday afternoon, aiming for a May 1 date for Phase 1 reopening.

"We're ready to take the reigns. We're ready for the government to give authority back to SLO County so we can move forward implementing our plan based on science, based on public health, to get people back to work," said Wade Horton, San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer

County officials said they expect to have a plan within the next week on reopening the economy.