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Businesses and places of worship in Riverside County face uncertainty over possible change in restrictions

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Businesses and places of worship in Riverside County are facing uncertainty with regard to restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

While speaking before the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning, Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser discussed the possibility of the county being moved back to the more restrictive purple tier, rather than the current red tier status, because of the rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county.

MORE: Riverside County case numbers rising and could face return to ‘purple,’ or most restrictive state tier

A move back to the purple tier would be an unwelcome development for businesses and places of worship, after restriction were loosened late last month when the county was moved to the red tier.

This is all happening as county supervisors are considering reopening the economy and bypassing the state's tiered system.

MORE: Riverside County Supervisors revisit proposal to reopen economy, bypassing state’s current tier system

Under a tentative plan introduced by Supervisor Jeff Hewitt on Sept. 22, the county would take a self-directed approach to removing restrictions on the private sector and fully opening by the start of November.

“We're going to be operating in an economy that's going to be crushed. We need to move forward on this and stop putting it off,'' Hewitt said, venting frustration at the governor's and California Department of Public Health's changes to reopening formulas since March.

The county plan would be administered by CEO George Johnson, who would make final determinations on the pace of the phased reopening, depending on whether COVID-19 infections tick up, remain flat or decline.

During the first hearing on Hewitt's proposal, more than 70 people spoke, overwhelmingly in favor of booting the state's tiered system and immediately abolishing public health lockdowns.

Today News Channel 3 will look to speak with valley business owners and religious leaders to get their perspective on trying to move forward during the period of uncertainty.

Catch the full story online later today and tonight on-air on News Channel 3 at 5:00 and 6:00.

California / Coronavirus / Economy / News Headlines / Top Stories

Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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