Kings County Approved by State for Expanded Stage 2

Update 3:20 5/21/20

According to the Fresno Bee, “The California Department of Public Health approved Fresno County’s declaration that it meets the necessary criteria to accelerate the reopening of dine-in restaurants.”

Tulare along with San Joaquin Counties are the only two Central Valley Counties not open.

After initially failing to qualify for the expanded Stage 2, Kings County is now open effective immediately.

“Early measures taken in Kings County to deal with COVID-19 have been effective enough to allow the County to progress through the expanded Stage 2 reopening,” said Edward Hill, Director of Public Health.

Kings County now joins Kern, Mariposa, Madera, and Merced in opening most of their economy. Fresno and Tulare County either have not filed the updated attestation, or cannot meet the state’s criteria, meaning those counties cannot open retail or legally open restaurants for dine-in eating.

On May 18 Governor Newsom announced that if a county did not meet the criteria outlined in the prior attestation form, the county could complete the revised COVID-19 County Variance Form in order to move more quickly through Stage 2.

“As we continue to move through this process, we recognized a need to make changes to the criteria that counties must meet to move through Stage 2,” according to the state’s website.

Kings County submitted the required documentation and the California Department of Public Health approved it May 20.

In a letter from Hill  and Dr. Milton Teske partially stated:

“Kings County Officials have announced that businesses listed in the expanded Stage 2 of the California Resilience Roadmap for State Reopening will be allowed to open immediately. This is a result of the County’s variance attestation being approved today by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).”

The letter further stated, “Aside from the businesses that were already reopened as part of early stage 2, approval of Kings’ County variance attestation means that the following businesses can now be open as well:

  • Destination retail (retail stores), including shopping malls and swap meets.
  • Dine-in restaurants (other amenities, like bars or gaming areas, are not permitted in Stage 2).
  • Schools with modifications.”

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