LaMalfa rails against Newsom’s unfairness to rural counties

Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new criteria for counties to reopen under Phase 2 of his plan.

The new criteria are as follows: No more than one case per 10,000 people in the last 14 day; no COVID-19 deaths in the last 14 days; minimum daily testing of 1.5 people per 1,000 residents; at least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents; and the ability to temporarily house at least 15 percent of county residents experiencing homelessness.

“The governor needs to make himself more aware of the people of rural Northern California’s success,” LaMalfa said. “For weeks, we have had lower infection rates than the rest of the state and have surpassed the governor’s previous guidelines. In fact, our area has the lowest number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the entire country.

“If, for example, our state testing centers have only 140 people per day testing capacity, there is no way that any county will be able to meet the governor’s new per capita standards for reopening. Continuing to effectively tighten the requirements is unfair for rural areas that have stayed healthy and done their due diligence to reduce risk, but are still suffering the consequences of governor Newsom’s arbitrary guidelines.

“Resetting goals just out of reach will result in angering a constituency that has worked hard and, by all reasonable standards, have met the real-world goals needed to be successful for curtailing this virus and opening our area again.”