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Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop pushing for local control for reopening
covid reopen

The cities of— Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, Tracy, Escalon, and Lodi — along with San Joaquin County are making a united push for Governor Gavin Newsom to allow local jurisdictions to make decisions about how and when to reopen their economies.

Stockton, the city by far hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, is not part of the group.

Meeting today during online sessions are the Ripon City Council in a special 4 p.m. meeting, the Lathrop City Council in a special 5 p.m. meeting, and the Manteca City Council for their regular 7 p.m. meeting to consider the joint petition to allow "individuals, businesses, and schools to resume activities in a manner that does not menace public health," under the direction and with the approval of public health officials.

Butte and El Dorado counties were among the first of have their "local variance attestation" approved, in turn, paving the way for the return of in-person dining and shopping only with precautions such as masks and reduced capacity under Newsom's Phase 2 of the stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the joint resolution, Sam Joaquin County, has met all of the same criteria as that of Butte and El Dorado, and is hoping to re-open its economy. The county has also exceeded the testing capacity prerequisite set by the State of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents and has exceeded the State criteria for providing more than 35 percent hospital surge capacity with plans to protect the hospital workforce with Personal Protective Equipment.

The resolution points out that the participating cities immediately followed the directives issued by San Joaquin County when they were imposed, and that the county has successfully “flattened the curve” which has remained flat since April 25 – the term used for successfully lowering the number of infections so as to not overwhelm health care systems and hospitals.

The resolution also claims that many local businesses “have exhausted all of their reserves and are on the brink of failing” – something that the city is hoping a reopened economy will prevent from taking root.

While some businesses have been able to open their doors in a reduced capacity, the majority of businesses fall under the third phase that was introduced by the governor.

While some California cities have gone out on their own and defied the state’s orders, Lathrop – despite having the majority of its businesses in a category that as of last week had an unknown reopening date – continued to follow the directives issued by both San Joaquin County and the State of California, which is outlined in the resolution that the city’s elected officials will discuss and consider.

Last week the Lathrop council approved two emergency relief funds – one of which is being funded by development funds from River Islands intended to help spur economic development, and the other from funds received by the Department of Housing and Urban Development – that they hope will help struggling businesses and homeowners who have taken a drastic hit since the COVID-19 restrictions went into place. Both funds will be available until all of the funds are exhausted.

The Lathrop City Council is scheduled to begin discussing the matter during a special meeting at 5 p.m. which will be broadcast online. To participate in the meeting or to observe the proceedings, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at and follow the instructions to register.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.