Fresno City Hall image via wikipedia user Nightryder84

published on April 29, 2020 - 9:53 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno City Councilmember Nelson Esparza is calling for an extension of the city’s shelter-in-place order through at least May 31.

The current order expires May 6. Previous extensions of the order have been signed by Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan.

Esparza is citing county health data as evidence that Fresno has “yet to flatten the curve.”

As of Tuesday at 4:15 p.m., Fresno County has reported a total of 521 positive cases, with seven deaths and 189 recovered.

“If you follow the number of confirmed cases in Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley at large, it’s very clear that we’re at a point where we can’t even confirm that we have hit the peak number of infections or casualties yet,” Esparza said in a statement. “It’s a very dangerous proposition to be discussing a reopening in may when we don’t even know if we’re on the other side of this thing yet.”

Esparza said he supports meeting the six metrics that Gov. Gavin Newsom has established for a gradual reopening. He said the County of Fresno has been clear that the area has not yet met any of the metrics.

“For those folks who are insisting on a firm timeline, they need to understand that there is no established date when it comes to this deadly virus,” he said.

Esparza’s announcement Wednesday morning comes as fellow council members have gone to varying lengths to call for a reopening of non-essential businesses.

On Monday, Councilmember Michael Karbassi asked the city to be ready to reopen businesses with enhanced safety protocol as early as May 7.

On Tuesday, Councilmember Garry Bredefeld hinted he could take personal legal action against the city for the continued shutdown of non-essential businesses.

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