Kings Co. lifts shelter-in-place order, but Newsom’s directive still applies

The Kings County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to lift the county’s shelter-in-place order in a unanimous, 5-0 decision.

However, the county is still under a shelter-in-place order from the state of California, which Governor Gavin Newsom currently has in place indefinitely.

The board’s decision to remove the county’s order makes it so the county will be completely free of a shelter-in-place order whenever Newsom lifts the state’s order.

District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle posted a video on Facebook after the vote explaining the board’s decision.

“My colleagues and I today see a way out,” Valle said. “We are taking the appropriate measures to be prepared as the governor outlines a reentry into the workforce. I stress that we must remain vigil with screening, testing and tracing so that we can continue to protect the most vulnerable.”

Newsom announced a four-phase plan on Tuesday with the belief that parts of the shelter-in-place order will be lifted in a few weeks, mostly allowing some non-essential businesses to reopen.

“I need to stress that the Governor’s statewide shelter-in-place directive, that still remains in effect,” Valle. “So when we pulled ours today, the intent is to get that out of the way so we can all focus on the governor’s shelter-in-place directives with our behavior following that, doing the things we’ve been asked to do for the last six weeks so that we could focus on that mission to continue to work our way out of this.”

Ultimately, Kings County residents are still required to abide by the state’s shelter-in-place order.

“It was made clear by our county lawyer that the Kings County Board of Supervisors have zero ability to open up the county and to get ahead of the governor’s shelter-in-place,” Valle said. “The shelter-in-place order provided by the governor is a floor, and we cannot bring guidelines and policy to our county that goes below the floor. We can only go up, which means we can only vote to make things a little bit more stricter.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.