Mayor Brand announces Fresno's shelter-in-place order extended to May 31

Masks will now be required in public, Mayor Brand says
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno residents will have to wait a little longer for life to get back to normal again.

On Friday, Mayor Lee Brand extended the shelter in place order until May 31st.

And that's not all.

Starting next Thursday you will be required to wear face masks inside Fresno stores.

Brand announced Friday over a Zoom news conference an innovative way to get Fresno back open slowly and safely.

But he started with a three week shelter in place extension and a new guideline for residents.

"This requirement will protect the health of the customers and the employees when you're out in public," he said.

But he made no announcement on which businesses will be able to safely get back to work, only a process they will have to go through to be considered.

"We are developing a certification process that will have trained specialist code enforcement visit businesses each one and help them design suitable and safe social distancing practices to protect their employees and their customers," he said.

Fresno Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer is the co-chair of the business recovery committee.

"It's my hope by the end of next week, May 7th, that we have authorized hundreds of businesses to be operational in the city of Fresno. And that may not have been conveyed today by the mayor's news conference, but I can tell you that's the absolute intent of our committee," Dyer said.

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Brand said golf courses and car dealerships are considered low-risk.

Dyer is planning to recommend other areas like elective surgeries and retail businesses also be a priority.

"We need to do everything we can as a city to maximize the number of businesses that we can open. People expect that of us. People are tired of being sheltered in place," he said.

Based on COVID-19 data from collected from health departments across the state, LA County has averaged 108 deaths per million, California 51 deaths per million, Tulare County 83 per million and Fresno 7 per million.

Local health officials say more testing can help expedite the safe reopening of businesses. The number of tests given is expected to grow exponentially in the coming weeks.

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