California county threatens Gov. Newsom with lawsuit over coronavirus lockdown measures

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County officials in a Northern California county are threatening to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom if he doesn't ease his requirements to begin letting municipalities lift lockdown measures amid the coronavirus crisis that has fractured the global economy.

Leaders in Placer County, northeast of Sacramento, said they made their intentions clear in a notice to the governor this week demanding he let them set their own timeline for reopening their local economy.

“If we don’t see any action, we may be calling a special meeting to seek a legal injunction,” Placer County Board Chairman Kirk Uhler said. “I hear stories every day of family businesses that will never come back."


On Thursday, Newsom set the criteria for how counties can lift coronavirus restrictions, which requires meeting a set of benchmarks.

Some include that counties must have no more than one COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents, no deaths for two weeks and 600 daily tests, Politico reported.

Placer County recently opened two new testing sites, but the highest number of results it received in the past two weeks is 199. Uhler called the requirements “completely arbitrary, completely excessive," according to The Sacramento Bee.

“We have a grand total of 10 people in the hospital. We’re not beyond our control, we’re completely within our control,” he told the newspaper.


Newsom's stay-at-home order has forced businesses to close and has kept millions of Californians deemed nonessential from reporting to worksites.

Some businesses have chosen to defy the mandates. Sutter and Yuba counties have allowed restaurants, shopping malls, salons and gyms to reopen while limiting the number of people inside in an effort to maintain social distancing measures.

Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.