HANFORD, California (KSEE) – Supervisors in Kings County voted Friday to allow all businesses in the county to reopen, regardless of whether or not they are considered essential by the state.

The Board of Supervisors approved the change in a 4-0 vote, with one member absent, effective immediately.

“If you can justify being open, just like Walmart, Target, Costco, Lowes, and Home Depot, feel free to open,” said Supervisor Doug Verboon.

Verboon said he wants to ensure local residents do not lose their jobs and livelihoods – but did add that the state’s guidelines remain in effect.

“I’m not in the governor’s shoes, but I’m in my shoes and I need to take of my citizens.”

All businesses are now permitted to reopen, including bars and gyms. Verboon said conditions such as keeping social distance and regularly washing hands are encouraged. Businesses forcing customers to wear face masks will also be permitted.

“If they don’t come up with a vaccine for two years, you can’t expect people to wait two years,” Verboon said.

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