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OROVILLE, Calif. – A protest took place Thursday morning during the Butte County Public Health's weekly coronavirus briefing, with community members demanding businesses be allowed to reopen.
Around 100 people demonstrated both inside and outside of the morning news conference with Butte County Public Health, some choosing to wear masks, but many also choosing not to.
Business owners and community members said they’re frustrated with COVID-19 restrictions, they say they don’t want to live in fear anymore, and that it’s a violation of their constitutional rights.
One by one people went up and told local officials how they felt.
Many people say they want everything to open back up so they can have the freedom to choose what they want to do.
Ashton Southworth and her father, Alan Cartwright attended the gathering and expressed their concerns to city and county leaders. "It's a choice to go out no one forces anyone to go to a restaurant. There's no disagreement in this town that Covid isn't dangerous but everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves and those in the community."
Butte County supervisor, Steve Lambert, says "I'll make some calls, we will keep fighting. I agree this is silly but the reality is this is the reality we live in."
Public Health Director Danette York says with the recent downward trend in cases she is hoping we will be able to move tiers soon.
But she says the community needs to come together to follow mitigation efforts to help us do that.
Health leaders say while they understand people's frustrations, they are following regulations that have been established by the state.
County officials said these are unprecedented times, requiring quick responses to competing health emergencies. Never has there been a time when extreme heat, power shutoffs, wildfires, and evacuations, occurred simultaneously with a global pandemic.