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San Joaquin County reopening with optimism, hope

At one point there were more than 1,200 cases of COVID-19 in a single day in the county, on June 13 there were only 13 cases.

STOCKTON, Calif — San Joaquin was once one of the hardest-hit counties for COVID-19 in California but the numbers have dramatically changed. After peaking at 1,219 cases in a single day on December 22, the latest numbers released on June 13 show only 13 cases.

"We've accomplished that through vaccinations, but also through masking," said San Joaquin County Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park. "Masking has been a huge tool for us."

There have been 74,559 cases of COVID-19 in total and 1,435 people have lost their lives to COVID in San Joaquin County. 

POMP Salon in Stockton's Lincoln Center has survived openings and closings throughout the pandemic. Last December, there was a highly, publicized raid by uniformed state officers for defying COVID stay-at-home orders.

They were issued three misdemeanor citations but remained open. They have a pending lawsuit against the state.

"We received emails from people all over the world offering support, monetary support and just words of encouragement and it was just really nice," said co-owner Dino Ballin.

For restaurants, it's been a struggle to stay open. Cuate Rivera owns Chilango Chido, an upscale taco shop on Stockton's Miracle Mile.

As a new business, Rivera was ready to serve two months ago, but only recently hired enough workers to open but he can still use more.

"It looks to me it's going to get a little bit better, little by little. We just hoping that somebody comes through the door asking for a job," said Rivera.

WATCH NEXT: California fully reopened on Tuesday, June 15 | Reopening California

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