Despite the numerous pandemic-related closures throughout San Diego County, several businesses and organizations remain open. Two in particular have generated a lot of complaints from our viewers - casinos and the DMV.

Outside the Clairemont DMV Tuesday, people distanced themselves in line.
Some wore masks. Workers only allowed a limited number of people inside where chairs have been moved further apart.

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"It was the best experience I've had in 26 years in living here," said James Newcomb.

Newcomb came to get a new license. He said not only was it efficient, but he and others tell us the added precautions made them feel safe.

One woman said, "Yes, everything was clear. [There were] not too many people."

Not everyone agrees. News 8 has received several emails wondering why the DMV is still open. One viewer wrote, “Why was DMV open today? No social distancing in that long line!”


“Why is the DMV a safe environment from the coronavirus?," said another News 8 viewer. "The governor has shut down groups of over 50 people throughout the state, but keeps the DMV open with crowds in excess of 300.”

We reached out to both the governor's office and the DMV. In a statement, the DMV tells us in part,"All DMV offices remain open at this time to process those transactions that must be taken care of in an office, including Real ID."

It goes on to say that law enforcement has been asked to use discretion for the next 60 days in regards to expired licenses and vehicle registration. In other words, people shouldn't be forced to come in right away in an effort to curb crowds.

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Casinos are also receiving criticism. There are ten throughout the county. As of Tuesday afternoon, only three were closed: Harrah’s, Pechanga, and Pauma. The others have remained open, but with extra safety precautions like restaurant closures and sanitizing stations in place.

"Washing the chips an extra time just isn't good enough. It gets down to greed," said one viewer in an email.

"The issue with having these properties open to the public will attract anyone who is just looking for an open place because every other business will be closed," said another viewer.

Because casinos are on sovereign tribal land, the county can't order them to close, though they are required to adhere to the 50-person per room limit.

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