Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Amador County Public Health: Health Officer COVID-19 Update

Dr. Rita Kerr, Amador County Health Officer 

Amador’s attestation for variance to accelerate in Stage 2 reopening was accepted by the State and posted one week ago. Since then, Public Health continues to monitor COVID-19 activity. Over the past week, two more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Amador County, both of whom were exposed prior to the accelerated reopening. 

The State has posted detailed guidelines for the following sectors, which are open in early Stage 2, on the

  • Agriculture and livestock
  • Auto dealerships
  • Child care
  • Communications infrastructure
  • Construction
  • Delivery services
  • Energy and utilities
  • Food packing
  • Hotels and lodging (for essential workforce, and COVID-19 response only)
  • Life sciences
  • Limited services
  • Logistics and warehousing facilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and logging
  • Outdoor museums
  • Office workspaces
  • Ports
  • Public transit and intercity passenger rail
  • Real estate transactions
  • Retail

 All counties in California are able to utilize the above listed guidance documents to operate more safely in Stage 1 and early Stage 2.

 In addition to the above sectors, for counties such as Amador that may move more quickly through Stage 2, the following guidance resources are available on the  webpage:

 When patronizing businesses, individuals should be able to observe safety measures implemented to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 as detailed in the guidance. If you do not see evidence of these modifications, please speak with the proprietor or manager.

 As of today, May 20, 2020, the following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time:

  • Personal services such as hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
  • Hospitality services, such as bars, wineries, tasting rooms and lounges
  • Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, and arcade venues, and pro sports, indoor museums and gallery spaces, zoos, and libraries
  • Community centers, public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Religious services and cultural ceremonies
  • Nightclubs
  • Concert venues
  • Live audience sports
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism 

On Monday during the noon press conference, the Governor stated that in early June Californians should be able to resume getting haircuts and that pro sports may resume play (without spectators). Currently, these types of services and activities are categorized as early Stage 3 activities. During a teleconference last evening the State engaged all Health Officers in discussion of guidelines to prepare salons for opening.

Amador County Public Health created a “Road to Recovery” webpage that can be found on the Amador COVID-19 webpage that links to all of the above State guidance pages, the business guidance document and checklist the Planning for Reopening Amador Workgroup put together, as well as CDC cleaning/sanitizing guidance and posters. Additionally there is guidance posted for Yard Sales, an activity that the State had not specifically addressed in its guidance.

The local Amador County Stay at Home Order expired last Friday, May 15, 2020. Amador County remains under the State Executive and State Health Officer Orders. Both of those continue to prohibit gatherings and travel outside of one’s own local area for recreation, leisure or tourism. A press release issued last Friday reminded our community that travel, mixing with others outside of one’s own household and lack of physical distancing are factors that are highly likely to lead to an increase in COVID-19 disease transmission.

While maintaining six-foot physical distancing whenever a person is outside of their own household is critical, another layer of protection is added by using a face covering to protect others. All workers who interact with the public are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings, as is the rest of our community.

Looking ahead Amador County Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center are documenting Amador County’s containment plan for the State, detailing our progress and plans for increasing testing, contact tracing, protecting the vulnerable (congregate care facilities, homeless, correctional facilities), acute care surge, workers PPE and safety, special consideration (e.g. seasonal agricultural workers), community engagement, and relationship to surrounding counties (regional approach).

One aspect of this containment plan is making sure individuals who are ill or diagnosed with COVID-19 remain isolated until they are no longer contagious, and that exposed contacts are quarantined for the duration of time that they could develop illness. To date, such persons in Amador County have been voluntarily compliant with these directives. However, in the event that such compliance requires enforcement, Orders will be issued to mandate isolation for ill persons and quarantine for asymptomatic exposed individuals.

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