Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Frankovich Modifies Shelter-in-Place Order to Allow Additional Businesses to Reopen Upon Safety Plan Approval

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 5:14 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting. - COURTESY OF DHHS
  • Courtesy of DHHS
  • Humboldt County Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal talk COVID-19 at last night's virtual town hall meeting.
Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich issued an Order of the Health Officer to modify the shelter-in-place to allow additional businesses to reopen once their safety plans are approved.

The order is part of "Stage Two" of the county's reopening plan to allow businesses with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission to resume operations.

“I want to open businesses as fast as safely possible, so Public Health will follow the data very closely to determine the next steps forward for our county,” Frankovich said in the press release. “We need to be thoughtful and consider all aspects of our community’s health, including economic and mental health as we plan for further reopenings.”

According to the release, childcare and office work including those for non-essential employees are now approved to reopen once they have a certified Business Reopening Plan. 

Most regulations from the last order are still in effect, meaning public and private gatherings of any size with members outside of your household aren't allowed. However, activities like volleyball, golf and tennis are allowed if they're played in singles and not in teams.

Francovich's order also outlines the factors that will determine how quickly Humboldt County will move through stage two of the reopening process. Those factors include:
  • The trend in number of new cases and the time it takes for cases to double.
  • Capacity of hospitals and the health care system to safely care for patients, including during a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
  • An adequate supply of personal protective equipment for healthcare providers and personnel, including skilled nursing facilities and other congregate care settings
  • Testing capacity to identify new cases and their contacts in a timely manner
  • Ability to initiate and conduct case investigations for an increasing number of new cases and their contacts, including the issuance of appropriate isolation and quarantine orders.

Read the full press release below:

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich today issued an Order of the Health Officer to modify the Shelter-in-Place Order and allow additional businesses to reopen once their safety plan is approved.

Stage Two of the state’s four-stage reopening plan permits businesses that are associated with lower risk of COVID-19 transmission to resume operations. This Order incorporates those statewide changes into the county’s reopening process.

The Order also defines the factors that will determine how quickly Humboldt County moves through the Stage Two reopening process. Those factors include:

  • Trend in number of new cases and the time it takes for cases to double
  • Capacity of hospitals and the health care system to safely care for patients, including during a surge in new COVID-19 cases
  • Adequate supply of personal protective equipment for health care providers and personnel, including skilled nursing facilities and other congregate care settings
  • Testing capacity to identify new cases and their contacts in a timely manner
  • Ability to initiate and conduct case investigations for an increasing number of new cases and their contacts, including issuance of appropriate isolation and quarantine orders.

“I want to open businesses as fast as safely possible, so Public Health will follow the data very closely to determine the next steps forward for our county,” Dr. Frankovich said. “We need to be thoughtful and consider all aspects of our community’s health, including economic and mental health as we plan for further reopenings.”

Child care and office work for all workers, not just essential, are now approved under this Order once they have a certified Business Reopening Plan. Activities such as golf, tennis and volleyball are also allowed if played as singles not teams. Funeral gatherings of no more than 10 people may resume. However, remote and virtual services are still strongly recommended.

Most regulations from previous Orders are unchanged. Public and private gatherings of any size, with members outside of a person’s own household, continue to be prohibited. Residents must continue to limit activity outside of their residence except to seek or provide essential or low-risk services as defined by this Order. Those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick should stay in their residences except to seek medical care or access essential services. Read the full Order here: humboldtgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/86403/Shelter-in-Place—-Revised-Effective-May-19-until-Rescinded

“It is still critically important that we avoid gathering with people outside of their household and limit our movement only to essential activities as much as possible. It takes all of us working together to slow the transmission of this virus,” Dr. Frankovich said.

All businesses, even those previously deemed essential and currently operating, must file a Business Reopening Plan with the county as outlined in the Order. Businesses may submit Reopening Plans for review and approval here: humboldtgov.org/2756/Business-Compliance

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000

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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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