Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Humboldt to Implement New Statewide COVID-19 Closures by Friday

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 3:20 PM

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New statewide restrictions ordered by Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state will go into effect locally by Friday, according to county’s joint information center.

All bars without permits to serve food will be closed while restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms will only be able to operate outdoors with safety measures in place.

In a news release following Newsom’s announcement, County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff William Honsal had said they were waiting for more information before taking steps to comply.

Today, Frankovich noted that individual counties cannot take their own course on certain aspects of the statewide order, even if, like Humboldt County, the area is doing relatively well in terms of case counts and hospitalizations. Some parts of the state are under greater restrictions.

More than 30 California counties are seeing “concerning” increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions, she said in the release.

“We have talked since the beginning about the possibility for pauses or steps back to manage the pandemic,” Frankovich said. “I know this is challenging. At this time we need to use all of our prevention strategies so that we can reopen as soon and as safely as possible.”

She stated earlier this month that Humboldt County’s recent spike in cases was largely driven by "residents gathering and visiting between households both locally and while traveling, as well as by illness occurring in the cannabis industry workforce."

Read the full county release below: 
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order to close bars and transition six industry sectors to outdoor-only operations to limit spread of COVID-19. Local implementation has begun and will take full effect Friday.

The state is requiring all bars that do not have a permit to serve food to close, and these businesses should cease operations no later than Friday.

Businesses in the following affected sectors should offer only outdoor services with safety precautions in place:
Restaurants
Wineries and Tasting Rooms
Movie Theaters
Family Entertainment Centers
Zoos and Museums
Cardrooms.

Outdoor dining, carry out, curbside pickup and delivery are still allowed with physical distancing and other safety precautions in place.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said she is hopeful that these actions will help the state avoid a move into stricter shelter-in-place measures.

“We have talked since the beginning about the possibility for pauses or steps back to manage the pandemic,” she said. “I know this is challenging. At this time we need to use all of our prevention strategies so that we can reopen as soon and as safely as possible.”

Dr. Frankovich noted that this statewide action does not permit counties to take independent action on reopenings even though our county is “doing well” in terms of case counts and hospitalizations right now.

“The governor is implementing this order to address the concerning increase in cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions across more than 30 counties, which represent 80 percent of our state’s population,” she said.

Those businesses that already received certification to reopen from the Emergency Operations Center will not need to resubmit a Business Reopening Plan to offer outdoor services or to reopen once the state again allows these sectors to operate. Humboldt County is not currently on the state’s County Monitoring List and will not be required by the state at this time to fully close additional sectors.

To read the California Department of Public Health’s news release about the state’s actions, go to cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-158.aspx. To read the full Statewide Public Health Officer Order, visit cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/SHO%20Order%20Dimming%20Entire%20State%207-13-2020.pdf.

To read the Governor’s Executive Order granting the authority to issue health orders, go to gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.4.20-EO-N-60-20-text.pdf. 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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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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