Friday, August 28, 2020

Frankovich: New State Guidelines Will Go Into Effect Locally Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 5:13 PM

click to enlarge Masked, gloved and good to go at Arcata Pizza and Deli. - PHOTO BY ZACH LATHOURIS
  • Photo by Zach Lathouris
  • Masked, gloved and good to go at Arcata Pizza and Deli.
Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich is still reviewing a new state COVID-19 monitoring system, which places tiered restrictions on individual counties, and hopes to implement the new framework early next week.

In a press release, Frankovich said the new system — which places Humboldt County in Tier 3, or "moderate" risk status — will allow some businesses and services that had been closed under the prior state framework to reopen, but it will also place new, "unanticipated restrictions" on other businesses.

“I think this is good news for Humboldt County, but some of our businesses may look a little different under these regulations,” she said in the release. “Both the county and our local business owners need time to ensure that we all understand what is required in this framework and to make sure that it is a good fit locally.

“The State has obviously had a lot of time to review and modify this guidance and it is critically important that we here in Humboldt have that same opportunity before leaping forward,” she continued. "I expect to align closely with this new framework, but until we actually have the opportunity to review the guidance, Humboldt remains at status quo under the Health Officer’s authority. I expect that we will move forward possibly as early as Monday or Tuesday.”

The state's monitoring system relies on two metrics — average new positive cases confirmed per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period and test positivity rates. According to the state, Humboldt County has been averaging 3.6 new cases per 100,000 residents with a test positivity rate of 1.4 percent, placing it in the moderate risk category.

According to the state's website, the new guidelines would allow Humboldt County restaurants to reopen for dine-in services at 50 percent capacity and bars to open for outdoor service with modifications.

Humboldt County confirmed four new COVID-19 cases today, making making 24 this week and 135 so far this month. Earlier today, Public Health announced it was lowering its own local risk assessment to Level 2, or moderate.

See the county's full press release copied below.


August 28, 2020 - New State Guidance for Businesses to Take Effect Early Next Week
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm Opens in new window
California Governor Newsom today announced an entirely new statewide approach to managing business reopenings during the COVID-19 pandemic, replacing the County Monitoring List with a four-tier system. Changes will take effect locally early next week after the County Health Officer and local businesses have time to understand and adapt to this new framework.

According to the state’s new framework, Humboldt County is in Tier 3 or Moderate status. While this would allow some businesses that were closed by the Governor to reopen with safety modifications in place, other businesses would face additional, unanticipated restrictions. Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said Public Health and the EOC just received these guidance documents today and is reviewing them and what they mean for Humboldt County.

“I think this is good news for Humboldt County, but some of our businesses may look a little different under these regulations,” she said. “Both the county and our local business owners need time to ensure that we all understand what is required in this framework and to make sure that it is a good fit locally.

“The State has obviously had a lot of time to review and modify this guidance and it is critically important that we here in Humboldt have that same opportunity before leaping forward,” Dr. Frankovich said. "I expect to align closely with this new framework, but until we actually have the opportunity to review the guidance, Humboldt remains at status quo under the Health Officer’s authority. I expect that we will move forward possibly as early as Monday or Tuesday.”

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.


Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert

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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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