By Debra Moore
Plumas County and the Greater Sacramento Region have been placed under the state of California’s stay-at-home order with all restrictions scheduled to go into effect by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. The announcement came because the region hit 15 percent ICU capacity — the trigger outlined by the state.
Once a region is under a stay-at-home order, it must remain there for a minimum of three weeks. Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff told the board of supervisors yesterday that the order’s “intention is that it is short and significant enough to not overwhelm hospitals.”
He anticipated that the order would come sometime late this week or early next week, but he received advanced warning this morning that the announcement would come at noon.
What does it mean for Plumas County residents?
The order asks residents to stay at home “as much as possible” and to wear a mask anytime they could come into contact with others. It also prohibits private gatherings of any kind.
Restaurants will be open only for takeout or pickup, while businesses such as hair and nail salons, movie theaters and bars will be closed. Playgrounds, museums and zoos will be closed as well.
Retailers will remain open, but capacity will be limited to 20 percent capacity; standalone grocery stores at 35 percent capacity. Schools that are currently open will be allowed to continue in-person learning. Places of worship will also be allowed to stay open, but only for outdoor services.
What has to close?
- Indoor and outdoor restaurant dining
- Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and other personal care services
- Cardrooms and satellite wagering
- Museums, zoos and aquariums
- Movie theaters
- Bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries
- Indoor recreational facilities
- Family entertainment centers
- Overnight stays at campgrounds
- Food, drink or alcohol sales at outdoor recreational facilities
- Use of hotels and lodging for tourism and leisure is prohibited
What stays open?
- Critical infrastructure sectors
- Retail, although at a reduced capacity and counties can impose tougher rules than the state. The new order lowers capacity of general retail and shopping centers to 20 percent and standalone grocery stores to 35 percent capacity.
- Restaurants for takeout and delivery service
- Entertainment production including professional sports without live audiences, except for Santa Clara County. It has its own order banning contact sports, which has forced the San Francisco 49ers to temporarily relocate to Arizona for December home games.
- Schools that are already open for in-person learning
- Outdoor areas like beaches, parks, and hiking trails
- Outdoor recreational facilities that facilitate “physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise”
- Medical offices, dentist offices
- Child care and prekindergarten
- Outdoor church services
Wearing a mask
Californians are required to wear masks when they are outside their homes and exposed to other people. This means an individual should be wearing a mask when walking down a street where they will cross paths with others, when picking up a to-go food order, when shopping, or when talking to a neighbor outdoors.
The exception is when an individual is clearly alone, such as riding in a car alone or hiking with no other people around. In an instance such as hiking, individuals should still carry a mask in case others are encountered.
How does this stay-at-home order differ from the spring order?
All retail stores will be allowed to remain open, at a reduced capacity, as will outdoor spaces like parks and beaches.
How will the order be enforced?
During the Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday, Andrew Woodruff said that his office continues to field complaints about entities that are not adhering to guidelines. He said that if someone is “flagrantly violating” orders then he works with the Sheriff and District Attorney
Sheriff Todd Johns said that the tries to work with businesses and had visited a Chester location three times to address issues. He said that Environmental Health can become involved as well as state agencies such as the ABC (Alcohol and Beverage Control).
“We are all on the same page,” Disrict Attorney David Hollister said. “Educate and encourage business owners and citizens.” He said his and the Sheriff’s goals are to follow medical advice and to save the economy.
In the past, the Gov. Newsom has said that those entities that don’t enforce the state orders could see the funding earmarked for that county transferred to other entities that are following the rules.
Nancy Selvage, who is the county’s Human Resources director, said that OSHA has implemented new requirements for businesses and those that don’t adhere can face a fine. It’s possible to visit the organization’s website and make an anonymous complaint against a business that would then be investigated.
The state has a travel advisory that’s been in place since mid-November advising those who arrive from out-of-state to self-quarantine for 12 days after arrival, and that also goes for Californians traveling out of state and return home.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus.”
The regional approach
California is grouped in the following regions based on shared ICU capacity and other factors. The San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions are already under stay-at-home orders.
- Rural Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
- Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
- Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
- San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
- Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura