Plumas County Public Health addresses COVID reopening plan
By Debra Moore
UPDATED Aug. 31 2:30 p.m. When Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced this new reopening plan for California on Aug. 28; Plumas News ran the story below. Today, the Plumas County Public Health Agency released the following information:
“The data that determines which tier a county falls in is based on two leading health metrics: number of cases per 100,000 residents and percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive. A county cannot move from a more restrictive tier to a less restrictive tier until the county has been on that tier for at least 21 days, even if the case number and positivity rates decrease.
“Since Plumas County is on the orange tier, we cannot move to yellow until we have been on orange for a minimum of 21 days and we must meet the yellow tier criteria for two consecutive weeks. Plumas County can move to a more restrictive tier; such as red, if Plumas County is unable to meet the criteria for the orange tier for two consecutive weeks then Plumas County will be placed on the red tier and business will have to modify their operations to the restriction of the red tier. The data is updated every Tuesday, starting next week.
“Plumas County has worked hard to slow the spread of COVID-19 and safely re-open many businesses. It took everyone doing their part. At this critical time, an increase in cases or an increase in our positivity rate will move Plumas County into a more restrictive tier, which will affect our local businesses and activities. We can protect ourselves and our community by wearing face covering while in public places or while interacting with others not in your household, frequent hand washing and physical distancing. This will keep us on a positive path forward. This will help Plumas County.
“If you have any questions please contact the Plumas County COVID-19 informational phone line 530- 283-6400 or send an e-mail to [email protected] or visit our website at www.plumascounty.us.”
Original story: Goodbye county data monitoring list and hello Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new approach during his noon briefing Aug. 28. It uses a color-coded tier process for reopening California businesses amid the coronovirus pandemic that goes into effect Aug. 31.
Every county is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. Counties are placed into four color-coded tiers — purple, red, orange and yellow — based on the prevalence of coronavirus in their communities. Purple (Tier 1) is the most restrictive, while yellow (Tier 4) is the least restrictive. There are only three counties in the latter category: Alpine, Modoc and Tuolomne.
Plumas County is in Tier 3 according to Lori Beatley, information officer for the local Public Health Agency. Beatley said that the health agency received the new information the same time that the public did, and would be issuing guidelines Monday for Plumas County businesses.
When asked why Plumas County landed in Tier 3 when there hadn’t been a positive case reported since Aug. 19, Beatley said she wasn’t sure, but would be checking the state’s criteria and methodology.
According to the information provided for Tier 3, restaurants in Plumas would be able to reopen for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity; gyms would be 25 percent. Places of worship could be open at 50 percent capacity. Hair salons could be open with modifications. More information about specific sectors can be obtained by going to covid.ca.gov and clicking on the links and there is also a chart included at the bottom of this page.
At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary. The three-week timeframe is being implemented so that counties don’t open sectors prematurely.
The governor said the change was due to the information that has been learned over the past several months and the importance of a more gradual reopening process.
The public can help their county be assigned to a lower tier by:
- Wearing a mask in public.
- Washing hands regularly.
- Keeping at least six feet of physical distance when in public.
- Limit mixing with people you don’t live with.
Following is the blueprint of what is allowed per color-coded sector:Dimmer-Framework-August_2020