State issues new guidance and mandates due to surge in COVID-19 cases

Plumas County already had an indoor face mask policy in place, but tomorrow all of the state will have the same requirement. That’s because case rates and hospitalizations in the state are increasing. During this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Public Health Director Dana Loomis said the state is worried that hospitals will be overwhelmed by COVID cases.

This evening, Dec. 14, Public Health shared the state’s new guidelines and the increase in cases that led to the decision.

The state’s seven-day average case rate has increased 47 percent and hospitalization has increased 14 percent; therefore, the state has issued new guidance, which supersedes any prior guidance or mandates. On Dec. 15, all new guidance will take effect. The following guidance has been issued by the state: travel advisory, face coverings and mega events.

Travel Advisory: The state is issuing the following recommendations, which supersede all prior Travel Advisories:

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  • All travelers arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries should follow CDC travel guidance.
  • All travelers arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries should test 3-5 days upon arrival.
  • All travelers who test positive or develop symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and follow public health recommendation.

For the more information regarding the new travel advisory go to:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Travel-Advisory.aspx

 

Face Coverings: California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, for the next four weeks (Dec. 15, 2021 through Jan. 15, 2022).page1image32231936

• In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.

Exemptions to mask requirements

The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:page1image32241344

        • Persons younger than 2 years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.

  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

When the state mask mandate expires on January 15, 2022, Plumas County’s local Health Officer order regarding face coverings (effective since Aug. 30) is expected to remain in effect until at least 70 percent of eligible Plumas County residents are vaccinated against Covid-19 or the average daily incidence of new Covid-19 cases is consistently below 3 per 100,000.

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For more information regarding the face covering requirements go to:

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https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx

Mega Events: Crowds greater than 1,000 attendees (indoors) or 10,000 attendees (outdoors)

Vaccination remains the single best defense against the spread of Covid-19; however due to the recent surge in case rates and the new Omicron variant, which has been deemed a variant of concern by the World Health Organization, the new measures bring additional protection to individuals, families and communities.

 

Vaccines for COVID-19 are free and available at local hospitals in Quincy and Portola, pharmacies in Chester, Quincy and Portola, and from the Plumas County Public Health Agency. More information about how to get the vaccine can be found on the Plumas County Public Health Agency web site:https://www.plumascounty.us/2839/COVID-19-Home.

Those who cannot provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status must provide a negative COVID-19 test within 1 day for an antigen test and 2 days for a PCR test prior to entry into an event.