Green Light

Local variance provides path forward

AUBURN, Calif. – Placer County has been given the green light by the California Department of Public Health to begin moving further into Stage 2 of California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order. Today, the Placer County COVID-19 Variance Attestation submission was officially posted on the CDPH website, allowing the county to begin reopening additional businesses in Stage 2 that had been closed under the state’s current order.

“I cannot express how thankful I am to represent a county that is so dedicated to doing what is right for its residents,” said Placer County Supervisor and Board Chair Bonnie Gore. “County staff has been working non-stop to prepare for an accelerated reopening ever since the governor shared last week that it was possible to seek a local variance to move faster than the state’s pace. We are ready and we have a business community that is committed to reopening responsibly to ensure our residents remain healthy and safe.”

Caveat

Business sectors in Placer County that will be allowed to resume operations once they have implemented state reopening guidance include shopping centers and all in-store retail, in addition to dine-in restaurants – although bars, breweries and wineries will not be permitted to reopen beyond takeout and delivery at this time unless they provide in-house dining. Office-based businesses will also be allowed to reopen but telework is strongly encouraged.

On Tuesday, the governor announced the statewide reopening of two more business sectors in Stage 2 that had not been allowed to open with the first wave. These include personal services that are limited to: car washes, pet grooming, dog walking, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening as well as outdoor museums and open gallery spaces.

Businesses in these two sectors are urged to review guidance and post readiness checklists at their establishments to self-certify their commitment to reopen safely. These materials are now available for review and preparation on the new Reopen Placer website.

The Board of Supervisors convened a special meeting on Monday, May 11, to review the attestation and voted unanimously to provide a letter of support in moving forward.

Rollback possible if surge happens

“I want to caution all of our business owners to closely follow the state’s reopening guidance to help protect the public’s health,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “Our attestation includes metrics that will require us to slow down or roll back reopening efforts if we see a surge in COVID-19 cases. I have faith that every resident in this county will do their part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, because that is what it is going to take for all of us to succeed.”

In the submission, the health officer attested to various criteria laid out by the state, including: epidemiologic stability of COVID-19 in the county; protection of Stage 1 essential workers; adequate testing and containment capacity; hospital capacity; support for vulnerable populations; and requirements for Stage 2 timelines and triggers for adjustments.

Placer County has enlisted the support of regional economic development stakeholders – such as cities, economic development directors and chambers of commerce – to assist with educating Placer businesses on how to adhere to state guidance as part of its Reopen Placer effort.

Stage 3?

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newson announced the state would ease into Stage 2 of his four-stage roadmap, which allowed retail with curbside pickup along with associated manufacturing and logistics to begin operating on May 8. While counties such as Placer may achieve a local variance to accelerate through Stage 2, there is not yet the local ability to move to Stage 3.


Counties with local variance

  • Amador County
  • Butte County
  • El Dorado County
  • Lassen County
  • Nevada County
  • Placer County
  • Shasta County
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