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Tuolumne County Health Officer Doubles Down To Curb COVID-19 Spread

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Sonora, CA — Tuolumne County Public Health is now banning all non-essential public and private gatherings of any size and type save by people of the same household.

Interim Health Officer Dr. Eric Sergienko released this latest order Monday afternoon, citing concerns of an anticipated COVID-19 surge in the coming days and weeks.

The order specifies a “non-essential gathering” as two more individuals socializing, recreating, or otherwise intentionally sharing physical space except as necessary by essential critical infrastructure workers in the performance of their duties.

Non-essential includes golfing, disc golf, fitness studios, swimming, basketball games, etc.

The doctor outlined complaints of certain recreational and business activities that were continuing to take place in apparent violation of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Stay At Home order, including at federally-owned facilities in Tuolumne County.

He stated in the order that concerns of further increasing transmission risks led him to send letters to the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation requesting they completely close their sites to the public, including the Stanislaus National Forest and New Melones. Both agencies subsequently obliged last week.

Sergienko noted in his order, “While recreational activity is important during this health emergency, the benefits of such can be achieved locally and do not require traveling long distances in order to recreate.”

He added that while there are only two confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county, the Tuolumne County Department of Public Health expects additional cases of COVID-19 to be confirmed in county residents during the coming weeks and is taking the additional precautions to preserve the public health and safety — and to help ensure the local and regional healthcare delivery system is capable of serving all who may require care during the course of the COVID-19 emergency.

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