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Tuolumne Health Officer Updates COVID-19 Orders Re: Phase Two Recovery

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Sonora, CA — As Tuolumne joins the first dozen of California counties allowed in the state order to proceed further into COVID-19 Stage 2 recovery, local public health officials issued two more orders.

As reported here, Tuolumne County received official word this morning that Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Liza Ortiz’s attestation documents had been vetted and posted on the state website. Her office shortly thereafter released two orders explained below.

Businesses in the following sectors — as long as they implement the adaptations listed in the state and local orders and state guidance further provided — are now able to open:

restaurants, retail, pet grooming, office-based business
Photo from TC Depart. Health
  • Destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets
  • Car washes
  • Pet grooming
  • Tanning facilities
  • Landscape gardening
  • Office-based businesses (with telework strongly encouraged and implemented when possible)
  • Dine-in restaurants (with modifications to adhere to social distancing and not permitting other facility amenities such as bars and gaming areas)
  • Childcare facilities caring for essential workers and others employed in businesses allowed to open in Stage 2
  • Open gallery spaces
  • Outdoor museums
Stage 2 opens: landscape gardening, car washes, tanning facilities, outdoor/open gallery&museum spaces
Photo from TC Depart. Health

Before opening, all facilities must first perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-wide protection plan with adaptions made before opening their workplaces. Businesses must post their protection plan in their business location, submit a copy to Tuolumne County Public Health via email, and make it available to others upon request.

Furthermore, ahead of opening their doors, these businesses’ employees must be trained on how to limit the spread of COVIC-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them; implement individual control measures and screenings; implement disinfecting protocols and physical distancing guidelines.

Instructions For Interacting Through Later Stage 2

To the extent that sectors are re-opened by the state health officer’s orders or local health officer’s attestation, folks may leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with the permitted businesses, establishments, or activities. However, when doing so we must continue at all times to practice physical distancing, minimize time out of the home, and wash hands frequently. To prevent further disease spread folks should not travel significant distances and stay close to home. Essentially, the March 19 order otherwise remains in effect.

Ortiz’s order specifically lists businesses NOT permitted at this time. They are:

— Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
— Hospitality services such as bars and lounges
— Entertainment venues such as movie theaters, pro sports, gaming, gambling, and arcades
— Indoor and kids’ museums, indoor gallery spaces, zoos, and libraries
— Community centers including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
— Religious services and cultural ceremonies
— Nightclubs, concert venues, festivals, theme parks
— Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism

With regard to lodging facilities, at this time, they can be open only to serve as COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures such as to protect the homeless; lodge those displaced from their residence because there is a resident there that must isolate, quarantine or is at higher risk of infection; lodge those who need to isolate or quarantine; house essential workers as defined by the state; or house those who require emergency sheltering due to other reasons such as being a domestic violence victim or wildfire evacuee.

The order further specifies that no homeowner or agent shall engage in efforts to rent or lease any short-term lodging facility or location for other than the above-listed purposes.

Health Care Provider, Workplace Requirements 

Health care providers shall daily report via email to the health department/public health branch Health and Human Services Agency all patients seen in their practice with a febrile – meaning related to fever — respiratory illness and provide patient information that will include demographic information, including age, as well as residential address and clinical status. The report must also indicate whether any rapid point of care testing was performed and the results as well as if COVID-19 testing was done.

Specifically, for the purpose of the order, ‘febrile respiratory illness” is defined as “a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher or chills in the previous 24 hours.” All close contacts of anyone isolated under this new order will be placed into 14-day quarantine. A “close contact” is defined as anyone who has been within six feet for a period of ten minutes or longer of a person placed in isolation.

Health care providers must direct the patient, if no exclusionary diagnosis is found, to isolate him/herself from people who are not sick for ten days after onset of symptoms or three days after cessation of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additional latest CDC guidance regarding returning to work must also be furnished.

Employers must at the start of each business day screen all employees for febrile respiratory illness using County Public Health’s screening tool entitled COVID-19 Screening Checklist for Employers; retain all screening forms for 14 days after completion, and have them readily available upon request from the Public Health Department.

Employees who report symptoms of febrile respiratory illness must be excluded from the workplace for ten days from the day that they are identified as having symptoms. Employers must direct those employees to isolate at home and notify their healthcare provider. If an employer has questions regarding work exclusion, they are asked to call the Public Health Call Center at 209 533-7440.

All residents shall self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19; Isolate themselves for ten days after onset of signs and symptoms; only leave their place of residence to seek further medical attention; additionally, follow the latest CDC guidance for if you are sick.