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Tuolumne County Leaders Address Lodging And Recreation Questions

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Sonora, CA — Much of the time spent during the nearly hour-long Tuolumne County Business webinar on Wednesday evening focused on the planned further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions.

We reported earlier, that beginning this Friday at 12am, businesses in counties with variances, like Tuolumne, will be able to move into Stage Three. Some of the businesses that will be allowed to reopen include campgrounds, RV parks, short-term lodging, hotels, movie theaters, wineries, bars and gyms.

The guidelines for those businesses, and modifications required, will be released later today. Before reopening, Tuolumne County Health Officer, Dr. Liza Ortiz, stressed that those businesses must submit a written plan, or state checklist, to the health department. Businesses are also required to screen employees and keep records for 14 days. The public health website can be found by clicking here. 

She also addressed several “common questions” that have come up in recent days. She pointed out that pools will be allowed to reopen, but hot tubs are still not allowed. Camping is for “households only” and group camping is prohibited.

When a hotel room is used, staff must wait 24 hours before cleaning it. Dr. Ortiz says the reason is that if anyone goes in prior to 24 hours, they must have proper personal protective equipment. Waiting 24 hours will protect the employees and guests, and allow the PPE to be saved for healthcare needs.

For Air BNB type rentals, all appliances (like the stove and refrigerator), and things like silverware, must be cleaned prior to a new renter arriving. It is also prohibited to rent a room to someone if the space is within an occupied residence.

Asked about whether Pinecrest Lake will be reopening this weekend, similar to other recreation spots like Yosemite National Park, Dr. Ortiz said that the health department has had many conversations with local forest service leaders about that topic over the past couple of days. Dr. Ortiz stated, “Every indication is that Pinecrest will be open with modifications, but stay tuned for details.”

During the meeting, Cole Przybyla, Tuolumne County’s Director of Innovation, announced that a “Good To Go Tuolumne” website will be going live soon to help businesses navigate through the current guidelines and rules. He noted that it is a tool that Stanislaus County put together with the Small Business Development Center.

Supervisor Karl Rodefer, while excited for the changes forthcoming, and more businesses reopening, stressed the need for continued diligence related to things like social distancing and safety measures, especially in light of more visitors arriving over the coming weeks.

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