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Dr. Ortiz Issues Updated COVID-19 Order Effective Friday At Midnight

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Sonora, CA — Leisure lodging operations, camping facilities, wineries, bars, gyms, and movie theaters can now resume limited operations with safety measures in place.

Thursday evening, Tuolumne County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Liza Ortiz released her anticipated modified order, which rescinded a previously issued order banning short term rental operations, and provided additional guidance.

Under the new order, businesses, renters, and property owners in the short-term lodging sector must adhere to the state’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Hotels, Lodging, and Short-Term Rentals along with following more stringent local measures. Chief among them is that rooms must be vacated for a minimum of 24 hours from the guest(s) departure time until housekeeping/cleaning can commence and new guests may not occupy the room until the cleaning is finished.

The doctor explains that while the state guidance allows for earlier entry for cleaning, it also requires PPE and an N-95 respirator, which requires training and a respiratory program, and implementing that protocol would likely consume resources needed by healthcare workers.

She also recommends that multi-room lodging facilities begin with booking at 50 percent occupancy until they can ensure their rooms are able to remain vacant for 24 hours between guests.

While folks are now allowed to leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with businesses allowed to be open, the order maintains the need to continue practicing social distancing, minimize time out of home, and wash hands frequently.

Caveats Aplenty for Travelers

Even though businesses around the state are opening, avoid traveling long distances for vacations or pleasure as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, do not travel if you are sick or someone in your household has had coronavirus in the past two weeks, and do not travel with someone who is sick.

As earlier reported, other sectors allowed to reopen with limits and specific COVID-19 measures in place are campgrounds and outdoor recreation; restaurants, wineries, and bars; gyms and fitness centers; movie theaters and family entertainment centers; zoos and museums, card rooms and racetracks.

The doctor’s order includes links to the latest state guidelines for the following other sectors: agriculture and livestock; auto dealerships; childcare; communications infrastructure; construction; delivery services; energy and utilities; food packing; life sciences; limited services; logistics and warehousing facilities; manufacturing; mining and logging; music, film, and tv production; office workspaces; outdoor museums; places of worship; ports; professional sports without live audiences; public transit; real estate transaction; retail, schools; shopping centers; hair salons and barbershops.

All businesses before opening to the public must perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific plan; train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 including how to screen themselves; implement individual control measures and screenings; use disinfecting protocols and physical distancing guidelines.

In Tuolumne County businesses are required to email their plan to the Public Health Office at and post it on their premises.

Still prohibited are personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, and body waxing; saunas and steam rooms; indoor playgrounds; live theater; nightclubs; concert venues; festivals; theme parks; and higher education.

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