County of El Dorado logoAt a specially-scheduled meeting on May 9, 2020, El Dorado County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams, presented a plan outlining the County’s readiness to move fully into Stage 2 under Governor Newsom’s Stay-At-Home Order. The Board also unanimously approved the chair to sign a letter to the Governor supporting Dr. Williams’ readiness plan.

“I’m pleased to announce that, in conjunction with County leadership, the Emergency Operations Center, City leaders from Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, our hospitals and healthcare centers and my public health team, I believe El Dorado County meets or exceeds the criteria the State requires for us to move fully into Stage 2 as quickly as the Governor permits,” said Williams.

As soon as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) publishes Dr. Williams’ signed Variance Attestation and supporting documents, El Dorado County businesses included in Stage 2 for which there is State guidance will be allowed to open as long as they have plans in place that comply with the State’s guidelines.

“Businesses that can open now – and those which will be able to open after further guidance is provided by the State – must understand that they cannot simply turn on the lights, unlock the doors and resume business as usual but that they must first implement the safety guidelines from the State,” Williams added. “And it’s critically important that the public help businesses stay open by adhering to the physical distancing and personal hygiene practices needed for these businesses to remain open.”

Some businesses in Stage 2 will not be able to open immediately, most notably dine-in restaurants, because the State has not yet provided the guidelines under which they can develop and implement their safe-opening plans, noted Williams. Newsom said those are forthcoming on Tuesday. “I cannot stress this enough: as soon as the additional guidelines for dine-in restaurants, schools, and childcare, as well as for in-store retail business to resume are provided and businesses can thoughtfully develop their plans, those businesses can open, but not beforehand,” Williams said.

“Our residents have been very patient and, as evidenced by the low amount of COVID-19 in El Dorado County, followed the rules in regards to the State’s Stay-At Home Order and our County’s restrictions,” said Board chair, Brian Veerkamp. “I look forward to moving fully into this second stage of providing economic relief to the backbone of the County without unduly endangering our residents or causing an unmanageable surge of cases,” he added.

The Variance Attestation form, the letter from the Board to Governor Newsom supporting the Variance Attestation, support letters from the Cities of South Lake Tahoe and Placerville, and the County’s two hospitals, Marshall Medical and Barton Health can be found here.

On May 9, curbside retail such as bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores and florists may already open if they have the proper modifications in place because those guidelines have already been published.

Businesses in Stage 2 that cannot yet open – but will be allowed to open, with modifications, in El Dorado County immediately upon State guidance next week – include dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, swap meets, car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, landscape gardening, schools, childcare facilities, outdoor museums, and open gallery spaces.

There is no discussion yet about any timeline to move to Stage 3. Businesses not slated to resume until Stages 3 or 4 include nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios, bars and lounges, movie theatres, gaming facilities, pro sports, indoor museums, kids’ museums and gallery spaces, zoos, libraries, community centers, public pools, playgrounds, picnic areas, religious services and cultural ceremonies, nightclubs, concert venues, festivals, theme parks, hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism.

The State’s list of businesses and guidelines allowed under Stage 2 can be found here.

The County’s general reopening guidance for businesses and employers can be found here.