For Immediate Release: May 12, 2020
AUBURN, Calif. — Placer County’s health officer last night submitted the County of Placer’s “COVID-19 County Variance Attestation Form” to the California Department of Public Health, accompanied by letters of support from the Board of Supervisors and local hospital systems.
This followed the Board of Supervisors’ action at their special meeting yesterday during which they reviewed and voted unanimously to approve the Attestation and provide a letter of support in moving forward.
“We are pleased that Placer County is eligible to fast track the reopening of additional businesses in Stage 2 of the governor’s plan,” said Board Chair Bonnie Gore. “We are committed to ensuring our business community has the guidance it needs to reopen responsibly to safeguard our public health and look forward to the day when we can guide our businesses through Stage 3 and Stage 4. Our public health leadership is extremely competent, and I feel assured we are in capable hands.”
In the submission, the health officer attested to various criteria laid out by the state, including: epidemiologic stability of COVID-19 in the county; protection of Stage 1 essential workers; adequate testing and containment capacity; hospital capacity; support for vulnerable populations; and requirements for Stage 2 timelines and triggers for adjustments.
“I’m pleased that we’re eligible to enter this new phase of reopening,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “Our community has made progress in flattening the curve, and public health has made progress in building out our own infrastructure to support reopening. I have full confidence that our local businesses will protect the health of employees and customers by following the guidance for safely reopening.”
Sisson cautions, “The state requires that businesses not reopen until Placer’s Attestation is posted on the CDPH website. Our team is eagerly checking so we can alert businesses as soon as it is posted.” Only Stage 2 businesses, as determined by the state, will be allowed to open, and only after they review and implement sector-specific guidance and self-certify that they are able to safely reopen.
The county is committed to working through Stage 2 of California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order and has taken many proactive steps to help businesses prepare for the state to authorize reopening, including posted materials to assist businesses on the new Reopen Placer website.
Placer County staff will also enlist regional economic development stakeholders (cities, economic development directors, and chambers of commerce) to educate Placer businesses to promote understanding of and adherence to business guidance under the Reopen Placer effort.
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newson announced the state would ease into Stage 2 of his four-stage roadmap, which allowed retail with curbside pickup along with associated manufacturing and logistics to begin operating on May 8. While counties may submit for a local variance to accelerate through Stage 2, as Placer has now done, there is not yet the local ability to move to Stage 3 which includes some higher-risk workplaces as identified by the state.
“These are really trying times and there are no easy decisions. We realize there is a difference of opinion and I want to assure the public that we have heard you and will act sensibly to reopen responsibly,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “We feel confident as a county that we are ready to manage the next stage of reopening and we are thankful the state has provided us with a path forward to make this happen.”