Placer County Public Health Issues New COVID-19 Health Warning

The Delta surge has resulted in record numbers of COVID-related hospitalizations this week and is leaving our local hospitals with less room to absorb more patients requiring hospitalization. Hospitals in Placer County are providing critical care in areas not typically designed for that purpose, report a high level of acuity in their patients, and are experiencing strains on their workforce. COVID patients occupy nearly one third of licensed beds, a higher share relative to hospitals in other communities.

Beyond hospitalizations, cases in school settings are rising too among students and staff, resulting in increasing numbers of classroom outbreaks that, in some cases, have led to the temporary cancellation of in-person instruction. School-related cases were uncommon and largely isolated with previous COVID-19 variants, yet early signs point to more students and staff who are turning up positive as a result of a COVID exposure. 

To preserve critical infrastructure that serves all, including hospitals and schools, Placer County Public Health is advising residents regardless of vaccination status to use high-quality masks while in all indoor settings to protect against the highly infectious Delta variant.

“Our individual actions during this Delta surge are impacting everyone, including those seeking health care or in-person instruction,” said Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Placer County Public Health stands behind organizations who take precautions to support our community’s efforts to preserve key infrastructure such as implementing universal indoor masking, which is much less disruptive than other restrictions experienced during the pandemic.” 

To provide a sufficient layer of protection, residents are also advised to use higher quality masks, like a surgical or KN95 mask. Higher quality masks were largely in short supply during the beginning of the pandemic but are now more readily available at local drug stores or online.

For those who are 12 and older and unvaccinated, talk to your doctor right away about questions you have about COVID-19 vaccines. Most patients currently hospitalized locally for COVID-19, including those in the intensive care unit, have not received a COVID-19 vaccination. While vaccination may not fully prevent infection, it’s one of the best tools we have to reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Please visit myturn.ca.gov to schedule your appointment today.

Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Van Hits the Streets in Placer County

A mobile vaccination van offering free, walk-up COVID-19 vaccinations has begun operating in Placer County, funded by the state and operated by SnapNurse, an on-demand nursing agency.

Over the next two months, the van will move throughout the county – from South Placer to North Tahoe – and offer vaccinations five days a week at a variety of hotspots, from the county fair to other high-traffic spaces and events.

This week, for example, the van will operate at the Westfield Galleria mall as well as at Denio’s in Roseville, alternatively offering Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

Monday through Wednesday, June 7-9
Westfield Galleria
1151 Galleria Blvd, Roseville (across from parking structure)
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday through Sunday, June 12-13
Denio’s Farmer’s Market and Swap Meet
1551 Vineyard Rd, Roseville (main entrance; $5 parking fee)
7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday

Locations, dates and times for future clinics will be posted to the county website at www.placer.ca.gov/vaccineclinics as well as shared via the county’s vaccine text alert platform (text PLACERVACCINE to the number 898211). Placer County Public Health is working with cities and community partners to identify appropriate events that might benefit from the SnapNurse van in June and July.

Additionally, Public Health is operating a handful of targeted community clinics in parts of the county with low vaccination rates or less access to healthcare. In addition to previously-announced clinics in Foresthill and Colfax this week, the team will offer J&J and Pfizer at the Placer County Government Center in North Auburn for several days this month:

Placer County Public Health 
11475 C Ave, Auburn
Tues., June 15, 2:30-4:30 p.m.                                 Pfizer and J&J
Wed., June 16, 2:30-4:30 p.m.                                 Pfizer and J&J
Thurs., June 17, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.                  Pfizer and J&J
Wed., June 23, 2:30-4:30 p.m.                                 Pfizer and J&J
Thurs., June 24, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.                  Pfizer only 

Walk-ins are welcome and appointments are also available in advance by visiting myturn.ca.gov.

Placer Public Health Announces Community Vaccine Clinics

Placer County Public Health and health care system partners will be holding special vaccination clinics in parts of the county with lower vaccination rates or access to health services in the month of June. Appointments can be made in advance at MyTurn.ca.gov and walk-ins are also welcomed.

The clinics will be offering the Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine to anyone 18 and older. Locations and times for the community clinics are as follows:

Kings Beach
North Tahoe Event Center
8318 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach
Dates: Wed. and Thurs., June 2 and 3
Time: 4:30-7 p.m.

Colfax
Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall
22 Sunset Circle, Colfax
Date: Tuesday, June 8
Time: 4:30-7pm

Foresthill
Foresthill Memorial Hall
24601 Harrison St, Foresthill
Date: Thursday, June 10
Time: 4:30-7 p.m.

Local health systems are also planning community clinics in the North Auburn and Lincoln areas, and further details will be provided once available.

The mass vaccination clinic @the Grounds in Roseville will also be offering single-dose vaccine appointments the evenings of May 24 and 25, its final days of operation. Following demobilization of the clinic, which administered more than 85,000 doses, the county is turning its focus to community-based clinics in areas of need. Local nonprofit organizations will assist in promotion. Health systems, clinics and more than two dozen pharmacy partners will also continue to administer vaccine at locations across the county.

“We’re extremely thankful and proud of our staff, partners and progress thus far, and this model will help us continue that progress,” said Health and Human Services Director and Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham.

To date, as of May 24, approximately 48% of the Placer County population has received at least one dose (or a complete dose) of vaccine, with everyone 12 and up now eligible for vaccination.

Click here to download flyers for the clinics.

First known case of B.1.1.7 variant detected in Placer County

The first known case of the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in Placer County. Early data suggests that the B.1.1.7 variant, dubbed the “U.K. variant” because of its spread in the United Kingdom, has potential for increased transmissibility. For more information about this variant, please see the CDC website.

The individual had no known travel history identified through contact tracing, and their isolation period has passed. No additional information regarding the case will be provided. There have been more than 250 cases of B.1.1.7 identified across California.

“The detection of this variant is not a surprise but is a reminder than the pandemic has not ended,” said Health and Human Services Director and Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Even as we continue an aggressive vaccination campaign, it is important to continue to take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 – and therefore limit the spread of variants – in our community, such as masking and distancing.”

Initial studies suggest that all three vaccines currently in use in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) provide protection against the B.1.1.7 variant.

Those currently eligible for vaccination in Placer County include:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care residents
  • People aged 65 and over
  • Education and childcare
  • Food and agriculture
  • Emergency services
  • Public transit
  • Janitorial
  • Those 16-64 with certain underlying health conditions

Visit www.placer.ca.gov/vaccineclinics to view appointment availability and sign up for text updates by texting PLACERVACCINE to the number 898211 to receive text alerts. Additional guidance and information about COVID-19 from Placer County Public Health is available at www.placer.ca.gov/coronavirus/.

Text PLACERVACCINE to 898211 for Updates from 211

Placer County has partnered with 211 Connecting Point to provide the community text updates when new information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Placer County becomes available. Residents can subscribe to find out updates like when, where and to what populations the COVID-19 has become available to.

Text PLACERVACCINE to 898211

Subscribe to vaccine text updates by texting PlacerVaccine to 898211. Subscribers will receive official, non- emergency information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine(s). All new subscribers must opt-in to the alerts for ongoing updates.

Subscribers will get a confirmation reading: “Thank you for joining Placer 211’s COVID-19 Vaccine text alerts. You will receive information and updates related to COVID-19 vaccines in Placer County. Visit Placer.ca.gov/6996/Vaccine to learn more.”

 Residents can also get the most up-to-date information by visiting the County’s COVID vaccine webpage at Placer.ca.gov/6996/Vaccine or by calling 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local call center agent, 24/7 in English or Spanish.

Rental Assistance Available for Residents Impacted by COVID-19

The TBRA program has now been extended through Sept. 30, 2021. Call 211 today if you are interested in applying.

The Placer County Housing Authority and the Community Development Resource Agency HOME program are offering rental assistance to eligible low-income residents who are facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tenant Based Rental Assistance program offers assistance for up to four months of unpaid back rent and late fees accrued after March 13, 2020 (not to exceed $2,500), and is limited to funds available. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the California Department of Housing and Community Development. 

To be eligible for the program, an individual or family must be renting or leasing a unit within the county (excluding Roseville city limits), among other criteria. See a full list of eligibility criteria here Headline.

Households interested in applying for rental assistance through the program should call 211 Placer, by dialing 211 or 1-833-DIAL211. Operators will screen callers’ eligibility and refer them to the county for the application. 

“We encourage anyone wondering if they might be eligible to go ahead and call 211 Placer,” said Human Services Assistant Director Greg Geisler. “This is a valuable resource for some families struggling to stay afloat.”

Placer County Public Health Shares COVID-19 Safety Tips For the Holidays

As we get further into the holiday season, many are wondering how to safely celebrate in the time of COVID-19. Pending forthcoming additional state guidance, Placer County Public Health is sharing some tips to help community members start thinking about ways to connect during this meaningful time of year while giving the gift of health to our loved ones.

Consider safer alternatives

The safest gathering is a virtual gathering. Here are some other ideas to spark your imagination ahead of the holiday season:

  • Host a feast with just the people living in your household. Check in with other loved ones virtually and swap recipes.
  • Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
  • Watch holiday movies with members of your household.
  • Participate in drive-through activities, such as driving by neighborhood holiday lights.
  • Try to avoid crowded shopping environments by ordering items from businesses ahead of time for curbside pickup – and don’t wait until the last minute.

Safer holiday gatherings

Gathering with people outside your household increases risk of coronavirus transmission. If you choose to gather for the holidays, here are steps you can take to lower you and your family’s risk:

  • Limit holiday travel. If you do travel:
    • Get tested before traveling and quarantine while awaiting results.
    • Consider the level of transmission where you are traveling as well as your own and your fellow travelers’ risk of developing serious illness due to age or underlying conditions.
    • Safest travel would be by car.
    • If you fly, wear a mask and keep your distance at the airport and on the plane. Bring wipes and sanitize your seating area.
  • Keep gatherings small and short, with a limited number of households participating. (See state gathering guidance.)
  • Keep gatherings stable; that is, do not participate in multiple gatherings with many different households.
  • Stay outside – with outdoor heaters or firepits as needed – or in well-ventilated areas. If you must gather indoors, consider opening windows despite the added heating costs.
  • Wear masks and keep physically distant (at least 6 feet apart) from others not in your household.
  • Consider self-quarantine and testing prior to and following gatherings (remember, if you know you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you still need to quarantine for a full 14 days even with a negative test).
  • Stay flexible. Have a Plan B in case someone develops symptoms or becomes a case or contact. Be ready to include loved ones virtually and keep everyone safe and sound.
  • Avoid parades, festivals, large gatherings and any crowded indoor environment.

“Remember, when we wear a mask or forgo a higher risk activity, we aren’t just protecting ourselves, we’re giving a gift to all of those people around us who might suffer more if they are infected with the virus,” said Health and Human Services Director and Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham.

Some loved ones may be uncomfortable celebrating the holidays in any way this year, and we ask that you respect their wishes and concerns. Everyone is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic to the best of their abilities and has different comfort levels about what is safe to do.

In addition, the holidays can be a time of added stress for some. If you or someone you know are experiencing mental health struggles, here are some resources in addition to services that your health care provider may offer:

  • For mental health emergencies/treatment call: 1-888-886-5401
  • For Family and Children’s Services call: 1-866-293-1940
  • Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • COVID-19 Peer-Run Warm Line: 1-855-845-7415

Governor Announces Actions to Curb COVID-19 Transmission

As COVID-19 cases sharply increase across the country and California, Governor Gavin Newsom and state public health officials announced immediate actions today to slow the spread of the virus. The state is pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy resulting in 94.1 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier. This change is effective tomorrow. The state will reassess data continuously and move more counties back if necessary. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.

“We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet –faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Now is the time to do all we can – government at all levels and Californians across the state – to flatten the curve again as we have done before.”

The rate of growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases is faster than it was in July, which led to a significant peak in cases. This requires a swift public health response and action from all Californians to slow the spread of the virus. Immediate action will help protect individuals at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 and will help keep the state’s health care delivery system from becoming overwhelmed.

“The data we are seeing is very concerning. We are in the midst of a surge, and time is of the essence. Every day matters and every decision matters,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Personal decisions are critical, and I am I imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing and wash their hands.”

The 28 counties moving back into Tier 1(Purple/Widespread) include:

AlamedaNapaSanta Cruz
ButteNevadaSiskiyou
Contra CostaOrangeSolano
El DoradoPlacerSutter
FresnoSan BenitoTrinity
GlennSan JoaquinTuolumne
KernSan Luis ObispoVentura
KingsMendocinoMercedSanta BarbaraSanta ClaraYoloYuba
   

The nine counties moving back into Tier 2 (Red/Substantial) include:

ColusaMarinPlumas
Del NorteModocSan Francisco
HumboldtMonoSan Mateo

The two counties moving back into Tier 3 (Orange/Moderate) include:

CalaverasSierra

Today’s action will remain in effect until the State Public Health Officer determines it is appropriate to make modifications based on public health conditions and data.

California has taken steps to prepare the state for an increase in COVID-19 cases. The state has developed additional testing capacity to allow cases to be quickly identified, recently opening a new laboratory in Valencia that is already processing thousands of tests a day. The state is averaging 164,345 tests over the last seven days.

The state has been working in partnership with hospitals, clinics and physicians on the COVID-19 response. To support California’s health care delivery system, the state has an additional 1,872 beds available at alternate care sites outside of the system that can be made available quickly if needed to respond to a surge in cases.

California will continue to update the Blueprint for a Safer Economy based on the best available public health data and science. For more information about the Blueprint and what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit covid19.ca.gov.

Tenant Based Rental Assistance Available for Covid-19 in Placer County

Rental subsidies are now available to very low-income individuals and families in Placer County that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the program criteria (excluding the City of Roseville).

Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) offers assistance for up to four months of unpaid back rent and late fees accrued after March 13, 2020 (not to exceed $2,500).

The program is scheduled to END on December 31st and is limited to funds available!

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be income eligible for the program (see flyer for specifics)
  • Must currently be renting or leasing a unit in Placer County (excluding Roseville City Limits) pursuant to a written rental agreement
  • Owner of the unit must be willing to enter into a rental assistance agreement with Placer County through the TBRA Program
  • At least of one of the following criteria must be met:
    • The household includes a member that has tested positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine so the wage earner(s) are unable to attend work
    • The household has experienced a documented decrease in total gross monthly household income of at least 30% because of the pandemic
    • The household has experienced a documented loss of income due to the pandemic and is behind or falling behind on rent

Interested renters should contact 211 for screening by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-833-DIAL211. 

211 Placer operators will go through a screening sheet to determine if the household is potentially eligible. All households that pass the screening will be referred over to Placer County and eligible applicants will be sent the TBRA Application to apply for assistance.

Placer County Moves to the “Red Tier”

The State of California moved Placer County into the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy ‘red’ tier – further easing restrictions in the county. Sectors that can open indoors with modifications include restaurants, places of worship, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters and personal care services.

The full list of sectors refer to: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

For a summary of which activities are allowed at each tier, see: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Dimmer-Framework-August_2020.pdf

End of Placer County Local Health Emergency

In addition, the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution declaring the end of Placer County’s local health emergency on Tuesday, September 8.

Since the board’s ratification of the local health emergency March 9, the county has and will continue to work diligently to manage local disease spread – sharing community health information; reporting COVID-19 case dynamics at board meetings; providing a COVID-19 dashboard for community reference; addressing the needs of vulnerable populations; and clarifying state guidance so local businesses can reopen responsibly and consistent with state public health orders and safety protocols.

While acknowledging that California’s state of emergency and Department of Public Health orders, directives and guidance remain in full effect in Placer County, the resolution expresses the board’s concerns that the state framework for measuring COVID-19 mischaracterizes the current state of disease specifically in Placer County and harms the community’s economic, health, mental and social well-being. 

For more information, see: https://www.placer.ca.gov/6818/Placer-declares-end-of-COVID-19-health-e

Applications for Placer Shares Grant Funding Now Open!

Beginning Aug. 25, eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations in Placer County can begin applying for Placer Shares grant funding to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order. 

The grant program is made possible by the Placer County Board of Supervisors who directed that 20% of the $40 million from CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act funding be set aside to help small businesses and nonprofits, the largest percentage of any county in the state.

Supplemental grant assistance for non-profits will be administered by the Placer and Tahoe-Truckee Community Foundations.

“Placer County is committed to supporting our local businesses and nonprofits impacted during this economic crisis,” said Board Chair Bonnie Gore. “That is why the county is diverting 20% of our CARES funding, more than any other county in California, to support business and nonprofits, helping them stay open. We are a strong and resilient community. Our Board stands firm to support our local economy with everything we’ve got.”

The grant program, which will be based on need, could provide awards of up to $10,000 to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses, identified by United States Treasury guidance.

Grant applications will be accepted online Aug. 25 – Sept. 7 on the Placer Shares website.

Placer Shares: Eats & Drinks

In addition, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $1.2 million in grant funding to assist restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19 in the county. 

Eligible restaurants and bars may begin applying for $1,000 in grant funding via the newly established Placer Shares: Eats & Drinks program. 

“This pandemic has been devastating to our entire community, especially restaurants and bars,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair Bonnie Gore. “The Eats & Drinks program is just one example of Placer’s commitment to help business sectors hardest hit by COVID-19.”

Grant applications will be accepted online beginning Aug. 21 at http://www.placer.ca.gov/eatsdrinks, and must be received by Sept. 30

The Board of Supervisors voted to offer fee relief for restaurants and bars who had paid their annual county inspection fees but were ordered to close by the state due to COVID-19.

Placer Shares, Eats & Drinks grant funding is separate from the Placer Shares $8 million grant fund.

Eligible restaurants and bars may apply for both Eats & Drinks and Placer Shares programs.

Placer County Removed from State COVID-19 Monitoring List

Placer County yesterday fell off the state’s County Data Monitoring List for COVID-19, with the rate of new positive cases in the county now dipping below that state monitoring metric. 

If Placer County remains off the list for at least 14 days, K-12 schools could potentially reopen for in-person instruction. However, no other businesses would be allowed to modify their operations until the state modifies the state order. 

The Placer County Board of Supervisors and Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson have made requests that the state order be revised to allow affected businesses to resume indoor operations once a county has been off the monitoring list for two weeks, consistent with school guidance.

The state reports on its COVID-19 website that it is reassessing the order and will provide updates in the coming week.

“This is great news. I think our residents are doing a good job, and we still have to do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Board Chair and District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “We don’t want people to get sick. We don’t want to see people in our hospitals. And we do want to see our business community open safely.” 

Local health officials continue to urge Placer residents to follow the recommended precautions so that the county’s case rate and other metrics continue to meet state thresholds. That includes using a face covering when in public, maintaining physical distance, avoiding gatherings, staying home if sick and regular hand washing.

https://www.placer.ca.gov/6782/Placer-is-off-state-monitoring-list

Placer Urges Residents to Stay Indoors Amid Looming Heat Wave

With high temperatures forecast for the coming week, Placer County Public Health is encouraging residents to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and take proactive measures to prevent heat-related illness. 

“Excessive heat poses real dangers, especially to young children, older adults, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases or disabilities and people who are socially isolated,” said Mike Romero, Placer County public health manager. 

“In past heat spells we’ve seen very little use of our cooling centers at Placer libraries, so we feel confident we’ll be able to work directly with those who don’t have access to a cool space to find tailored solutions to keep them safe from the heat and COVID-19.”

The new 211 Placer information and referral system is online and ready to help connect Placer residents with social services and resources to keep them cool and safe.

Placer County Public Health and Office of Emergency Services will continue to monitor the weather and community needs and have plans in place to open cooling centers in compliance with prescribed state COVID-19 guidance if the need arises.

To help beat the heat residents should:

  • Stay hydrated by regularly drinking water or other nonalcoholic beverages;
  • Use home air conditioners; 
  • Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms and draw in cooler air;
  • Take cool baths or showers or use cool compresses to prevent overheating;
  • Minimize direct exposure to the sun;
  • Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit and salads;
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes, as well as wide-brimmed hats to protect the face and neck;
  • Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection;
  • Apply sunscreen liberally before going outdoors;
  • Check on older, sick or frail people who may need help responding to the heat;
  • Know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure. Heat-related illnesses include cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. Warning signs can include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, paleness and dizziness;
  • Avoid leaving children or pets alone in cars for any amount of time; and
  • Do not exercise outdoors during the hottest parts of the day.

Residents should seek medical attention if they experience rapid, strong pulses; feel delirious; or have a body temperature above 102 degrees.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and may not realize when they are in danger. Certain medications, health conditions or poorer circulation can limit their ability to sweat and cool themselves effectively. Residents are encouraged to check in with the seniors in their lives and call 211 if they need any support or services.

People in Placer County can access 211 in multiple ways:

  • PHONE: Dial 2-1-1 (or 1-833-DIAL211; for TTY: 1-844-521-6697) to speak with a call specialist. Language interpretation is available.
  • TEXT: Text your zip code to 898211. Your text plan’s rates will apply.
  • ONLINE: Visit 211Placer.org to access an online searchable database and to chat with or email specialists.

More heat safety tips are also available on the ReadyPlacer.org website.

New State Guidance Prioritizes COVID-19 Testing for High-Risk Groups

With testing capacity strained statewide, including in Placer County, Public Health is recommending for now that residents should only seek testing if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. The temporary change is in line with new state guidance that prioritizes limited testing for those who are ill, close contacts of confirmed cases, or part of an outbreak, followed by people who live or work in high-risk settings. If you aren’t in Tier One or Tier Two of this guidance, please don’t seek testing at this time: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Updated-COVID-19-Testing-Guidance.aspx

More information available here.

New CDPH Guidance Available For Outdoor Operations of Personal Services

The California Department of Public Health released additional guidance today for some personal services to begin outdoor operations; including hair, massage, nail and skin care services. These businesses may operate outdoors in Placer County after implementing the guidance, with no further approval needed from the local health officer. The guidance and other supporting materials for businesses are available on our Reopen Placer website: placer.ca.gov/reopen

State Orders Some Placer County Businesses to Close Beginning July 12th

In response to the increasing spread of COVID-19, State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell today issued an order for several businesses in Placer County to either close or eliminate indoor operations starting Sunday, July 12. The State had indicated previously that any California county that remains on the monitoring list for three days will be ordered to draw back its reopening efforts.

According to the State order, the following businesses must shift to outdoor operations or close effective on Sunday for a minimum of three weeks.

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Wineries and Tasting Rooms
  • Family Entertainment Centers
  • Movie Theaters
  • Zoos and Museums
  • Cardrooms

The State order allows businesses to modify operations to provide services outside and encourages take-out and delivery. The state has also issued new guidance for restaurants providing outdoor dining, take-out, drive-through, and delivery. All industry or sector guidance documents that have been issued by the State to date, including all infectious control measures outlined in those guidance documents, apply in outdoor settings and must be adhered to, according to the state order.

In addition, all brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs must close, both indoors and outdoors, unless they are offering sit down, dine-in meals as described in earlier state guidance.

Drivers of increased disease transmission in Placer County include large households where staying away from others while ill is difficult, community and extended family gatherings, and indoor work environments where physical distancing is difficult. The rising number of cases of COVID-19 in Placer County as well as neighboring Sacramento County is in turn driving an increase in hospitalizations.

“I understand how frustrating this is for our local businesses, and my hope is that our whole community will pull together and promote the personal precautions that can help reverse these disease trends,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “Please wash your hands, maintain physical distance, wear a face covering in public, and do not gather with non-household members.”

Placer County Placed on State COVID-19 Monitoring List

Placer County has been placed on the State’s COVID-19 Monitoring List as of July 9. If the County remains on the list for three consecutive days, some businesses will be required by the State to close indoor operations for a minimum of three weeks.

The following businesses are urged to prepare for a shift to outdoor operations:
Dine-in restaurants
Wineries and Tasting Rooms
Family Entertainment Centers
Movie Theaters
Zoos and Museums
Cardrooms

In addition, all brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs would need to close, both indoors and outdoors, unless they offer sit down, dine-in meals.

More information on the Placer County Facebook page.

New Public Health Guidance Requires Californians to Wear Face Coverings

The California Department of Public Health today released updated guidance that requires Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. Today’s guidance mandates the use of cloth face coverings by the general public statewide when outside the home, with limited exceptions. 

Californians must wear face coverings when they are in the situations listed below:

  • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
  • Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
  • Interacting in-person with any member of the public; 
  • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time; 
  • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others; 
  • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities; 
  • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:

  • Children aged two and under;
  • Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
  • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines. 
  • Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
  • Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence;
  • Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
  • Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.”

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”

Governor Newsom also addressed why he took this action now. “Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”

More information is available on the CDPH website.

Additional Businesses may Reopen in Placer County on Friday

Following the release of additional guidance from the California Department of Public Health last Friday, additional businesses and activities from Stages 2 and 3 may reopen in Placer County as soon as June 12, after implementing guidance and developing safety plans to address COVID-19.

Businesses and activities eligible for reopening include:

  • Schools and school-based programs
  • Day camps
  • Hotels, lodging and short-term rentals (for tourism and individual travel)
  • Campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation
  • Professional sports without live audiences
  • Music, film and television production
  • Gyms and fitness centers, including pools
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Zoos, museums, galleries and aquariums
  • Bars and wineries; and
  • Cardrooms and racetracks

Businesses in these sectors should carefully read the guidance issued by the state available on the Reopen Placer website and develop corresponding safety plans. Once those safety plans are completed, eligible businesses may reopen on or after June 12 without further approval of the Placer County Health Officer. Guidance was also issued for casinos, which are under the jurisdiction of sovereign nations, and childcare guidance was updated.

“While more businesses will come back online at the end of this week, I implore county residents to continue following practices that can slow the rate of infection, such as regular handwashing, staying six feet apart from others and wearing face coverings in public settings where physical distancing is not possible,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “Personal responsibility is a hallmark of Placer County, and our individual actions will go a long way to determining how well we are able to reduce the spread of coronavirus in our community.”

The state has not released guidance for a handful of other businesses still closed, such as nail salons, tattoo parlors and body waxing; indoor playgrounds such as bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag; live theater; saunas and steam rooms; nightclubs; concert venues; festivals; theme parks; and higher education. Nor has guidance been provided for youth sports. If the state has not yet released guidance for a sector, then that sector cannot yet be reopened at the local level. Officials in counties with attestations determine when specific sectors of their economy can reopen if state guidance has been posted. It is up to the local jurisdiction to make decisions regarding reopening specific sectors based upon the epidemiology and readiness of the county.

Placer County’s COVID-19 cases have increased recently, including a 35% rise in the past week. The 7-day average testing positivity rate has increased from 1% to 3% as of the latest reporting period, indicating that increased cases are not merely the result of increased testing, but this rate remains below a threshold of 8% that has been identified by the California Department of Public Health. Placer County hospitals continue to have adequate capacity, including available critical care beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment. Placer County’s other data have not met any of the triggers outlined in the local attestation, nor the state’s new monitoring indicators, as shown in today’s health officer presentation.

The vast majority of new cases have been in people younger than 65. There have been a few clusters of cases – several in one family related to international travel, several in fast-food workers as well as cases in the Auburn Jail. In an environment of community transmission, it is difficult to pinpoint where and how someone became infected with a virus that has an incubation period of up to two weeks and that can be transmitted by people without symptoms. For most cases, a precise infection source cannot be determined.

“We knew before reopening began that cases of COVID-19 would increase as the county reopened. We made clear in our attestation in May that our goals were to avoid overwhelming the health care system and to protect vulnerable populations,” said Sisson. “My team will watch the case rate metric closely in the coming days and weeks, as it is cause for concern. Should Placer County’s data not meet the state-defined cutoff, I will engage our Board of Supervisors and the California Department of Public Health to identify what is driving increases and identify action steps for addressing issues that impact areas of concern.”

While county health officials continue to monitor data, the Board of Supervisors today directed County Executive Officer Todd Leopold to prepare a letter to the governor and state health officials requesting guidance be released for the remaining businesses in stage 3 that don’t have permission to open at the end of this week.

“We are hopeful the governor will provide us with the guidance we are requesting,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “Our county leadership has demonstrated prudence and wisdom throughout this crisis, and has complied with the state’s guidance throughout the stay-at-home order and reopening.”

Youth sports stirred many members of the community to provide public comment during today’s discussion. Most advocated on behalf of allowing the outdoor activity that is currently not permitted by the governor.

“It’s very frustrating to tell our parents their kids cannot go outdoors and play soccer and baseball or participate in organized sports. We are taking precautions to protect our vulnerable populations, but we also need to protect the health of our young people and being cooped up inside all day long is not healthy for anyone,” said Board Chair Bonnie Gore. “Our residents need to contact the governor to let him know our kids need to be playing outside. He needs to hear from all of us.”