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.


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

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.”

Placer Receives Clarification on Stage Three Reopening

Friday’s California Governor news conference has generated some questions about counties’ current ability to move forward on reopening at their own pace. We’ve just received written confirmation from California Department of Public Health‘s health officer that, under the statewide order, a business sector is allowed to reopen only after the State has posted its guidance online at www.covid19.ca.gov AND the local health officer approves the sector to resume. The following guidance from their letter applies to counties like Placer with a variance to move more quickly through Stage 2 of the State’s reopening roadmap: “A variance county can elect to open a given sector so long as (1) the State has issued guidance for how a given sector can reopen and (2) the local health officer has provided approval for that sector to open in that locality. If the state has not yet released guidance for a sector, then that sector cannot yet be opened.”

As one of the first counties to have its attestation approved, Placer County has moved both quickly and carefully to safely reopen. We’ve reopened as many business sectors as allowed by the State order, and our Board of Supervisors has formally requested permission to move further into Stage 3 of the State’s roadmap. We’ve created our own materials for future-stage businesses to prepare for reopening based on the state guidance issued to date: https://www.placer.ca.gov/reopen/planahead

Guidance for sectors that may currently reopen in Placer County can be found at: https://www.placer.ca.gov/reopen/guidance
And visit the ‘Can I Reopen?’ page for more information: https://www.placer.ca.gov/reopen/canireopen

Placer Supervisors Seek Permission to Reopen Stage 3 Businesses

Pointing to Placer County’s success at flattening the COVID-19 curve and the proactive efforts of the local business community to prepare for safely reopening, the county Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a resolution to request permission from the state to move into Stage 3 of California’s reopening roadmap.

On May 12, Placer County became one of the first counties in the state to receive a variance to move more quickly than the state through Stage 2. Today’s resolution follows a similar proposal approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on May 19.

“We hear both sides of this issue and people are very passionate about it,” said Board Chair and District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “We are concerned about protecting the most vulnerable. That’s what we’ve been doing now for the past two and a half months. However, there is also a balance between protecting human life and protecting the other parts of life that are important – the economic and mental health of our residents. As we open up, we anticipate a spike will happen. The good news is that we’re well prepared to address those surges. As we move forward, we all have to continue being kind to one another and taking precautions to keep one another safe.”

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the county has worked closely with Placer’s cities, chambers of commerce and other business groups to advise and educate businesses on the need for strict adherence to state reopening guidelines, including producing its own materials for future-stage businesses to prepare for reopening based on the state guidance issued to date. 

The resolution asks for the state to allow reopening of Stage 3 businesses in Placer County such as nail salons, gyms, lodging for tourism and entertainment venues – with adaptations and limits on size of gatherings. It also requests that youth sports and programs be allowed to resume.  

Acknowledging the significance of the summer season for Placer’s tourism-based economy in eastern Placer County, the resolution asks for specific flexibility to reopen for tourism no later than June 1 and for the state to provide reopening guidance for the industry. 

“Businesses have taken dramatic cuts. They’re just trying to keep employees to help pay their bills and put food on the table for their families,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “I’m not supporting this because of economic gains or county revenues. This is about community members who are dramatically suffering. Some of our small business people are losing everything they’ve worked their whole lives for.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced May 25 that the state would allow in-person church services limited to 100 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is smaller, upon approval by the local health department, which Placer’s health officer has provided. The resolution requests even more flexibility for church services, The resolution requests even more flexibility for church services, seeking to eliminate the 100-person attendance limit. 

The resolution further requests the state to release the estimated $40 million the county expects to receive in funding provided through the federal CARES Act to reimburse local agencies for certain costs of their COVID-19 responses. 

In a related item, the board approved a study of Placer’s local COVID-19 infection rate to move forward. The seroprevalence study would investigate how many residents have been infected with COVID-19 by testing for antibodies in a representative pool of volunteer residents, which could provide better insight into the county’s overall COVID-19 infection and mortality rates.  

Though the board approved a cost of up to $250,000, the study is not expected to come at any net expense to the county; with $150,000 anticipated to come from CARES Act funding, health insurance providers paying for individual tests and additional funding expected from other potential community partners. 

“We started with no infections, and we’re headed for herd immunity, or some semblance of it,” said District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “Understanding where we are now in the process is essential information to inform the many more policy decisions we’ll have to make as we continue to deal with the disease in the coming months.”

Placer Allows Hair Salons, Barber Shops, and Places of Worship to Reopen.

Under new state guidance released today by the California Department of Public Health, places of worship in Placer County can now hold religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity – or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower, with approval by the local health department. The county health officer has approved this resumption. Find the guidance here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf.

Additionally, hair salons and barbershops can also reopen in Placer County per the state’s guidance. Visit the Reopen Placer website for resources and information at https://www.placer.ca.gov/reopen

City of Rocklin Offices To Reopen to the Public on Tuesday, May 26

City of Rocklin offices will reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 26, in compliance with the State of California’s Resilience Roadmap allowing office functions to resume where telework is not possible.

The City has implemented key prevention practices recommended by public health authorities to reopen safely and responsibly, including, but not limited to:

  • Physical distancing to the maximum extent possible, including installation of protective barriers at front counters and between employee workstations
  • Encouraging customers to use face coverings at all times when inside City buildings
  • Encouraging employees to use face coverings when interacting with customers and when physical distancing is not possible between employees
  • Frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces
  • Employee training and information on the elements of the COVID-19 prevention plan
  • Posting of recommend behaviors for employees and guests in prominent areas

Customers are asked to conduct as much business as possible with the City online or by phone, but front counters and lobbies will be open during regular business hours. Staffing will be limited as teleworking continues, where possible.

“The health and safety of Rocklin citizens, our employees and the entire community continues to be our highest priority,” City Manager Steve Rudolph said. “City staff have served residents throughout the pandemic and we all look forward to safely increasing our availability to facilitate the important business of our residents, businesses and stakeholders.”

Placer County Receives Local Variance to Move Further into Stage 2

Placer County has been given the green light by the California Department of Public Health to begin moving further into Stage 2 of California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order. Today, the Placer County COVID-19 Variance Attestation submission was officially posted on the CDPH website, allowing the county to begin reopening additional businesses in Stage 2 that had been closed under the state’s current order.

“I cannot express how thankful I am to represent a county that is so dedicated to doing what is right for its residents,” said Placer County Supervisor and Board Chair Bonnie Gore. “County staff has been working non-stop to prepare for an accelerated reopening ever since the governor shared last week that it was possible to seek a local variance to move faster than the state’s pace. We have a business community that is committed to reopening responsibly to ensure our residents remain healthy and safe.” 

Business sectors in Placer County that will be allowed to resume operations once they have implemented state reopening guidance include shopping centers and all in-store retail, in addition to dine-in restaurants — although bars, breweries and wineries will not be permitted to reopen beyond takeout and delivery at this time unless they provide in-house dining. Office-based businesses will also be allowed to reopen but telework is strongly encouraged.

On Tuesday, the governor announced the statewide reopening of two more business sectors in Stage 2 that had not been allowed to open with the first wave. These include personal services that are limited to: car washes, pet grooming, dog walking, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening as well as outdoor museums and open gallery spaces.

Businesses in these two sectors are urged to review guidance and post readiness checklists at their establishments to self-certify their commitment to reopen safely. These materials are now available for review and preparation on the new Reopen Placer website.

The Board of Supervisors convened a special meeting on Monday, May 11, to review the attestation and voted unanimously to provide a letter of support in moving forward.

“I want to caution all of our business owners to closely follow the state’s reopening guidance to help protect the public’s health,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “Our attestation includes metrics that will require us to slow down or roll back reopening efforts if we see a surge in COVID-19 cases. I have faith that every resident in this county will do their part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, because that is what it is going to take for all of us to succeed.”  

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.

Placer County has enlisted the support of regional economic development stakeholders – such as cities, economic development directors and chambers of commerce – to assist with educating Placer businesses on how to adhere to state guidance as part of its  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 such as Placer may achieve a local variance to accelerate through Stage 2, there is not yet the local ability to move to Stage 3. 

Placer approves urgency ordinances in response to COVID-19

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a series of urgency ordinances in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

In the first of two urgency ordinances, the board voted to delay the annual adjustment of impact fees until October instead of July. 

The county collects development impact fees to fund infrastructure necessitated by growth.

Every year staff brings impact fees to the Board of Supervisors to make adjustments pursuant to changes in a specified consumer price index or a consumer cost index to make sure that the fees keep up with inflation.

County staff determined that the timing of the fee adjustments was problematic given the COVID-19 emergency and its financial impacts on the community.

The Building Industry Association and other industry experts recently cited concerns over an increase in fees due to an expected decrease in construction activity because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The board may choose to further delay fee adjustments at the July board meeting.

For the second urgency ordinance, the board voted to suspend penalties and interest on an interim basis until July 31 for unpaid transient occupancy taxes that were due for the first quarter of this calendar year.

Reporting is still required but the suspension of penalties and interest will allow additional time to process and send payments to Placer County. The urgency ordinance will also help alleviate additional administrative burdens so that operators can focus their efforts elsewhere.

Many lodging operators and organizations were required by the governor’s executive order to stop operating their businesses to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and this took a heavy toll on revenue, which has caused many operators and organizations to miss the TOT remittance deadlines.

“The lodging community and TOT certificate holders in Placer County have done a remarkable job in cooperating with the governor’s executive order, which has contributed to public safety and supports the area’s finite health care system,” said Placer County Revenue Services Manager Doug Jastrow. “Of particular note are the efforts of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association to inform would-be visitors to eastern Placer County of the executive order’s limits to commercial lodging and non-essential travel.” Taxes paid by visitors help fund services benefitting the entire county including public infrastructure projects and tourism marketing and promotion, but are also used for public safety, transportation, libraries, parks and historical and environmental preservation projects. TOT must be collected not just by traditional lodging providers like hotels but also by those who provide lodging through internet-based services like Airbnb, HomeAway and Vacation Rentals By Owner.

While Shelter-In-Place Remains, Placer Looks To Phased Reopening

As of Saturday, May 2, Placer County’s local health order will expire and residents will be guided by the governor’s Executive Order to shelter in place — removing any confusion over areas of difference between the two orders. This transition will allow a focus on planning for a phased reopening in partnership with local governments, health care, business and other stakeholders, as well as regional and state partners.

In response to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Placer County and the greater Sacramento area, last month the Placer County health officer issued a directive – and later, an order – intended to slow the spread of the disease by asking residents to stay at home except for essential needs. The local order was intended to complement the indefinite statewide shelter-in-place order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on March 19.

The goal of sheltering in place is to flatten the curve—to avoid a large number of cases all at once that would overwhelm the health care system and result in deaths that could have been prevented if cases were spread out over time. The current numbers demonstrate that sheltering in place has helped slow the spread of COVID-19 in Placer County.

“It is of critical importance that our residents understand the necessity to shelter in place and our local order was a tool to underscore this. I am grateful that our community has shown this understanding, and I recognize the deep sacrifices made to adhere to orders,” Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson said. “With this awareness built, we will move forward under the statewide order and turn our local attention to planning for a phased reopening.”

While the local order is ending, area residents still need to shelter in place. Governor Newsom’s statewide shelter-in-place order remains in effect until further notice. The governor’s Executive Order permits critical workers in 13 sectors to work, and allows people to leave their homes for necessities such as food, medications and health care.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the state order can be found at covid19.ca.gov. Placer County will continue to receive questions about the state order from local businesses and residents, and will work to synthesize and address these with the state. Businesses that remain open as permitted under the governor’s order are still asked to adhere to physical distancing protocols provided on the county’s guidance page at www.placer.ca.gov/coronavirus/guidance. The health officer’s recommendation to wear face coverings when maintaining 6 feet of physical distance in public is not possible also remains in effect.

Placer County Public Health is focused on working with partners to build local capabilities necessary for an eventual and safe reopening. The state’s six indicators have been identified by Governor Newsom as:

  • The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed;
  • The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;
  • The ability of the hospital and health system to handle surges;
  • The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand;
  • The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and
  • The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

“While aspects of these indicators are beyond our control at the local level, we are excited to see testing capacity increasing day by day, and we appreciate the engagement of our business community,” Sisson said. “There is still work to be done and we are not out of the woods. It is not yet safe to reopen, but progress is being made.”

Placer County has created sector-specific task forces to ensure the reopening of our county is managed effectively within public health guidance protocols. The task forces will coordinate with the state, county departments, local cities and chambers of commerce as well as our non-profit partners to share information and develop health and safety guidelines to assist all sectors of our community.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to reopening every sector of county government. Court officials will face different challenges than our Parks Department and the same holds true for our business community and school districts,” said Placer County CEO Todd Leopold. “We intend to work through operational issues that are relevant to each sector so that we are can effectively maintain public health standards for when the governor lifts the stay-at-home order.”

The governor has announced four stages around how California may modify the statewide stay-at-home order in the future, as part of a “Resilience Roadmap.” State leaders made clear that California is still in stage 1, and movement to the second stage will be a statewide shift and not a local decision.