Nevada County fast tracks through Stage Two |

Nevada County fast tracks through Stage Two

John Orona
Staff Writer

Dine-in restaurants, destination retailers, and office-based businesses are now eligible to reopen after state officials approved Nevada County’s attestation that it meets public health readiness criteria.

Businesses must train employees on how to screen for symptoms and limit the spread of COVID-19, modify their facilities to allow for social distancing, perform a risk assessment and a site-specific protection plan, and ensure they implement industry-specific guidelines before reopening.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday released new guidance for dine-in restaurants and shopping centers.

While schools are eligible to reopen, Public Health Officer Dr. Ken Cutler said the county does not plan to return to in-person education this school year. Businesses including nail salons, tattoo parlors, bars, and gyms are not eligible to reopen.

According to Environmental Health Director Amy Irani, county staff performed outreach with businesses Tuesday to inform them of the steps they would need to take before reopening.

“People aren’t quite ready to open their doors, but they’re grateful for the information,” Irani said.

According to Sergio’s Caffe, they were preparing to open by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Despite the prospect of more businesses opening up — more than 70% according to Newsom — some feel the county hasn’t gone far enough.

On Tuesday about 30 people gathered outside the Eric Rood Administration Center during the Board of Supervisors meeting to bring attention to the plight of business owners and urge them to reopen the county more quickly.

“Nevada County is a small community, and we see the hurt on our friends and neighbors and wanted to reach out and connect with fellow people that are needing support,” said Vanessa Colomb, organizer of the protest. “We want them to open our county. If it doesn’t open, (small businesses) will be gone. It’s sad to see our community fall like this.”

Colomb, a Penn Valley business owner, said because of the low rate of infection, the county should consider moving past the state timeline and into Stage Three, when personal services could reopen.

“We’re at no active cases for a while and no new cases,” Colomb said. “If there were more cases it would be different, but people should have the freedom to decide for themselves.”

Colomb said a protest in downtown Grass Valley is planned for May 22.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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