State officials to decide next week if businesses can reopen |

State officials to decide next week if businesses can reopen

John Orona
Staff Writer

California Department of Public Health officials on Monday will review whether Nevada County can reopen more businesses and move through Stage Two of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-stage recovery plan sooner, county officials announced in a Friday briefing.

The first phase of Stage Two began Friday and saw some retail curbside pick up and delivery retailers reopening, along with logistics and manufacturing businesses.

The state will allow more lower-risk businesses — including some offices, dine-in restaurants and shopping malls — to reopen next week if their counties can attest to meeting state public health readiness criteria, get letters of support from area hospitals and Boards of Supervisors, and produce a plan for moving through Stage Two.

Nevada County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Heidi Hall said the board would be open to calling an emergency meeting if needed to move the process along quickly.

A regular meeting of the supervisors is set for Tuesday. The letter of support is on the agenda.

Although the county’s attestation plan is not yet ready, Public Health Director Jill Blake said the Monday state-level meeting will provide an opportunity to hear feedback and make corrections.

As part of the readiness criteria, counties must attest to having adequate personal protective equipment, testing capacity, contact tracers, and metrics that would trigger when modifications need to be rolled back.

A more detailed list of criteria is expected to be released Tuesday, but includes needing at least 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents, 15 trained contact tracers per 100,000 county population, and the ability to temporarily shelter at least 15% of county residents experiencing homelessness.

The county’s reopening advisory committee met Friday to finalize local recommendation based on the guidelines Newsom laid out Thursday. According to Assistant CEO Mali Dyck, those recommendations, along with resources for businesses, would be available on the county website: Dyck also said county staff would be available to advise businesses during the transition.

Before any business can reopen it must perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan; train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them; implement individual control measures and screenings; implement disinfecting protocols; and implement physical distancing guidance.

The county also rescinded its local stay-at-home order Friday. The state order remains in effect.

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

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