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State provides business reopening guidelines

John Orona
Staff Writer

California will move into Stage Two of its four-part recovery plan beginning today, allowing some retail businesses to reopen for delivery and curb side pickup if they implement a site-specific protection plan and meet other conditions.

During the first phase of Stage Two some lower-risk businesses, like retail and their associated logistics and manufacturing supply chains, will reopen with industry-specific guidelines starting today. Bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores, and florists are included in the first phase.

The guidelines, found at http://www.COVID19.ca.gov, encourage retailers to increase pick up and delivery services, manufacturers to close break rooms, and delivery drivers to replace personal protective equipment at each stop, among other recommendations.

During the second phase of Stage Two, expected to start next week, additional lower risk businesses like some offices, dine-in restaurants and shopping malls could reopen by adhering to their industry-specific guidelines. Outdoor museums, childcare facilities, schools, car washes, pet grooming businesses, tanning facilities, and landscape and gardening businesses will also be included in the second phase. Other amenities, like bars or gaming areas, are not permitted.

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According to Marilyn Tubbs, co-owner of Main Street Antiques and Books in Nevada City, the guidelines won’t change much about her business.

Since closing in March, the store has operated some kind of limited pick-up service, with Tubbs recommending books over the phone.

“Its a challenge because I’m a people person,” Tubbs said. “Most people want to browse and come in to feel and look at the books. They can’t do that yet.”

During Stage Three, higher risk environments like salons, gyms, entertainment venues and religious services would be allowed to open with industry-specific modifications.

REOPENING

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.

Industry-specific risk assessment and protection plan checklists are available for businesses to post for customers and employees to show they’ve reduced their risk.

The county’s reopening advisory committee will meet today to finalize its guidelines to businesses and ensure they align with the state’s criteria. The committee expects to release the guidance today.

“We are also preparing a template or checklist that businesses can use to develop their own specific plan,” Assistant County Executive Officer Mali Dyck said in an email.

The committee, not open to the public, does not include a representative from the western Nevada County business community after the committee’s invited representative did not respond. The representative was not replaced so the committee could move quickly.

Members include Dyck; Grass Valley City Manager Tim Kiser; Nevada City Manager Catrina Olson; Truckee Town Manager Jeff Loux; County Environmental Health Director Amy Irani; County Chief Building Official Craig Griesbach; County Public Health Director Jill Blake; Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay; Nevada County Economic Resource Council representative Jason Fouyer; Cassie Hebel of Downtown Truckee Merchants, representing the eastern Nevada County business community; Mike Mastrodonato of the Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce, representing the unincorporated county business community; Rev. Seth Kellerman, Emmanuel Episcopal Church; Sheriff Shannan Moon; Dr. Roger Hicks of Yuba Docs; and Annie Rosenfeld of Tahoe Donner, representing the recreation community.

VARIANCE

Newsom announced that criteria for counties to move through Stage Two and open more higher risk environments more quickly would be released Tuesday. The counties would have to attest to meeting state public health readiness criteria.

The criteria would be based on: COVID-19 prevalence, measured by a county having no deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 people in the past 14 days; ability to protect essential workers by providing disinfectant supplies and protective gear and supporting sick or exposed workers; testing capacity of at least 1.5 per tests per 1,000 residents; containment capacity, measured by the ability to temporarily house at least 15% of county residents experiencing homelessness and having at least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents; hospital capacity as determined by a facility’s ability to accommodate a minimum surge of 35% while protecting hospital workforce; the ability to protect vulnerable populations including having two weeks of protective equipment on hand for skilled nursing facilities; and monitoring metrics that serve as triggers to slow down or reverse modifications.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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