‘Some kind of normalcy’: Local businesses, government adjust to statewide reopening | TheUnion.com

‘Some kind of normalcy’: Local businesses, government adjust to statewide reopening

Lifeguards at the Nevada City public pool at Pioneer Park on Tuesday await the first swimmers back to the pool for open swim in more than a year after the state’s COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
Photo: Elias Funez

As of Tuesday, many of Nevada County’s businesses and activities took a step toward pre-pandemic operations as the state moved forward with its reopening plan.

The new state public health order, which went into effect Tuesday, superseded the one which put into place the Blueprint for a Safer Economy color-coded tier system, and the restrictions which came with it, last year.

This means, according to the state Department of Public Health, both indoor and outdoor settings — including all business and activity sectors previously listed within the tier system — no longer have capacity or physical distancing restrictions.

Only “mega events,” characterized by crowds greater than 5,000 people indoors or 10,000 outdoors, are highlighted under the current state guidance as requiring vaccine verification or negative testing indoors, and recommending it outdoors.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Tracy LaPierre, manager of Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant in Grass Valley. “It’s summer, and business is picking up, and we’re excited.”

LaPierre said Tuesday that the restaurant was back to full indoor and outdoor seating availability for dine-in customers, and had begun looking for additional staff.

“We’re moving forward and doing everything we can to stay open,“ said LaPierre, adding that as people return to filling the restaurant’s patio this summer, she and other employees of the restaurant are ”just glad to get back to some kind of normalcy.“


Counter services have returned to Nevada City as people are now allowed to enter City Hall without an appointment.
Photo: Elias Funez

Nevada County administrative analyst Taylor Wolfe wrote in an email Tuesday that “all county services are back at pre-pandemic operations and full public counter services are available.”

The Clerk-Recorder’s Office, for example, is welcoming walk-ins, according to Assistant Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Natalie Adona, who added that those in need of the office’s services should proceed “just like normal,” gathering their necessary documents and finding information about fees and more online in preparation for their visit.

According to Wolfe, all county buildings are following mask guidance from the state Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that fully vaccinated visitors may enter without a mask.

Wolfe noted, however, that current public health guidance from these agencies still mandates mask usage regardless of vaccination status in settings such as medical facilities, correction facilities, and public transit, meaning some county facilities and services will fall under this requirement.

“Staff will continue to wear masks in accordance with the recent Cal OSHA requirements, although Cal OSHA has another meeting planned on June 17, which may change these rules,” wrote Wolfe.

The county’s Community Development Agency updated its available online information Tuesday to say that it would be open for walk-ins and limited appointments from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Appointments for Public Works and Building can be made online, and appointments for Environmental Health, Agriculture, Code, Cannabis, or Planning can be made by calling 530-265-1222.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.

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