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County Public Health Officer amends shelter-at-home order — low-risk businesses to reopen starting Friday subject to specific social distancing practices
May 7, 2020
SOLANO COUNTY – Solano County Public Health officials have drafted a roadmap to reopening, following the concepts in the State Resiliency Roadmap. The local roadmap outlines activities and criteria-based phases necessary to lift the shelter-at-home health order in accordance with the Governor's strategy for reopening the state. The roadmap is a living policy document that both abides by the existing Solano County and State of California Public Health Orders.
"Residents have done a great job staying at home and when out in the community practicing social distancing in Solano County," says Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer. “People’s individual efforts have saved lives, enabled our hospitals to prepare to handle a surge of ill patients, and curbed the spread of coronavirus. As we move toward recovery and the opportunity to reopen businesses safely, in phases based on our county’s risk management best practices, it is crucial for community members to adhere to the public health guidelines and social distancing and to shelter at home if you are an at-risk individual.”
The Solano roadmap draws its concepts from the State and epidemiological analysis, and looks at risk of transmission and ability to reduce or minimize the risk as a key factor in business activities and the ability to reopen. The level of risk in an activity and the potential impact to the health and wellbeing of Solano County residents is essential in the success of the roadmap being able to help reopen businesses without increasing the public health risk of COVID19 exposures. The roadmap envisions phases much like the State plan. The County has outlined activities and grouped business into three categories of risk: low, medium and high.
Starting May 8, 2020, low-risk businesses in Solano County may reopen providing they have implemented and maintain social distancing best practices for reducing the spread of COVID19
Certain businesses, organizations and activities, including retail establishments, manufacturing, pet grooming, florists, offices, and City/County local parks (except playgrounds, campgrounds and beaches), which pose a low-risk of COVID-19 transmission, can be modified to allow for social distancing and these may begin reopening on May 8, 2020. All businesses, including those that are currently operating as essential businesses, will be required to develop and post the Social Distancing Protocol describing how they will function to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
"Changes to lifting this order place a lot of responsibility on business owners, their staff and residents to make good decisions," Matyas says. "We urge residents to respect the rules established by businesses and facilities so that they can provide services safely and be mindful of their community members’ health by practicing social distancing as much as possible and wearing facial coverings where six-feet distance cannot be maintained. We have worked for the past few weeks with our business, healthcare and public safety partners as well as with elected officials to develop a plan to allow low-risk activities and businesses in the County to resume and reopen. In doing so, we were careful to adhere to the State’s Phase 2 considerations. However, the Governor’s announcement today limiting reopening to only some of the State’s Phase 2 businesses means that a somewhat wider scope of activities will resume in Solano.”
Businesses and activities under the medium-risk category, including hair and nail salons, restaurants, and massage therapy, among others, will need to meet specific criteria before they can begin operations that are still being developed by the State and the County. The strategy for minimizing risk and the timeline for reopening of medium-risk businesses are still being reviewed and will be discussed further with the Solano County Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, starting at 9 a.m. Details, including how to view and participate, are included on the County’s website at www.SolanoCounty.com/BOS.
The FOX 40 News report and comments by Fairfield Councilwomen Moy are incorrect. The County Public Health Officer has not indicated restaurants can or will open on Monday, May 11. The question Ms. Moy asked during a call with elected officials in Solano County was when could or would restaurants be able to open. The response was restaurants are in the medium-risk businesses category, meaning there is greater risk of spread of the disease in dine-in settings, and that the medium-risk category criteria is still being developed and would be shared with the Board and potentially could take affect later in the week.
Businesses and activities under the high-risk category, including amusement parks, festivals and playgrounds, will continue to remain closed for the time being. Solano County Public Health will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and announce when high-risk activities may take place, depending on the incidence of COVID-19 in the community, hospital capacity and other health related indicators.
Guidance for high-risk individuals
As Solano County reopens, it is important to continue to protect those at high-risk of contracting severe COVID-19 illness, including individuals 65 years of age or older, those with compromised immune systems and people with certain underlying health conditions, particularly, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes, to continue to self-isolate at home and practice the following recommendations:
- Avoid crowds, mass gatherings, large events, public transit, and stay home as much as possible
- Clean and disinfect your home; practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or a sleeve
- Review and update your personal emergency plan
Solano County Public Health continues to monitor the situation to ensure the safety of community members and assess the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Public Health staff continue to be in constant communication with the California Department of Public Health, local hospitals, city officials, and other agencies to make sure we are in alignment to move the state forward. Residents are still required to follow the shelter at home guidance and practice social distancing as much as possible.
For more information about the Roadmap to Recovery, the amended Stay-at-Home health order, social distancing protocol and frequently asked questions about the reopening, visit the Solano County website at www.SolanoCounty.com/COVID19.