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Posted on: July 22, 2020

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER RESPONDS TO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES

Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission is accelerating rapidly in Mono County with the Town of Mammoth Lakes continuing to be the epicenter of increased infection. In the past two weeks, 40 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, representing an 8.03% positivity rate. During the past 7-days, the positivity rate is even higher. The increased rate of positive tests have come from all sources-community pop-up testing, contact tracing, and people with symptoms at the hospital. One person is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. 

As a result of this escalating metric, Mono County will be placed on the California Department of Public Health “Monitoring List” due to our testing positivity rate over 8% from the past 7 days. This will come with additional countywide sector restrictions/rollbacks focused on indoor activities. The Emergency Operations Center will be providing additional information on the anticipated upcoming business sector impacts for Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes. 

Mono County Health Officer Dr. Tom Boo anticipates more transmission (spread) throughout Mono County. “To mitigate this spread it is now more important than ever to wear a face covering in public if you’re unable to physically distance, stay home if you are sick, frequently wash your hands, regularly clean objects and surfaces and to avoid gatherings in groups of any kind, including with relatives from outside your household.”

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER ORDER - Mandatory COVID-19 Testing, Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Compliance with State Guidance for Restaurants in Mammoth Lakes

Due to the significant number (65%) of recent COVID-19 cases in the Town of Mammoth Lakes which originated in or are related to restaurant operations, the Mono County Health Officer has imposed additional requirements on restaurants and other establishments preparing or serving food within the Town of Mammoth Lakes only. This action includes testing of employees, more protective face coverings, and mandatory compliance with State restaurant guidance, including practices which are suggested in that guidance but not made mandatory. 

The Public Health Order is effective immediately and can be viewed under “Directives” at Monohealth.com/coronavirus. The Order applies to all restaurants within the Town of Mammoth Lakes. For purposes of this Order, the following definitions shall apply: 

  • “Restaurant” means a facility that prepares and serves (whether for onsite dining, takeout or delivery) food and/or beverages for human consumption. Examples include, but are not limited to, restaurants, cafes, bars, breweries, distilleries, coffee shops and other similar establishments. 
  • “Employee” means any person employed onsite at a Restaurant, as defined, including, but not limited to, wait staff, servers, bartenders, cooks, bus persons, hosts, managers, and owners (working 20 hours or more). 
  • “Responsible Person” means the Restaurant’s representative who is listed on the Mono County Public Health Business Portal as the person responsible for ensuring compliance with COVID-19 requirements. 

The Public Health Order requires the following actions by restaurants in the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All restaurant employees must wear higher level, more protective face coverings at all times while at work, such as: surgical masks as a minimum or N-95 masks. In addition, eye protection is recommended for all employees (already required for dishwashers). 

Testing Requirement

At least 30% of total number of employees at each restaurant shall be tested between July 22 – 28 at the Mammoth Lakes Community Center. Mono County Public Health is providing free testing for restaurant employees. It is the responsibility of each restaurant to schedule employees for testing. 

Employee Screening

All restaurants shall screen each employee at the beginning of each shift:

  • Screening must be documented and preserved for the duration of declared emergency
  • Removes option of having employees certify in writing that they will report symptoms of possible COVID-19 to employer
  • Sick employees must be excluded from work until cleared by Mono County Public Health or a licensed clinician

Employee Education

All restaurants shall provide their employees with comprehensive training regarding safe practices during COVID-19, including:

  • Review of the State Public Health Guidelines for restaurants
  • Review of Cal/OSHA Guidelines for restaurant operation during COVID-19
  • Review of educational materials and requirements available through the Mono County business portal: https://coronavirus.monocounty.ca.gov/pages/businesses

Violation

Failure by a restaurant to comply with this Order (or State Guidance) shall subject the restaurant to immediate closure:

  • First violation: immediately closed for 72-hours
  • Second violation: immediately closed for 5-days
  • Subsequent violation(s): immediately closed for 7-days
  • Fines, referral to ABC, etc. are also possible

Verification

Each restaurant shall attest, through the Mono County Business Portal, as to the restaurant’s compliance. Attestation shall include:

  • Names and total number of employees
  • Names and dates of tested employees
  • Failure by a restaurant to self-attest by midnight July 28 shall result in immediate closure until attestation is completed

The Town of Mammoth Lakes Ambassador Program will be communicating with restaurants, ensuring compliance with the Order and assisting with the acquisition of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce. For additional information, please email the Town Code Compliance officer at codecompliance@townofmammothlakes.ca.gov or contact the Chamber of Commerce at kbrengle@MammothLakesChamber.org. 

We encourage everyone to #STAY SAFE TO STAY OPEN!

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