Recent sharp increases in the numbers of local Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has resulted in Mono County being notified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that the county will be placed on the Monitoring List. Placement on the Monitoring List has implications for a number of business sectors, schools, and religious gatherings. The restrictions will go into effect on Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon), and are focused on indoor activities associated with higher risk of pandemic virus transmission.
As the State reopened after the stricter period of the Stay-At-Home order and COVID-19 infections have increased, the CDPH has established criteria related to the amount of disease transmission and the effects on hospitals and the overall public health of communities. The State specifically uses these metrics to identify counties at higher risk of severe pandemic impacts. In recent days, rates of confirmed infections in Mono County have eclipsed thresholds for disease transmission, while our hospital continues to function normally with little impact. Specifically, our rate of infection per capita is equivalent to approximately 250 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days, well over the State’s warning level of 100 cases per 100,000 people. At the same time, the percentage of COVID-19 tests performed that are positive has increased dramatically. Our level of 11.7 percent over the previous 7-days, measured on Monday, July 20, far exceeds the 8% rate established by the State.
When elevated rates persist for some days (a total of 6 including 3 days on the CDPH public website) additional restrictions go into effect, targeting indoor activities (https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/).
Effective Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon), the following industries must close indoor operations, or modify to operate outside or by pick-up:
- Dine-in restaurants
- Wineries and tasting rooms
- Movie theaters
- Family entertainment centers (for example: bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades)
- Zoos and museums
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Personal care services (nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors). Only hair cutting services are allowed the option of outdoor continued operations (https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-hair-salons.pdf)
- Places of worship and cultural ceremonies (weddings and funerals)
- Offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors
- Shopping malls
The following business sectors are permitted to operate during the period of time the county is on the monitoring list:
- Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)
- Campgrounds and outdoor recreation
In addition, State Guidance for reopening schools prohibits schools from opening for in-person education in counties that have been on the Monitoring List within 14-days. However, a school district may request waivers for elementary schools where there is consensus that benefits outweigh risks.
Counties remain on the Monitoring List until all the indicators, the numbers, that put them on the list have improved sufficiently (are below the thresholds) for at least three consecutive days.
All Mono County residents and visitors are asked to do their part to #StaySafeToStayOpen. This is more than a hashtag – it needs to become a way of life. Continued increases in infection rates or new impacts to Mammoth Hospital will require additional restrictions, which will have harmful economic effects on workers, businesses and the community at large.
The Unified Command Emergency Operations Center reminds everyone that gatherings of any size remain prohibited, with the exception of outdoor religious services and political protests, in which safety rules related to distance and face covering must be followed.
“Throughout California we believe that informal gatherings of friends and relatives who don’t live in the same household are helping to drive this epidemic. Distancing is the single most important thing that we all can do to prevent the spread of infections. Face coverings are required throughout California at all times in indoor public settings and outdoors when distancing is not possible. And please keep washing those hands and cleaning those surfaces,” stated Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer. “Most importantly, please stay home when you are ill and seek testing and care if you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. Employers and employees must work together to ensure ill persons stay home from work. Violations are punishable by law.”
Additional information regarding the County Monitoring List, is available online or by visiting the Mono County COVID-19 Portal in English or Spanish.
Cover. Distance. Wash and #StaySafeToStayOpen!