The Mendocino County Public Health Department has announced a series of changes to the county’s health orders in light of the California Department of Public Health’s parameters outlined in the reopening framework known as the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy”.
The noteworthy modifications to local restrictions that will take effect today include removing the 24 hour vacancy requirement between reservations for transient lodging and removing the 50 person capacity from permissible outdoor gatherings (places of worship and providers of religious services and cultural ceremonies, funerals and memorials, and protests). The new restriction requires these gatherings to “limited to the number of attendees which can be accommodated in the outdoor location with strict adherence to a minimum of six feet social distancing between attendees from different households or living units.” Under the new county guidelines, places of worship and providers of religious and cultural ceremonies must keep a sign-sheet to track attendees for the purposes of contact tracing.
The full text of Mendocino County Public Health’s press release describing these changes is as follows:
The most recent Health Officer Shelter in Place (SIP) Order effective upon release on September 8, 2020, continues the requirements for the new State tiered system, including the Widespread risk category (purple), Tier for Mendocino County, and modifies some local restrictions specific to transient lodging and certain State-permitted outdoor gatherings.
On August 28, 2020, the State California Department of Public Health, issued a new Statewide Public Health Officer Order, which became effective on Monday, August 31, 2020, (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH Document Library/COVID-19/8-28-20_Order-Plan-Reducing-COVID19-Adjusting-Permitted-Sectors-Signed.pdf ), creating a new framework for reopening, known as California’s Plan for Reducing COVID-19 and Adjusting Permitted Sector Activities to Keep Californians Health and Safe, (aka Blueprint for a Safer Economy), which relies on a set of risk-based Tiers associated with case rates per capita per day and a percent of positive covid-19 tests. Pursuant to this framework, all Counties may reopen specified sectors according to their county’s Tier. Mendocino County began last week in the Widespread risk (purple) Tier, and continues this week in that category.
The first round of changes went into effect on August 31, 2020, in accordance with this tiered system and maintained the ongoing restrictions of the County Monitoring List with the following additions:
-Hair Salons and barbershops were permitted to re-open indoors
-Retail establishments (which had already been open), require capacity restrictions of 25%, while Grocery stores have a capacity restriction of 50%
-Indoor malls were reopened (except for common areas and food courts) to a maximum capacity of 25%
Additionally, the August 31, 2020, Order modified the local Childcare Unit and Children’s Extracurricular Activity Units based on the new Statewide Small Cohort Guidance (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/small-groups-child-youth.aspx) which allows for small stable groups of no more than 14 children or youth and no more than 2 supervising adults.
SIP Changes Effective September 8, 2020
Effective September 8, 2020, the Health Officer has modified the local restrictions specific to the local tourism industry, by removing the 24 hour vacancy restriction between reservations for all such transient lodging and campground establishments.
The Health Officer has also removed the specific capacity number (previously 50) on all permissible outdoor gatherings, i.e., places of worship and providers of religious services and cultural ceremonies, funerals and memorials, and protests. Instead, in line with revised state criteria, those outdoor gatherings which are allowed by the State, are limited to the number of attendees which can be accommodated in the outdoor location with strict adherence to a minimum of six feet social distancing between attendees from different households or living units. Additionally, the Health Officer removed the prohibition on the use of commercial wedding venues, commercial event centers and conference centers for outdoor religious and cultural ceremonies. While such religious and cultural ceremonies are still limited to the ceremony only (no parties, celebrations or receptions), they may occur outdoors at any such commercial venue whether religious or secular, and in accordance with the statewide guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf). Finally, the Health Officer instituted a requirement that Places of Worship and Providers of Religious and Cultural Ceremonies, maintain a sign-in sheet for attendees of such services/ceremonies (including name and contact information) for at least 14 days after each such event, which it should share with public health officials (only upon request) for the limited purpose of COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing connected to the event.