The California Department of Public Health approved Colusa County's phased opening plan and granted the submitted variance request Wednesday, allowing the county to fully enter into Phase 2 of the reopening process.
The county had been in Phase 2A of their plan since the expiration of the shelter-in-place order on Friday night, but are now allowed to expand into Phase 2B simultaneously.
In this phase of the plan, restaurants are now allowed to open, but to no more than half capacity to promote social distancing. Destination retailers may also reopen but curbside pick-up is encouraged.
Congregate sites, including schools, camps, organized youth activities, child care facilities and outdoor recreation facilities are now also allowed to reopen, as well, with appropriate physical distancing and hygiene protocols.
Social gatherings must be limited to 10 people during this phase, which applies to organized activities, groups, meetings, and religious groups, etc. Recreational travel is now permitted.
According to a release issued by Elizabeth Kelly, director of Health and Human Services for Colusa County, the plan includes proactive measures and actions for residents and businesses to mitigate a large spike in positive COVID-19 cases.
Phase 2 calls for continued social distancing of at least six feet when in public and face coverings are recommended, but are not required.
“We are extremely proud of the effort that the community has put forth to get us to this point,” said Denise Carter, chair of the Colusa County Board of Supervisors. “However, the work continues … Community support and personal responsibility are critical components of the plan, and we need your help in following the actions and guidelines to keep yourself, your family, and our community healthy.”
County officials will monitor activity during phase 2 for the next two weeks before transitioning into phase 3 of their plan, pending approval from the state.
Phase 3 will allow bars to reopen with appropriate physical distancing and diminished occupancy. Restaurants will be allowed to resume normal business and capacities and physical distancing restrictions will be removed from worksites and businesses. Personal services including nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios will also be permitted to reopen.
According to the plan, should an increase in spread of illness be significant, the public will be asked to return to stricter protocols.