Tehama County, along with Glenn, Shasta and six other counties, are now among the state's approval list to more quickly move through its Stage 2 reopening process.

The counties were found to have met the “readiness criteria” established by the state, according to the Tehama County Public Health Department.

While the county will be allowed to move through Stage 2 at an accelerated pace, the state approval does not allow the county to move into Stage 3, but is a modification of the stay-at-home executive order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19 in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The approval comes on the heels of Tehama County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Williams and County Public Health Officer Richard Wickenheiser, MD, signing and submitting attestation documents to the state declaring the county has met California's readiness criteria designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

For Tehama County the reopening means businesses such as destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets, can open their doors with modifications, as well as dine-in restaurants after submitting business reopening plans to the county and receiving approval of those plans.

Curb-side retail, manufacturers, logistics, childcare for those outside of the essential workforce, office-based businesses, car washes, pet grooming, landscape gardening, outdoor museums, and open galleries are also allowed to reopen with modifications as part of Phase 2.

Not included on the list is personal services, such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios, entertainment venues with limited capacities, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling and arcade venues, pro sports, zoos, libraries, community centers, nightclubs, theme parks, limited-capacity religious services, and more, according to state reports.

There are no reports of schools in Tehama County reopening at this time, nor an announced timeframe as to when they will be allowed to reopen, according to the county's Public Health Department.

The reopening of higher education facilities is not including in Stage 2, according to state guidelines.

California officials continue to ask anyone who is feeling ill to stay at home, as well as vulnerable persons, and for individuals to wear a face mask when in public, continue social distancing, wash hands regularly, use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, limit gatherings to 10 people or less and to not travel unless necessary.

As of May 14, the county had only one confirmed COVID-19 positive patient, a man in his 60s who subsequently died due to the virus. There have been more than 500 confirmed negative tests conducted in Tehama County, with many more results expected as the county continues its free-of-charge public COVID-19 testing.

From May 18-22 and 26-29, the public testing will be available by appointment through the Tehama County Public Health Department at Corning High School. To make an appointment go online to https://lhi.care/covidtesting, or for those without Internet access, call 1-888-634-1123.

Joining Tehama and Glenn counties to be approved by the state for accelerated Phase 2 reopening is Colusa, Plumas, Yuba-Sutter, Sierra, San Benito, and Tuolumne. Those counties join the list of Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Shasta, Placer, Amador, and Nevada counties that can move more quickly through Phase 2 opening sectors.

A full list of California counties to receive Stage 2 reopening approval is available at www.cdph.ca.gov.

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