Yuba and Sutter County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Saturday to approve documentation to be submitted to the state, accelerating phase two of the COVID-19 recovery where businesses deemed to pose a lower risk of community spread can begin to reopen.
The document, known as an attestation, outlines what counties must do to authorize a course different from the statewide plan for easing COVID-19 restrictions. Criteria outlined in the form includes readiness, a COVID-19 containment plan, contact tracing and more, Yuba County media and community relations director Russ Brown said.
The plan, a bi-county effort between Yuba and Sutter, was submitted to the California Department of Public Health on Saturday, he said.
Brown said the counties are trying to avoid a two steps forward, three steps back approach from earlier this week when the area began opening up businesses and restaurants before essentially getting reprimanded by the state when Alcohol and Beverage Control came in to shut down all dine-in sales a day later.
Then two days later, Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, sent nearly identical letters dated May 7 to Yuba, Sutter and Modoc counties saying, in part, that areas that defy a state order could lose the ability to receive any and all future disaster assistance funds.
“Disaster assistance programs prohibit a jurisdiction from receiving funding for a condition caused by its own negligence,” Ghilarducci wrote in the letter to Yuba County. “Should Yuba County experience a surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of hasty and careless actions, the county may be ineligible for reimbursement.”
Brown said compliance all the way around is key in this process.
“We’re trying to avoid being out of step from what the state requires,” he said.
Under phase two rules, counties must submit an application declaring that the presence of the virus is limited or nonexistent in their jurisdictions and they’ve met certain requirements to prepare for a future surge in infections before opening additional businesses.