County Extending Nonessential Travel to Lake Tahoe

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 30, 2020 / comments

[EDC]

(PLACERVILLE, CA) – El Dorado County Public Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams, today indefinitely extended the Order restricting travel into the Lake Tahoe Basin area of the County.

The current County Order issued April 3, 2020 has an expiration date of 11:59 PM April 30, 2020. Dr. Williams today extended the ban of all nonessential travel into the El Dorado County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin from outside the basin and will review the current situation with local health care professionals at least every 14 days.

Recognizing visitors’ contributions to the local economy, Dr. Williams also noted the role that nonessential visitation plays in impacting the availability of essential supplies and food at grocery stores and pharmacies and that it can place undue strain on a relatively small healthcare system.

However, the Order states “…the Health Officer, in consultation with Barton Memorial Hospital executives and area leaders, has determined that while COVID-19 cases have remained relatively low in the Tahoe region so far, significant risk would still exist were the state’s nonessential travel ban to be lifted.”

As a result, the extension becomes effective at midnight, May 1, 2020. 


See detail here: https://www.edcgov.us/County%20Press%20Releases/Documents/EXTENSION-Nonessential-Travel-SLT.pdf 

HEALTH & HumAN SERVICES Don Semon Director 
Public Health Division Nancy Williams M.D., M.P.H. Public Health Officer 
931 Spring Street Placerville, CA 95667 530-621-6100 Phone / 530-295-2589 Fax 
1360 Johnson Boulevard, Suite 103 South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 530-573-3155 Phone / 530-541-8409 Fax 
COUNTY OF EL DORADO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS JOHN HIDAHL District I SHIVA FRENTZEN District II BRIAN K. VEERKAMP District III LORI PARLIN District IV SUE NOVASEL District V 
EXTENSION OF ORDER OF THE EL DORADO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER RESTRICTING TRAVEL INTO THE LAKE TAHOE BASIN AREA OF EL DORADO COUNTY IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK 
APRIL 29, 2020 

WHEREAS, a state of emergency has been declared by the State of California, local emergencies have been declared in El Dorado County and the Cities of Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, the 'Stay-at-Home' order on March 19, 2020 for the entire state of California with no set end date, and on March 29, 2020 President Trump extended national social-distancing guidance through April 30, 2020, all in response to the COVID-19 virus; and 

WHEREAS, the El Dorado County Public Health Officer (Health Officer) issued a Directive on March 19, 2020 restricting activities within the County that is nearly identical to a Governor's order for the entire state issued later the same day; and 

WHEREAS, the Health Officer issued a subsequent Directive on March 24, 2020 clarifying the meanings of nonessential travel and appropriate use of short-term rentals; and 

WHEREAS, the Health Officer's Directive was extended on April 3 to last until April 30; and WHEREAS, the Health Officer has issued an Order today indicating that her general directive shall expire on April 30, and the County shall follow the Governor's order; and 

WHEREAS, on March 24, the Health Officer clarified that travel for owners to occupy their second homes for recreation or vacation and the use of short term rentals for recreation or vacation is nonessential; and 

WHEREAS, nonessential travel into the Tahoe Basin for recreation and vacation is still occurring; and 

WHEREAS, there is insufficient critical healthcare infrastructure and resources, including hospital beds, ventilators, and workers to adequately treat COVID-19 patients concurrently with ordinary numbers of patients with other illnesses if the virus continues to spread; and 

WHEREAS, residents and healthcare facilities have been seriously impacted in other resort areas in the U.S. that are similar in nature to the Lake Tahoe regiory including counties in Colorado, Idaho, and Utah, by visitors having imported COVID- 19 infections into their communities; and WHEREAS, although El Dorado County normally welcomes and highly values visitors to Lake Tahce as significant contributors to the local economy, during the COVID-19 crisis residents in the Lake Tahoe area could be placed at unnecessary risk from an influx of visitors to the area; and 

WHEREAS, it is the Health Officer's responsibility to take action protect the health of all county reside.; and 

WHEREAS, Barton Memorial Hospital is the only general acute care hospital in the Tahoe Basin and has been notified that its usual back-up facilities for accommodating patient surge will not be accepting patient transfers due to COVID-19 cases already impacting those back-up medical facilities, and 

WHEREAS, the Health Officer, in consultation with Barton Memorial Hospital executives and area leaders, has determined that while COVID-19 cases have remained relatively low in the Tahoe region so far, significant risk would still exist were the state's nonessential travel ban to be lifted; and 

WHEREAS, the Health Officer's previous order, issued on April 3, 2020, to cease all nonessential travel into the El Dorado County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin has an expiration date of April 30, 2020; 

NOW, THEREFORE, the El Dorado County Health Officer hereby extends the order issued on April 3, and continues to ban all nonessential travel into the El Dorado County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin from outside of the basin. This order shall retnain in place unless and until modified by the Health Officer in writing. The Health Officer intends to review the situation with Barton Hospital and other medical professionals no less frequently than every 14 days.