County Policy Makers and Health Officer Agree - County is Ready to Start Reopen

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 28, 2020 / comments

[Cris Alarcon]

On 4/28 The County Board of Supervisors and The Director of Public Health agree to send a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom that the county is ready to start a safe reopening.  The County has let lapse its additional restrictions and will rely on State’s minimum requirements for a safe “Phased” reopening.

The text of the letter follows:


April 28, 2020

The Honorable Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Newsom:

As we are all aware, over the past few weeks the residents of California have done an outstanding job in slowing the spread of COVID-19. While those actions were absolutely necessary, we believe that the actions taken by El Dorado County have put us in a position to begin reopening our economy safely and we are requesting your permission to do so.

Since the beginning of this crisis, El Dorado County took a community wide approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, we put systems in place to ensure county government, including the Public Health Officer and Sheriff’s Office, education, our two hospitals, non-profits and business community, worked in partnership to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Enclosed for your review are documents summarizing these efforts (Community Resources/Workgroup Status Report).

To date, El Dorado County has been successful in preventing the spread of the virus as evidenced by having a total of 42 confirmed cases, with only five active cases at this time and only 2.4 percent of all tests (>1700) being positive. In addition, over the past 14 days the number of active cases has remained flat.

The efforts we have taken are consistent with your six indicators, including proactive efforts to protect vulnerable populations such as our older adults and homeless, our hospitals are confident they have systems in place to handle surges, and collaborative discussions between our Public Health Department and school and child care facilities will continue into the next school year. With the assistance of your office, beginning in early May, El Dorado County’s testing capacity will increase to approximately 300 tests per day. Based on our population, this number of tests is proportionally consistent with your goal of conducting 60,000–80,000 tests per day statewide.

Based on the overall rural nature of our county and the collaborative efforts of the partners identified above, we believe the greatest risk of COVID-19 will occur when statewide travel orders are lifted and tourists resume traveling to our region. However, this is not a reason to prevent our business from reopening in a safe manner based on direction and guidance from our Public Health Officer. Those guiding documents are also enclosed for your review (Reopening Guidelines).

While implementing the stay-at-home requirements in our county were necessary, we also recognize the significant financial impact this is now placing on our entire community, especially our small business owners. Due to the efforts taken by our county, we have clearly demonstrated the ability to protect our residents from COVID-19 and we are requesting your approval to allow for the limited, phased reopening of our economy that allows for the eventual safe return of El Dorado County to normal operations and activities in a safe manner, as well as the ability of the Health Officer to immediately reinstate more restrictive guidelines if El Dorado County begins to see an increase in the number of positive cases beyond what our local health system can handle.

Upon approving this phased approach, the following requirements will be put into place for the next phase:



- Anyone who is feeling ill should stay home and isolate from others, seeking medical care if necessary.

- Everyone should continue following physical distancing, hand and surface sanitization, covering coughs and sneezes, and face covering guidelines.

- Vulnerable (high risk) individuals should continue to stay at home.


Individuals and Groups

- Social Settings – Gatherings of people from different households still avoided.

- Visits to vulnerable individuals in congregate settings limited to essential visits only.

- Non-essential travel is not allowed.


Work and Business

- All workplaces to have policies to ensure that sick employees do not come to work and that they go home immediately if they become ill at work.

- Use of all spaces to be limited in occupancy at all times to meet the 6-foot distancing requirements.

- Other non-pharmaceutical interventions shall be applied as applicable (hand and surface sanitation, use of face coverings, etc.) per State guidance.

- Protection and accommodations should be provided to employees who are high risk for COVID-19.

- Businesses eligible to operate are encouraged to limit the number of staff and clients in the building at a given time such that physical distancing and sanitation requirements can be maintained in accordance with all guidelines and regulations.

- Operation of nonessential businesses that can maintain physical distance through the entire transaction, that are non-contact related is permitted.

-  Guidelines for decreasing the opportunity for spread of COVID-19 include:

. Encouraging local businesses to use phone and electronic ordering in lieuof in-store shopping.

. Offering curbside pick-up/home delivery of goods.

. Marking floors and seating to encourage 6-foot spacing between people(customers, employees, others).

. Allowing limited numbers of people into business at any given time –using standards for maximum customers.

. Establishing appointment systems and staggering appointment times.


Outdoor Recreation:

- Acceptable to the extent allowed by the State’s order.

- Physical distancing required.

- Equipment/surfaces handled/touched by different people to be sanitized between users.

- Should occur near the participant’s place of residence; travel outside one’s own community for recreation is discouraged.


We thank you for your consideration of our request to reopen the economy in El Dorado County under local orders which are developed in concurrence with the County Public Health Officer, and support of the CEOs of the two hospitals and managers of the two incorporated Cities, Placerville and Lake Tahoe.


Brian Veerkamp, Chair Board of Supervisors

Nancy Williams, MD., Public Health Office



Reopening Guidelines 

Community Resources/Workgroups Status Report



Senator Brian Dahle

 Assemblyman Frank Bigelow

 Assemblyman Kevin Kiley

 Brad Kilger, Interim City Manager, South Lake Tahoe

Cleve Morris, City Manager, Placerville

Siri Nelson, CEO, Marshall Hospital

 Dr. Clint Purvance, CEO, Barton Memorial Hospital

 Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools