We Need More Testing Before We Open County Back Up

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 27, 2020 / comments

[El Dorado County Democratic Party]

Placerville City Council

Dear Board Chair Saragosa and Members of the Placerville City Council:

El Dorado County is testing about 50 people per day for COVID 19. The good news is that the State of California will soon provide two (2) new testing sites in recognition of our county’s need to significantly boost testing capacity. That’s a positive development for all El Dorado County residents and businesses.

However, I’m deeply concerned that the County Board of Supervisors would consider any kind of reopening of non-essential businesses when in El Dorado County less than 1% of the county residents have been tested. When we get these two additional testing sites up and operational in the next few days, we'll start to see an increase of testing beyond 50 per day. Right now, you have extremely limited test results upon which to make any informed decisions. Further, a significant early re-opening of county non-essential businesses, especially restaurants and bars, would likely result in a surge of visitors from outside of El Dorado County, thereby increasing the likelihood that El Dorado County becomes the next COVID 19 hotspot. The photos of the mismanaged re-opening of beaches in Orange County this past weekend should serve as a precautionary sign of the consequences of pre-mature re-opening of nonessential business/services.

As I understand, South Lake Tahoe does not want to pursue a phase 2 re-opening at this time due to uncertainty in their local hospital capacity. On the west slope, I understand that Marshall Hospital is supposedly supportive if the county decides to pursue phase 2 reopening, mainly because Marshall anticipates that the Arco Arena temporary hospital will be available to handle the surge capacity.

However, if Marshall’s projections are based on continuing the current ‘shelter in place’ / non-essential business guidelines, then re-opening soon will undermine those hospital capacity projections.

While we’re all eager to see all El Dorado County businesses reopen and return to some sense of normalcy, I urge prudent caution in taking premature action to ease up on the current “Stay at home” guidance and restrictions on non-essential businesses.

Frank Porter, Chair (Acting)
El Dorado County Democratic Party