Sonoma County Public Health Officer Amends Shelter in Place Order to Allow Additional Businesses to Reopen

Posted on May 7, 2020

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The Sonoma County Health Officer today amended the Public Shelter-in-Place Health Order to reopen retail stores for curbside pickup and delivery, effective 12:01 a.m. on May 8, 2020.

These businesses include but are not limited to bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores.

In addition, manufacturers that produce goods for essential businesses and retail stores may resume operations. Stores and shopping malls shall remain closed.

This expansion was made possible by the Governor moving today to the initial phase of Stage Two of his Pandemic Resilience Roadmap and the success of the Shelter-In-Place order in Sonoma County in interrupting community transmission of the Coronavirus.

The Health Officer Amendment allows additional lesser-risk businesses to open based on a risk-assessment approach and implements Governor Newsom’s plan in Sonoma County.

Governor Newsom emphasized in his announcement that “this is not a return to normal and that the virus is still spreading” but that we can gradually reopen as “science, data and public health dictate. As we move into the next stage of reopening, we will do so with updated guidance to help qualifying businesses make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure to customers and workers.”

To go further into Stage Two, Newsom set out a set of criteria that a County must meet before allowing additional businesses to reopen.

The State criteria include:

  • No more than 1 COVID-19 positive case per 10,000 people in the last 14 days;
  • No COVID-19 death in the past 14 days;
  • Minimum daily testing of 1.5 per 1,000 residents;
  • Ability to temporarily house at least 15% of county residents experiencing homelessness;
  • County or regional hospital capacity to accommodate a minimum surge of 35% in new COVID patients;
  • Hospital facilities must have a robust plan to protect hospital workforce;
  • Skilled nursing facilities must have more than 14 day supply of PPE on hand for staff with ongoing procurement from non-state supply chains; and
  • County metrics that serve as triggers for either slowing the pace through Stage Two or tightening modifications.

Sonoma County meets a number of criteria but has an incidence of virus spread and deaths that do not meet the State benchmarks at this time to reopen further as set out in the California’s Resilience Roadmap.

“I concur with the Governor’s assessment of our success and need for continued vigilance. We will continually assess whether we meet the State requirements and work with the business community to make sure we are able to safely reopen additional businesses as soon as conditions and the State permit,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, Health Officer for the County of Sonoma. She encouraged, “Shelter-in-Place has saved lives in Sonoma County – please continue to do your part by following the physical distancing and practicing the good hygiene guidelines for curtailing the spread of the virus.”

All businesses covered under this Order must plan, develop, post and implement their social distancing, face-covering, and worker/consumer safety protocols. Details pertaining to these protocols are in Appendix A of the May 1, 2020, Health Order C19-09 that can be found here:

The Governor’s industry-specific guidance for reopening can be found here:

“I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the sacrifices the community has made to fight the pandemic which has helped keep us safe and allowed us to take this step to further open our economy,” said Sonoma County Board Chair Susan Gorin. “County leadership is committed to reopening business and public spaces in a way that protects the health and safety of everyone.”

For more information about the Public Health Order, essential businesses, available County services, or updates regarding the public health emergency, please visit Residents may also call 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898-211 in order to text with a 2-1-1 operator. Additional updates are available on the County of Sonoma (@countyofsonoma) social media.

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