Today the City of Willits held a surveillance testing at the Senior Center. This was a joint effort between the City, The Senior Center and County Public Health. We tested approximately 75–100 people. These were first responders, employees, people experiencing homelessness and a few others. Next Tuesday, we are going to try to arrange other testing for the general public at the hospital. This is still being locked down as more information emerges.
Yesterday, the cities of Willits, Fort Bragg, Ukiah and Point Arena cooperatively wrote a joint letter supporting attestation by the County to the State for further opening of the businesses within the County.
The letter was submitted by the County to the State last night.
We are working with the School District on a drive-through procession after graduation. This will be strictly no crowds or gatherings allowed on the sidewalks and with full social distancing required. We are also working on the sober graduation celebration. We are also working on a volunteer program so that we can open our skate park safely. Our Community Development Department has already worked with a business on sidewalk dining in anticipation of re-opening. Our process is very simple and we are actively looking at ways to increase the capability of outdoor dining. Since, however, we have not yet gotten our sidewalks and streets back from Caltrans, we cannot yet do this on Main Street. Other streets are fair game, however.
We also had our weekly conference call with the public health officer today, along with the other County City Managers and County Administrator. The following things were discussed:
1. The attestation process: As required by the State, the County submitted the paperwork required for attestation, which would allow further opening of the County. If the State approves the attestation by Thursday, then Dr. Doohan is planning on issuing a new SIP revised order that we expect will allow retail businesses and restaurants to open their doors with certain restrictions. To be able to do this, they would need to go through a self-certification process. This process would require a business to self-certify, then send the certification materials to the County for approval by Code enforcement and environmental health before opening. These certifications include hygiene protocols and other requirements. The West Company is putting together a website to assist businesses in the self-certification process that would have all applicable forms. The County will have to go through this attestation process every 2 weeks. If we do not have our attestation approved by Thursday, the new Order will not come out until next week, after the attestation is approved.
2. There is a 15th case. This is in the Ukiah Valley area. The person works in Sonoma County. There is great concern about the cases in Redwood Valley regarding the Assembly of God Church. So far, we are aware that 3 people were infected in Mendocino County through contact with this church and its activities. One person is gravely ill and hospitalized. The County tested over 300 people in Redwood Valley yesterday in connection with this.
3. It was stressed that our biggest risk to re-opening and a refusal of our attestation requests are from those who are planning group events and mass gatherings in violation of the law. There is also a chance that our attestation would not be approved or could be canceled by the state because of the actions of those who choose not to comply with the health order and plan a group event or mass gathering
4. Dr. Doohan said that the new SIP order will not revise any regulations as to parks or recreation. Playground equipment, high touch equipment, and group play for people over the age of 12 is still prohibited.
5. The new testing site for the public will be open next week, Tuesday through Saturday, 7 - 7. This is at the Fairgrounds in Ukiah. Testing and compliance with the current health orders are our best ways to both fight Covid-19 and to re-open our County. Please comply with the law.
We have received word that Shasta County was shut down by the governor because of the Rodeo in Cottonwood that was held in that County. Their County reopening was delayed. See the news release below: