Churches, gyms and hair salons in Yolo County were ordered closed effective immediately on Monday unless they can be modified to operate outside.
The order came via Gov. Gavin Newsom and applies to all 29 counties on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list, a list Yolo County joined last week due to rising coronavirus cases and diminished hospital and ICU capacity.
Also ordered closed were personal care services (such as nail salons, cosmetology, tattoo and piercing), indoor malls and offices used for non-essential purposes.
Additionally, all counties in the state were ordered to shut down bars and indoor services including restaurant dining, movie theaters and more.
Hair salons and barbershops, places of worship and dine-in restaurants had all been given the green light to reopen at the end of May after two months of being shuttered under a shelter-in-place order.
Fitness centers and gyms reopened along with bars and movie theaters in mid-June, followed by nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors a week later.
Now all will be closed indefinitely, though the governor noted that counties go on and off the state’s watch list which could impact when these businesses reopen again in Yolo County.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of health and human services, said Tuesday the decision to close those businesses and activities was based on data coming from county health officials.
“We have continued to lean on the science, lean on the transmission patterns that our local public health partners are reporting to us and allowing us to guide these statewide decisions,” Ghaly said. “We know that generalized mixing outside of your household, movement where you are mixing with others, any of those events and activities creates an opportunity for transmission.”
The state’s move comes amid surging cases of COVID-19 as well as increasing hospitalizations and deaths.
That surge is occurring in Yolo County as well.
On May 23, just before places of worship, hair salons and indoor restaurant dining were given the OK to reopen, the county had reported 190 total COVID-19 cases, 43 hospitalizations and 22 deaths. By Monday, those numbers were 966 cases, 88 hospitalizations and 28 deaths.
The county has averaged 38 new cases a day for the last week and reported 11 new hospitalizations during that time frame.
As of Tuesday morning, 16 county residents suffering from COVID-19 were in the hospital — including 10 hospitalized within the county and six outside the county. Seven COVID-19 patients were in ICU beds in Yolo County, according to the state.
Sixty-eight county residents were in isolation on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 and 292 were under quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive, according to county spokeswoman Carolyn Jhajj.
Asked why fewer than 70 individuals were in isolation on Monday despite hundreds having tested positive during the last two weeks, Jhajj said there were several reasons.
They include individuals not cooperating or responding to contact tracers; a backlog in contacting recent cases; and statewide testing result delays, which leads to some individuals being past the isolation period by the time their results are received.
Some testing results are being delayed by a week or more, county officials have said, so individuals who have COVID-19 may be exposing others in the community while waiting for test results. The length of time it takes to get positive results then complicates contact tracing.
County officials continue to call on residents to do their part to stop the spread of the virus and, in turn, save local businesses that are now shutting down all over again.
“Our local community continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Yolo County Supervisor Gary Sandy, chair of the Board of Supervisors.
“As the virus spreads locally through a failure to observe health protocols, the impact widens,” Sandy said. “The numbers of those infected continues to climb, our healthcare systems are jeopardized and our business community is decimated.
“It is in everyone’s interest to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. Avoid large gatherings at all costs,” he said. “We must remain vigilant and re-dedicate ourselves to driving the case numbers down.”
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