California offered alternatives to enter fully into Stage 2 of the COVID-19 re-opening process on Monday with the posting of new criteria. With those changes, Mono County’s documentation “fits, with no review,” according to members of the Emergency Operations Committee.
That was the news the Board of Supervises needed to hear as they voted unanimously to proceed with certifying the County’s readiness to graduate fully into Stage 2.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 20. His “roadmap to recovery” was laid out in Stages, the second of which went into effect late last week, along with guidelines that have become a moving target for smaller counties.
While curb-side retail was allowed in early Stage 2, retails stores, shopping malls and swap meets are open in the expanded Stage 2. Also included are dine-in restaurants and schools, with modifications. Guidelines for each of the above are rigid, but at this point, it’s still good news.
The latest update to California’s criteria provided alternatives that helped counties like Mono, with a population equivalent to small communities in Southern California. For instance, under stable or down trending hospitalizations, Mono could attest to “no more than 20 COVID hospitalizations in any single day in the last 14 days.”
The number of COVID-19 cases held at 28, but jumped to 33 on May 8. There have been no hospitalizations since March.
Dr. Craig Burrows, Mammoth Hospital’s chief medical officer, told the Board the hospital had plans in place to separate the facility into zones, increase the number of beds to 40 and increase Intensive Care capacity from two beds to 10.
Guidelines for counties with small populations allowed for “at least one staff person trained and available” for contact tracing. The County also had to identify triggers that would move them backwards.
The County’s attestation included the required letters of support from the Board, the Public Health Officer and Mammoth Hospital. Dr. Tom Boo, Mammoth’s Public Health Officer, said it could take one to three days to hear back, but Supervisor John Peters indicated Inyo County heard in three hours.
At the end of the Supervisors discussion, Supervisor Fred Stump pointed out there were two sides to the COVID-19 concern: the economic concerns and citizens afraid of COVID-19 spreading. “I trust Dr. Boo’s plans will alleviate those fears,” he said.
Now the County waits to see its name on the list of counties fast-tracking through Stage 2.