Korver terminates local health order, allows county to return to Phase 2B

Dr. Kenneth Korver, Lassen County’s public health officer, terminated the order he issued earlier this week, a decision that allows the county to return to Phase 2B status.

According to a statement from the Lassen County COVID-19 Incident command, to date there are five confirmed COVID-19 cases, 597 negative test results, 308 test results pending and a total of 910 tests have been administered.

According to the statement, “The Lassen County Incident Command and the Lassen County Public Health Department would like to thank the residents of Lassen County for their compliance with the temporary health order and the continuance of practicing social and physical distancing, washing hands, and avoiding non-essential travel.

“In response to ‘contact tracing investigations’ … Korver has terminated his order from earlier this week which originally called for a temporary return to Phase 2A for reopening. This termination returns

Lassen County to Phase 2B with an additional guidance for salons and bars, as well as places of worship.”

According to Korver’s new order, “On Friday, May 22 (the) Lassen County Public Health Department reported two cases of confirmed COVID-19; this rapidly increased to a total of five cases within three days. In an effort to better understand the magnitude of the transmission of this disease in Lassen County, I made the difficult decision to restrict activities in Lassen County including the retraction of business services that we had just recently approved, including dine-in restaurants and in-store shopping at businesses.

“The increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases from two to five in a relatively short time, coupled with the somewhat alarming reports of irresponsible behavior (failure to social distance, failure to employ good personal sanitation practices, etc.) of persons who in fact tested positive caused me to make the difficult decision, at least temporarily, (to) return to Stage 2 (closed retail, no dine-in restaurants, etc.) until I could determine the magnitude of the spread of the disease in Lassen County.

“After evaluating the data that has been collected from our contact tracing investigation, I have concluded that Lassen County has the ability and capacity to rapidly implement strategies to mitigate further transmission of the disease should a future outbreak occur. However, for us to proceed to the next stages of full opening, we will require all Lassen County residents and visitors to remain diligent in practicing social distancing, good personal hygiene and staying home when you are sick.”

“ … All sectors are required to review the appropriate guidance, prepare a plan and receive approval from Lassen County Public Health prior to opening.”

California Department of Public Health released new guidance for salons, bars, and places of worship. These businesses have been deemed a higher risk because of their potential for close personal contact. The Lassen County Incident Command and the Lassen County Public Health Department have provided safety guidelines and recommendations for these businesses within the Lassen County Roadmap to Recovery and at lassencares.org.

For those businesses wishing to open under these new guidelines, please complete the online survey at

surveymonkey.com/r/lcreopening and/or call the COVID-19 Call Center with any questions or concerns from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 251-8100.