State approval for Lassen County reopening may come tomorrow

Lassen County’s Board of Supervisors held a special meeting at 1 p.m. today to move reopening the county forward.

Richard Egan, county administrative officer and public information officer for the Lassen County Incident Command, said the county is still waiting for approval from the state before it can move into the state’s Phase 2 reopening plan.

Egan said the board sent another letter to the state affirming the declarations by Dr. Kenneth Korver, the county’s health officer.

He said a conference call with the state is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 9 on the matter. Egan said he hoped the state would approve the county’s letter and the county could move forward with the state’s Phase 2 opening plan soon.

“The guidelines we’re focused on today are extending opportunities in the retail sector, the manufacturing sector and the logistics sector,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said yesterday during his daily press briefing. “All with adaptations, all with modifications but all with an eye on turning the page and moving into a new phase in terms of our economic recovery.”

Newsom announced some regions of the state would be able to move deeper into Stage 2 if certain conditions were met — such as surge capacity, sufficient PPE for healthcare workers, testing and tracing capabilities and consistent data that indicates no increase in cases — information contained in Korver’s declaration. Counties must submit documentation of all conditions.

According to Plumasnew.com, higher risk businesses in the state’s Stage 3 reopening plan would not be able to open until later include: Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios; hospitality services, such as bars and lounges; entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and gaming facilities; indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos and libraries; community centers, including public pools, playgrounds and picnic areas; religious services and cultural ceremonies; nightclubs; concert venues; festivals; and theme parks; hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism. Stage 4, which is considered the highest risk, includes concerts, conventions and sporting events in large arenas.

For more information on the state’s roadmap for stages of reopening: go to covid19.ca.gov/roadmap.

 

State guidelines

Here are the guidelines for the state’s Phase 2 plan, according to covid19.ca.gov.

COVID-19 general checklist for retail employers

This checklist is intended to help retail employers implement their plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and is supplemental to the Guidance for Retail Employers. This checklist is a summary and contains shorthand for some parts of the guidance; familiarize yourself with the guidance before using this checklist.

 

Worksite specific plan

Contents of written worksite specific plan include: The person(s) responsible for implementing the plan; a risk assessment and the measures that will be taken to prevent spread of the virus; training and communication with employees and employee representatives on the plan; a process to check for compliance and to document and correct deficiencies; and a process to investigate COVID-cases, alert the local health department, and identify and isolate close workplace contacts of infected employees until they are tested.

 

Employee training

Topics for employee training include: Information on COVID-19, preventing spread, and who is especially vulnerable; self-screening at home, including temperature and/or symptom checks using CDC guidelines; the importance of not coming to work if employees have a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell or if they or someone they live with have been diagnosed with COVID-19; when to seek medical attention; the importance of hand washing; and the importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time; and proper use of cloth face covers.

Individual control measures and screening

Individual control measures and screening include: Symptom screenings and/or temperature checks; encourage workers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home; encourage frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer; provide disposable gloves to workers using cleaners and disinfectants when required. Consider gloves as a supplement to frequent hand washing for other cleaning tasks such as handling commonly touched items or conducting symptom screening; strongly recommend cloth face covers; close or increase distance between tables/chairs in break rooms or provide break areas in open space to ensure physical distancing; and communicate frequently to customers that they should use face masks/ covers.

 

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols include: Perform thorough cleaning in high traffic areas; frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces; clean and sanitize shared equipment between each use; clean touchable surfaces between shifts or between users, whichever is more frequent; equip customer entrances and exits, checkout stations, and customer changing rooms with proper sanitation products, including hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes and provide personal hand sanitizers to all frontline staff (e.g., cashiers); ensure that sanitary facilities stay operational and stocked at all times; make hand sanitizer and other sanitary supplies readily available to employees; use products approved for use against COVID-19 on the

Environmental Protection Agency-approved list and follow product instructions and Cal/OSHA requirements; adjust or modify store hours to provide adequate time cleaning and stocking with physical distancing; provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices before and after shifts, hire third-party cleaning companies; install hands-free devices if possible; encourage the use of debit or credit cards by customers; encourage customers with reusable bags to clean them frequently and require them to bag their own purchases; and consider upgrades to improve air filtration and ventilation.

 

Physical distancing guidelines

Physical distancing guidelines include: Implement measures to physically separate people by at least six feet using measures such as physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor markings, colored tape, or signs to indicate to where workers should stand); minimize exposure between cashiers and customers. Where physical distancing cannot be maintained, use barriers such as Plexiglas. Where barriers are not feasible, strongly recommend that employees and customers wear face covers; use signage to remind customers of physical distancing at every opportunity; adjust in-person meetings, if they are necessary, to ensure physical distancing; place additional limitations on the number of workers in enclosed areas to ensure at least six feet of separation; stagger employee breaks, in compliance with wage and hour regulations, to maintain physical distancing protocols; close in-store bars, bulk-bin options, and public seating areas and discontinue product sampling; dedicate shopping hours for seniors and other vulnerable populations; increase pickup and delivery service options such as online ordering for curbside pickup; provide separate, designated entrances and exits; limit the number of in-store customers based on the size of the facility; be prepared to queue customers outside while still maintaining physical distance; encourage and train employees to practice physical distancing during pickup and delivery; make some locations pickup- or delivery-only to minimize physical interaction, if possible; install transfer-aiding materials, such as shelving and bulletin boards, to reduce person-to-person hand-offs where possible.

Wherever possible, use contact-less signatures for deliveries; expand direct store delivery window hours to spread out deliveries and prevent overcrowding; and ask non-employee truck drivers, delivery agents, or vendors who are required to enter retail locations to have their employees follow the guidance of local, state and federal governments regarding wearing masks.