Health Dept COVID-19 update Thursday April 23
Fri, 04/24/2020 - 7:41am admin1
Here is an update on our current social distancing profile, and what we envision as we begin to scale back our distancing measures.
First, there seems to be some misunderstanding with the public about the content of the current Health Department order.
The current Health Department order does not mandate any business close. The only significant restrictions to business are for food establishments, which are directed to only provide services via drive-thru, carry-out, or delivery. The rest of the business related direction involve allowing capable workers or telecommuting, and providing adequate protection for employees and customers. Very simply put, our current order does not mandate businesses close. There are some businesses that are unable to operate with effective distancing measures in place such as hair and nail salons. We expect to issue new guidance to these business to allow them to operate in a limited fashion in the in coming weeks, once the State order has expired.
It is our current plan to leave the current County order in place until May 15 unless we see a significant change in cases between now and then.
The State order, which restricts operation of certain businesses will be lifted at 11:59pm May 3. The State has indicated they will be issuing a new order or guidance with reduced restrictions. They have indicated that this new order will continue to include a reduction in building capacity as they included for essential businesses in the prior order. We have not yet seen a draft of this new guidance, but will be providing to the public as soon as it is available.
As we begin to move toward relaxing our distancing profile, there are a few things that are important to understand in our strategy for moving back toward our normal day-to-day routine.
The first thing to be aware of is that this illness is not just going to go away, and we are going to be responding to cases of this illness for the foreseeable future.
Second, as we ease distancing mandates, there is going to be a continued emphasis that those persons at the greatest risk for poor outcomes, ie, those of advanced age or with pre-existing medical conditions continue to adhere to stricter social distancing practices than others.
Third, relaxation of distancing practices will be made in steps, with a pause between each step to determine if there is an increase in cases associated with relaxing the distancing measures before moving to the next step. At a minimum, the pause between each step is going to be two to three weeks, as this is the amount of time it takes to see cases as a result of changes in social behavior.
Fourth, there has been some who have stated that our current restrictions are draconian, over-reaching, or a hoax. We take umbrage with such statements. Every person employed by this agency takes their oath to the Constitution of the United States, and firmly believes in the both the virtue of that oath, as well as the content of the document to which we pledge our allegiance. Our current distancing order, and profile were crafted in a manner which would provide the greatest amount of protection to the public while at the same time minimizing the impact on the liberties of persons and businesses.
We have contemporary examples of the outcomes to communities when these measures are not implemented in an effective and timely manner. Our mission is to prevent that from happening within our communities.