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Woodland, CA March 18, 2020 – On March 18, the Yolo County Public Health Officer issued a countywide health order for residents to shelter in place from March 19 to April 7, unless extended by the Public Health Officer. This order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs and is intended to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), protect those most vulnerable to the disease, and preserve local healthcare capacity.
“These are extremely difficult times. The COVID-19 virus continues to spread around the world and in our local communities,” said Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman. “We need to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable people from the harmful impacts of the virus.”
The shelter-at-home order follows increasing transmission of COVID-19 in California counties, including four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yolo County to date that acquired the disease through travel and community transmission. In response, communities in Yolo County have implemented mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the disease, such as encouraging social distancing and cancelling non-essential gatherings. A similar health officer order was released among the bay area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties as well as the City of Berkeley on March 16 and is in line with best practices seen from health officials around the world.
“The County has issued a health officer order which strengthens our social distancing efforts,” continued Dr. Chapman. “Together we can rise to the occasion to keep the people of Yolo County healthy and safe.”
The order defines essential activities as necessary for health and safety for individuals and their families. Essential Governmental Functions, Healthcare, and Infrastructure are allowed to operate, including law and safety and Essential Businesses, such as those that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life such as: fresh and non-perishable food retailers (including convenience stores); pharmacies; child care facilities; gas stations; banks; laundry businesses; restaurants and other facilities that prepare food and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out; businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies necessary to operate or ship/deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residents; and any form of agricultural production and processing, including the cultivation of products for personal consumption or use through farming, ranching, livestock, and fishing, including, but not limited to, transportation, manufacturing, chemicals, equipment and services; and the services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence. For the full list see section 10 of the order.
“We each must do our part to slow the spread of the virus. It is our individual responsibility to care for one another and our community,” said Yolo County Board Chair Gary Sandy. “We do that by staying home, by maintaining a safe social distance from one another, by washing our hands, and by disinfecting surfaces. Our goal is to safeguard our vital healthcare system from being overwhelmed.”
The order follows the increasing emergence of COVID-19 across the world and nation. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency on January 30, followed the next day with the declaration of a federal public health emergency by the United States. On March 6, Yolo County confirmed its first case of community transmission of COVID-19. Most recently, on March 12 Governor Gavin Newsom ordered older adults, age 65 and older, to stay home.
For detailed information about COVID-19 and further guidance regarding this order, visit the Yolo County webpage at: www.yolocounty.org/coronavirus. The County will also be releasing a shelter in place 101 document that will be available on the webpage. Residents can also call Yolo 2-1-1 for resource information. For additional updates follow Yolo County on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/YoloCounty/ or Twitter at: https://twitter.com/YoloCountyCA.