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April 6, 2020 – In order to continue flattening the curve and slowing the spread and severity of COVID-19, Yuba-Sutter Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu today issued a more stringent “stay at home” order through May 3, effective tonight at 11:59 p.m.

Dr. Luu initially issued a “stay at home” directive on March 18, one day before California State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell issued a statewide order. Today’s order further restricts outdoor activities that have impeded mass social distancing efforts.

While many Yuba-Sutter residents have taken the directives seriously – halting their day-to-day lives for the greater good of the community’s health – there are also those who continue to put themselves and others at risk. Education has been key in local efforts, but it hasn’t been enough. For this reason, Dr. Luu’s order gives local law enforcement the tools needed to enforce the regulations as they deem necessary.

“Without this tailored set of restrictions that further reduces the number of interactions between people, scientific evidence indicates that the public health crisis in the area will worsen to the point at which it may overtake available healthcare resources,” Dr. Luu said.

This order is in conjunction with other Yuba-Sutter efforts to fight this pandemic: this weekend, staging at two alternate care sites (Yuba City High School and River Valley High School) began in the event of a spike in medical need to support our healthcare system; Public Health officials continue to push for more test kits to ensure broader testing of residents; and both counties are working with area nonprofits to ensure residents in need have access to food and housing.

The local order has several differences from the directive, including the restriction of fishing, automotive sales lots, parks and barbecue areas. For the full list, see the accompanying page.

Yuba and Sutter counties understand the disruption and anxiety that comes with these efforts. While there is still much to learn about the novel coronavirus – which has been infecting humans for only four months – Public Health officials feel that the more residents strictly heed these orders, the sooner life can get back to normal.

The bi-county Emergency Operations Center, in coordination with the Department Operations Center, and local healthcare facilities, stand united and dedicated to doing everything possible to protect the Yuba-Sutter community from the most severe consequences, learning lessons from around the country and the world.

For updated information, visit BePreparedYuba.org or BePreparedSutter.org. A bi-county Call Center is also fielding general calls from the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at 749-7700.

Further restrictions on activities

The Public Health Officer requested the sheriffs and police chiefs enforce social distancing requirements. “Violation of any provision of this order constitutes an imminent threat to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

The order becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, and will remain in effect, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer, until May 3 at 11:59 p.m.

The order differs from the previous directive in many ways. For instance, the order:

• Now requires employers in essential businesses to maximize the number of people who work from home. Businesses may only assign those employees who cannot perform their job duties from home to work outside the home.

• Clarifies that auto repair and auto supply operations are essential, but auto sales must be limited to online and delivery only.

• Removes fishing as an essential activity.

• Clarifies that funeral homes and mortuaries are essential businesses.

• Adds clarifications regarding what construction is considered essential.

• Clarifies that businesses that include an essential business component alongside non-essential components must, to the extent feasible, scale down their operations to essential businesses components only.

• Clarifies that mixed retail businesses may continue to stock and sell non-essential products alongside essential products (i.e., liquor stores that also sell a significant amount of essential products.)

• Clarifies people may use public transit for travel for essential work or activities only.

• Authorizes local governments to limit or block recreational access to parks, rivers, lakes and other open spaces to reduce crowding.

• Requires the closing of playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, dog parks, and barbecue areas outside of residences.

• Requires the closing of golf courses, tennis and pickle ball courts, rock parks, climbing walls, pools, spas, gyms, disc golf, and basketball courts.

• Clarifies that any sport or activity that includes the sharing of equipment may only be engaged in by members of the same household or living unit.

• Clarifies that gatherings for a funeral must be limited to no more than 10 individuals.

• Clarifies that moving from one residence to another is essential, but only if it cannot be deferred, or if the move is necessary for purposes of safety, sanitation, or habitability reasons, or to preserve access to shelter.

• Clarifies that services to assist individuals finding employment with essential businesses are essential services.

• Clarifies that volunteering for “health care” operations is an essential activity.

• Clarifies that gun stores are essential businesses.

• Clarifies that personal storage (mini-storage) facilities are essential businesses.

• Clarifies that travel for the following are also considered essential travel—to manage after-death arrangements and burial; to arrange for shelter or avoid homelessness; to avoid domestic violence or child abuse; for parental custody arrangements; and to temporarily reside in a residence or other facility to avoid potentially exposing others to COVID-19.