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Walnut Creek Magazine

Ready for Retail Therapy?

Jun 03, 2020 09:02AM ● By Pam Kessler

The county’s health department announced Tuesday that many of the region’s businesses would be allowed to reopen as of Wednesday, June 3, clearing the way for more residents to return to work and resume a bit of normalcy. The modified order, which comes after 80 days of mandatory shelter in place, allows indoor retail shopping, business offices, outdoor museums, and pet grooming shops to open and permits services like housekeeping, car washes, and plumbing to resume. 

The order does not however reference when hair salons can begin opening or when seated dining at restaurants, indoor or outdoor, will be allowed again.  According to the order, which you can read in full here, people are only allowed to leave their residences for these limited purposes and must strictly comply with social distancing and wear face coverings. All businesses are strongly encouraged to maximize the number of employees who can work from home, and travel, except for essential purposes, is prohibited.

“This latest step toward reopening our county is a reflection of our successful collective effort as a community to limit the spread of the virus,” county Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said in a statement. “I know there’s a lot of frustration out there, but it’s important to keep in mind that interventions like social distancing have saved lives.”

The county has recorded 37 deaths and more than 1,500 confirmed cases of the virus. But the number of people hospitalized from COVID19 has fallen consistently. So far the county has conducted more than 35,000 COVID19 tests overall. Farnitano said he would like to see the number of new tests per day be tripled. 

 Health Officers are using five key indicators to guide decisions in the coming weeks and months about when and how to ease shelter-in-place restrictions:

• Whether the total number of cases in the community is flat or decreasing.

• Whether the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing.

• Whether there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for all health care workers.

• Whether we are meeting the need for testing, especially for persons in vulnerable populations or those in high-risk settings or occupations.

• Whether we have the capacity to investigate all COVID-19 cases and trace all of their contacts, isolating those who test positive, and quarantining the people who may have been exposed.

Contra Costa Health Services offers multiple resources for small business owners trying to navigate the counties policies during the coronavirus pandemic:

Business Hotline: 833-320-1991, 8 am-5:30 pm daily, to answer questions from business owners.

Shelter-In-Place Hotline: 844-729-8410, 8 am-5 pm daily, to address health, safety, & general guidelines.

211: Dial this resource hotline anytime for mental health support and assistance.

Text HELP to 20121: For anyone that needs help but is in a situation where they may not be able to talk out loud and texting provides a better alternative.

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