Newsom Allows Orange County To Reopen Restaurants, Shopping

Nick Garber

ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Gov. Gavin Newsom Saturday approved Orange County's request for the reopening of Stage 2 businesses, including in-restaurant dining and shopping centers, as the county's toll from the coronavirus pandemic continued its recent spike.

The following types of businesses were permitted to move forward with reopening as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday:

  • Restaurants (in-person dining)
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing (visit state website for details)
  • Offices
  • Outdoor museums
  • Limited Personal Services (visit state website for details)

All businesses that are permitted to reopen as part of Stage 2 must comply with posted requirements listed at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance. Dine-in restaurants can find the state's applicable requirements at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf.

"I am extremely pleased we were able to successfully demonstrate that Orange County met the state's requirements and I am grateful to the state for the quick turnaround in the approval process ahead of the Memorial Day weekend," County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said.

As the governor's decision was announced, the county's health officer issued a new order and additional strong recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses move toward re-opening.

The order requires all persons to wear face coverings when in public, and also mandates self-isolation for all those with COVID-19, and self- quarantine for all those who have been exposed to COVID-19.

"The Order includes necessary preventative measures to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help preserve the capacity in our local health care system, which was one of the metrics the California Department of Public Health took into account before approving our plan to move deeper into Stage 2 of re-opening Orange County," Dr. Nichole Quick said.

According to the order:

-- All county residents who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 shall immediately isolate themselves in their home or another residence until: (i) at least 3 days (72 hours) after they have recovered, meaning their fever has resolved without use of fever-reducing medications and their respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved; AND (ii) at least 10 days has elapsed from when their symptoms first appeared.

-- Individuals who have a positive COVID-19 PCR laboratory test result and are without COVID-19 symptoms shall isolate themselves for 10 days from the date when the specimen for the positive COVID-19 PCR laboratory test result was obtained.

-- Unless one of the criteria above applies, the individual may not leave his or her place of isolation except to receive necessary medical care.

-- All county residents who know that they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 shall quarantine themselves in their home or another residence until 14 days from the last date that they were in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19.

-- Exposed persons shall self-quarantine themselves for the entire 14- day COVID-19 incubation period, the typical time between exposure and when symptoms and signs of the disease may develop.

-- Close contact refers to any person who has been within 6 feet of an infectious COVID-19 person for 15 minutes or more. A person who is diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 is considered infectious from 48 hours before his or her symptoms first appeared until the person is no longer required to be isolated.

-- All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face- covering when (i) in a public place; (ii) visiting a retail, commercial or other place of business; or (iii) at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or live in the same living unit.

The county's Phase 2 reopening is happening amid a recent uptick in the reported number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities. On Saturday, officials with the OC Health Care Agency reported another 216 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional deaths, raising the county's totals to 5,157 cases and 130 fatalities. Forty-two deaths have been reported in the last four days alone.

Most of the deaths stem from outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, local health officials say.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department announced Friday that 365 inmates have tested positive since March, with 261 having recovered and others asymptomatic. Nine of the inmates are currently sick and in medical isolation. Officials are awaiting the results of 40 tests.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Full coronavirus coverage: Coronavirus In California: What To Know

This article originally appeared on the Orange County Patch