The county’s shelter-in-place order was greatly expanded Saturday to order people to remain at their place of residence or face a fine, imprisonment or both.
The order went into effect at 11:59 PM on April 10 and will be in effect until May 8, officials said.
As of Friday, Colusa County had three positive cases of COVID-19, although none were hospitalized.
“They are home and they are quarantined,” said Elizabeth Kelly, Health and Human Services director.
Although the number of positive cases is likely to increase in the coming weeks, Kelly said the county would abide by federal privacy laws, despite the public’s desire to know where these people are and where they’ve been.
The public should assume that when they are in stores or public places that COVID-19 carriers are present and to take personal precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
“Just continue to wash your hands and to shelter in place,” Kelly said.
Colusa County Board of Supervisors also closed its public buildings on Monday to ramp up efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The decision to offer essential services over the phone, email, and online only was made following a closed session meeting on April 7, and came after approval of an emergency policy that allows many county employees to work from their homes.
The new order also ceased all non-essential operations across Colusa County, and ordered businesses that provide essential and non-essential services/products to scale down operations to essential services and products only, to the extent possible.
The near complete shutdown of direct services follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s speculation that California will likely remain closed well into May or possibly longer.
County County’s April 10 shelter-in-place order, which supersedes the March 20 directive, also prohibits any gathering of people outside their immediate family. People leaving their places of residence other than for absolutely essential activities (purchase of food or medication or essential work) is also prohibited.
Only walking or biking for exercise is allowed, provided social distancing is followed.
Officials said the intent of the “shelter-in-place order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the greatest extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent overloading medical services.
“It is essential to slow virus transmission as much as possible to protect the most vulnerable, to prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed, and to prevent deaths,” said Colusa County Public Health Officer, Dr. Gregory Burt.
Businesses consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences may continue operations.
All essential businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open, but have been directed to maximize the number of employees who work from home.
County officials said Dr. Burt will continue to reevaluate the order as further data because available. ■