BOARD OF SUPERVISORS URGES RESIDENTS TO DIRECT COVID-19 CONCERNS TO
STATE DECISION MAKERS
(PLACERVILLE, CA) – As Governor Newsom's June 15th deadline for the State to fully open its economy gets closer, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors reminds residents that it has been and currently remains the Governor's Administration which determines COVID-19 related restrictions and guidelines.
"There has been significant confusion among the public about the role of County Public Health and its breadth of decision-making abilities in this pandemic," said Board Chair John Hidahl, "which has led to misdirected criticism at best and verbal and physical hostility at worst toward County employees who are simply acting at the direction of the State to help ensure the health and safety of our residents."
Individual Counties have always had the discretion to make more restrictive guidelines but not take a more lenient approach to safety measures.
"From the beginning of this pandemic 15 months ago our County has followed the lead of the Governor's Administration in all manner of COVID-19 restrictions and guidance," he continued. "With a short-lived exception of a travel ban to the Tahoe Basin, we have never taken a more stringent approach to safeguarding the health of our public."
"It's important for the general public and specifically those demanding El Dorado County Public Health make masks optional in schools and other settings to understand we simply do not have the discretion to make those decisions," Hidahl said. "Complaints, concerns and requests for such changes should be directed to the California Department of Public Health and the Governor's Office where the decisions are being made."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 13th announced recommendations that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in virtually any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. It also requires masks to be worn on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
California's Health & Human Services Agency Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, on May 17th said the State won't adopt the CDC's new guidelines until June 15th for a number of reasons, including allowing more people to become fully vaccinated and providing businesses with ample time to prepare for the change.
"El Dorado County has consistently aligned its COVID-19 approach with CDPH and the masking issue for the general public and students is no exception," Hidahl said. "If you want a change in the guidelines, contact the State with your request. Contact your State elected officials to lobby the Governor's Administration to make the changes you want to see. Please direct your efforts to where the decisions are being made, which have been and continue to be at the State level, rather than at the County which has no authority to do less than the State."
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