Staying informed and making our voice heard
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have all been trying to sift through the information available to us from different sources, which is a difficult task given that the information is not always consistent. One of the main goals of the Board of Supervisors has been to make sure you are getting the most accurate and up to date information on the virus, any local and state orders affecting you and resources that are available. This week the Board of Supervisors held a special meeting and invited noted experts with varied opinions and backgrounds to provide their research, views and insights about the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all know, there is not one easy answer to the current situation. Gathering as much information from as many reputable sources as possible can help us all make the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities. You can access the presentations here: https://vimeo.com/449801762
County staff and the Board of Supervisors have been in contact with the Governor’s office and the California Public Health Officer to advocate for our county services, businesses, and residents. Our communications have focused on a range of topics from access to federal CARES Act funding to requests that the state consider allowing counties with lower case numbers and plans for safe re-opening to do so.
In early August the Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the Governor requesting additional clarification on the method for determining which businesses are permitted to remain open and which are not. We have received many questions on the state’s strategy as some businesses are forced to close while others are permitted to open, even though the risk of spreading the virus is virtually indistinguishable between the two businesses. Further, the Board shared concerns that you cannot keep businesses closed without imparting lasting and devastating impacts on our society, including serious impacts to people’s physical and mental health as well as to the overall economy.
Our Health Officer and the Board of Supervisors have also reached out to the California Director of Public Health requesting a revision to the Public Health Order which currently does not allow businesses to reopen even after the County is off of the State Monitoring List. Placer County is advocating that affected businesses be allowed to resume indoor operations once a county has been off the Monitoring list for two weeks. This creates an incentive for businesses to comply with restrictions, and would also be consistent with recent State guidance for reopening of schools for in-person instruction.
As you might remember Placer County was placed on the State’s Monitoring List in early July, however we learned earlier this week that Placer County successfully met established thresholds that allowed us to be removed from the List. This is great news because, first and foremost, it illustrates that our community is committed to slowing the spread of the virus and taking public health seriously. Being off the list allows Placer County schools to begin the 14-day countdown to resume in-person instruction if they choose. Although there are multiple issues facing schools when making this decision, being off the list and at least having the ability to reopen is a positive development. As mentioned above, the County has requested that businesses be allowed the same path forward.
I will continue to work with our staff and the Board of Supervisors to ensure the interests of our businesses and residents are represented at the state and federal level. I remain committed to working toward finding the balance between public health and limiting impacts to our economy wherever possible. I will also continue to implore all our residents to take the precautions recommended: wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, and physically distance from those outside your household. We will get through this, in the meantime it’s important that we continue to work together.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.
– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor
Placer Alert: Sign up to receive emergency notifications
With wildfire season upon us it is important that we take steps to be prepared. First and foremost, please take a moment to sign up for emergency notifications from the PlacerAlert system. You can also find more information on how to prepare for wildfire and other natural disasters by visiting our Office of Emergency Services website where you will find links to information on wildfire, power outages, extreme heat, air quality and other issues as well.
Placer County and Mercy Housing break ground on 79-unit affordable housing development
Placer County has broken ground with developer Mercy Housing on an affordable housing project at the Placer County Government Center in Auburn. The 79-unit apartment and townhome development, known as Mercy North Auburn, is a collaborative effort.
The county has contributed 3 acres of county-owned property to the project along with housing vouchers and funding from two state grants totaling more than $4.5 million. Placer County Housing Trust Funds are also being used to cover development and processing fees. With financial support from California’s No Place Like Home Program, the Placer County Adult System of Care will provide referrals and case management for residents of 20 of the new homes. Learn more
Colfax Library to open for limited services
The next Library to accept returns and welcome library users back with “walk thru” Library Services is the Colfax Library. Beginning August 24, the Colfax Library will be open to accept returns Monday through Friday between 9AM and 4PM. The branch will also offer Walk Thru Service Thursdays and Fridays from 9AM to noon beginning August 27. Learn more
CARES Act funding available through Placer Shares programs
Placer Shares: Eats & Drinks
This program offers rebates for the annual Environmental Health inspection fees for restaurants and bars that were subsequently closed by the State’s July 13 public health order. Learn more
Placer Shares Outreach
Beginning August 25 and running through September 7, applications will be accepted for Placer Shares grants, a small business/non-profit assistance program for COVID-19-eligible expenses. Learn more
175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603
Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@
District Director Lindsay Romack: firstname.lastname@example.org
District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.
Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: email@example.com.