What is the New Normal?
How to Reopen and Stay Healthy
How we live with the coronavirus until there is a cure is very challenging for all of us. Every aspect of our lives has changed and will continue to be different. We must protect our own health, protect our vulnerable neighbors, and find ways to establish a “new normal” so that our workplaces can reopen safely.Their efforts and yours have allowed us to dramatically flatten the curve. After a slight surge in positive cases in late March and early April, we have seen a dramatically slower increase over the past month. Our hospital systems have never been overwhelmed and people who have needed care have continued to receive it. With two new testing sites available in the county as of this week, we will be better able to locate cases sooner in order to isolate and treat those affected. We also recognize that moving forward, we need to adopt new ways of doing almost everything in our lives.
On Tuesday, my fellow Board members and I passed a Resolution requesting the Governor acknowledge and allow counties to craft locally-specific guidelines to address a phased reopening. I voted in support of this resolution because I have seen that throughout this crisis, it’s been up to us at the local level to enforce and educate our citizens. One size doesn’t fit all. As a suburban and rural community, our businesses and services are unique and individualized. Each type and size of business needs to implement safe practices for their workers and their patrons. They have been working with our County staff to take a leadership role to develop individualized plans for reopening that will ensure public health and safety.
I want to honor Governor Newsom and his team for their incredible leadership during this crisis. We have been ahead of many other areas of the country in slowing the spread of this deadly virus. In my view, the Board of Supervisors followed up on the Governor’s Monday announcement that he would allow rural counties to address their individual needs under specific circumstances. The Governor recognizes that in this vast state “one size doesn’t fit all” and that the State must rely on partnerships with local governments to do the actual implementation and enforcement. Placer County municipalities, businesses, and residents want the opportunity to demonstrate our ability and willingness to do just that.
As of yesterday, Governor Newsom released guidance on the beginning of Phase 2 reopening, allowing for certain businesses to resume altered operations- including retailers offering curbside pick-up and delivery; and manufacturers and warehouses with additional physical distancing and sanitation procedures. He also detailed a roadmap for county governments that outlines how we could pursue a variance that would allow Placer County to begin moving through Phase 2 of reopening more quickly than other places in the state – if and only if we can meet specific standards.
In order to do that, we must “demonstrate an ability to protect the public and essential workers”. Our Public Health Officer, Dr. Sisson, is already working with county staff to certify that Placer County is meeting the metrics laid out. This will allow us to reopen additional businesses in Phase 2 and establish protocols and procedures that both help our local economy and protect public health. Thank you to all the businesses and organizations that have proactively planned for reopening.
As we know, reopening is also primarily contingent on each and every one of us being responsible for our own actions. Please be sure to continue to stay at home if you feel unwell, maintain six feet of distance and wear a mask when in public, avoid physical contact like shaking hands, and wash your hands frequently. It is up to each of us to avoid situations that make us uncomfortable or feel at risk. We must use our personal judgement and caution as we move forward until this virus is eradicated.
I look forward to continue to work for you as we establish our “new normal” and reopen in a safe and healthy manner.
– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor
Full I-80 Westbound Closure Scheduled Near Colfax for Paving Work Next Week
Caltrans will begin overnight paving work along an approximate three-mile stretch of westbound Interstate 80 between Rollins Lake Road and the State Route 174 junction in Colfax. Paving work is scheduled nightly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 12 through Friday, May 15 with work concluding Saturday morning.
Detours from Interstate 80 will be in place during the westbound closure:
- Commercial and passenger vehicles will be detoured at the Interstate 80/State Route 20 junction to State Route 49 through Grass Valley and Auburn; connecting to Interstate 80 westbound via Bell Road. This detour is approximately 68 miles and will add around 40 minutes of additional travel time.
- Local traffic will be detoured at Secret Town Road/Magra Road to State Route 174; connecting to Interstate 80 westbound in Colfax.
Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. You can find construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.