Placer declares the end of local COVID-19 health emergency
Published Sept. 9, 2020
Citing a low incidence of COVID-19 and increasing harm caused by California’s reopening framework, the Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution declaring the end of Placer County’s local health emergency.
While acknowledging that California’s state of emergency and Department of Public Health orders, directives and guidance remain in full effect in Placer County, the resolution expresses the board’s concerns that the state framework for measuring COVID-19 mischaracterizes the current state of disease specifically in Placer County and harms the community’s economic, health, mental and social well-being.
The resolution also rescinds the board’s resolution on March 9 that ratified the Placer health officer’s March 3 declaration of a local health emergency. On June 23, the board adopted a resolution to return the authority to terminate the local health emergency to the Board of Supervisors, delegated to the health officer under its March 9 resolution.
“We cannot continue to keep our community shut down for some unknown amount of time as determined by the ever-changing metrics according to the governor,” said Board Chair and District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “Health emergency declarations are obligated to be terminated at the earliest possible date that the conditions warrant and, based on the number of COVID-19 cases in our county, there is no longer a health emergency with regards to COVID-19 in Placer County.
“Residents need to continue practicing safety measures recommended by the CDC and need to remember that the state emergency and orders are still in effect,” Gore said.
Since the board’s ratification of the local health emergency March 9, the county has and will continue to work diligently to manage local disease spread - sharing community health information; reporting COVID-19 case dynamics at board meetings; providing a COVID-19 dashboard for community reference; addressing the needs of vulnerable populations; and clarifying state guidance so local businesses can reopen responsibly and consistent with state public health orders and safety protocols.
“If we look at this based on facts, we currently do not have a health emergency in Placer County,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “I agree with ending the emergency based on the statistics that we have in front of us, but I can’t agree with a lot of the politicization of this issue. We do have a virus that we don’t understand and we need to protect our most vulnerable.”