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Updated May 22, 8:59 a.m.–
By Mike Hazlip– Businesses in Citrus Heights and across Sacramento County are taking steps to reopen this week as state and county officials ease regulations.
The City of Citrus Heights announced Wednesday that dine-in restaurants, some offices, child care, and small retail businesses with less than 10 employees will be able to reopen once the county releases an amended health order on Friday, May 22. Public transportation will also resume full service.
Religious services and ceremonies like graduations are still not be allowed, unless conducted as a “drive-through” event, according to Sacramento County guidelines issued Tuesday. Outdoor gatherings like weddings, funerals and family gatherings are also limited to 10 people, “with strict social distancing.”
Businesses reopening in Citrus Heights are to implement physical distancing policies and use personal protective equipment and face coverings where appropriate, the city said. Additional clarification on guidelines are expected to be released by county health officials on Friday.
Restaurants like R Vida Cantina, in the Food Maxx shopping plaza on Sunrise Boulevard, have already announced plans for reopening dine-in service, beginning Friday.
“We will be doing everything possible to follow the guidelines and implement new safety procedures to keep not only our staff but customers safe,” the restaurant posted on its social media pages this week. “We can’t wait to see you all this weekend and catch up with a margarita, or two.”
Sunrise Mall announced Monday that it has reopened for curbside pickup. Sylvan Oaks Library is also offering curbside pickup, one of just two library locations in the county offering the service.
Kathilynn Carpenter,executivedirector of Sunrise MarketPlace, whose district is made up of more than 400 businesses in the Sunrise-Greenback corridor, estimates90 percent ofthe businesses in her district are retail or dining establishments.
On Wednesday, the MarketPlace sent out an email to businesses in the district offering guidance and assistance for businesses as they reopen.
“We have been supporting our businesses during the past two months with very tangible assistance,” Carpenter said in an email Tuesday. “We have provided free banners, lawn signs, A-Frames, distancing floor decals, etc. We have also given away almost $2,000 in gift cards for businesses still open.”
Sacramento County submitted attestation documents to the state earlier this week, with approval issued Tuesday to move further into Stage 2 of “California’s Resilience Roadmap” for reopening. Approval was based on attestation regarding COVID-19 cases and emergency readiness to handle a potential resurgence.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that a prior requirement regarding recent deaths had been dropped, enabling Sacramento County to qualify to proceed further into Stage 2 reopenings. The state had initially required counties to have no COVID-19 deaths for a period of 14 days in order to further reopen.
California’s Stage 2 guidelines include lower-risk businesses in “Part A,” and medium-risk businesses in “Part B.” The guidelines define lower risk workplaces as small offices, manufacturing, and retail businesses with curbside pickup.
Establishments listed as high risk will not be allowed to resume until Stage-3 of the guidelines. These include personal services such as hair and nail salons, hospitality services, movie theaters and entertainment venues, community centers, indoor religious services with more than 10 people, nightclubs, gambling halls, festivals, sports, and theme parks.
“Key indicators will continue to be monitored, and trends will be evaluated to inform data-driven decisions to move from one Stage to the next,” county officials said in Tuesday’s statement.
*Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that businesses covered under Stage 2 reopening guidelines cannot reopen until a new county health order, expected Friday, is released.
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