MODOC COUNTY, Calif. — The Modoc County Sheriff’s Office announced a strategic plan to reopen the county on Friday, May 1. The plan was signed by the Modoc County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
This could make Modoc the first county in the state of California to allow businesses to reopen since Governor Gavin Newsom initiated the stay-at-home order on March 19.
Modoc County borders Oregon's Klamath and Lake counties on the southern side, and lies just east of Siskiyou County.
In a press release, Sheriff William Dowdy said starting May 1, all businesses essential and non-essential will be allowed to open but must be able to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Proper physical distancing with six feet of space between one another.
- Washing hands often
- Staying home if sick or feeling unwell
- Proper sanitation practices
- All residents 65 or older or having underlying health conditions should continue to self-isolate
- No large gatherings where proper physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Schools, churches, public transit companies, and private/government sectors will also be able to return to operations if they follow the guidelines. The Sheriff said that restaurants and bars may open for inside dining, but only at half-capacity of maximum occupancy.
The Sheriff warned, as the county moves through this staged approach to reopen, they will include reasoning to reinitiate previous measures as necessary. They said examples of measures needing to be reverted would include confirming two or more coronavirus cases, medical surge, and/or substantially increased death rate within the county.
Modoc County remains at zero confirmed cases, however the Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook April 28, that they received news of a possible COVID-19 case in the county.
“Public Health received a call requesting a contact investigation of a Modoc County Resident who recently traveled out of state,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “We are in the midst of this investigation and we currently know that the resident has been self-isolating since returning to Modoc.”
The plan will be reassessed on May 15 as well as June 1, according to the Sheriff’s Office.