Stage 3 businesses get green light to reopen Friday |

Stage 3 businesses get green light to reopen Friday

Gyms, bars, campgrounds and more issued health safety guidelines

Dylan Svoboda / Mountain Democrat

El Dorado County will move into Stage 3 of California’s economic reopening plan this Friday.

The state issued guidelines Friday for 12 sectors to open come June 12. Last week, county Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams said El Dorado County can begin to reopen once the state released parameters for Stage 3 businesses.

The state’s guidance includes rules on schools, day camps, gyms, bars, hotels, campgrounds, professional sports, casinos, museums, zoos and aquariums and music, film and television production.

“I am pleased that the businesses in these sectors which have been closed since March can reopen and people can begin to rebuild their livelihoods, yet I would be remiss if I didn’t caution owners, employees, patrons and residents in general that now is the time to be even more disciplined about maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene practices,” Williams said.

Businesses must develop and implement safety plans around the state’s guidelines before reopening. The Stage 3 checklist serves as a how-to guide for sectors deemed ready to reopen by state health authorities. Counties will be able to move into Stage 3 at the approval of their respective top health officer.

“… It’s imperative that businesses carefully read the guidelines as they contain specific caveats to opening, such as playgrounds and meeting rooms remaining closed at campgrounds and outdoor recreation areas,” Williams said.

Full state guidelines can be found at

Williams cautioned against any complacency that may accompany further relaxations of the coronavirus-related restrictions.

“The fact is, the more we move about as a population, the greater the possibility of the COVID-19 virus being transmitted and the best ways to mitigate the public health impacts of our increased activity is to keep staying home when you’re sick, stay away from sick people when possible, maintain at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and others outside your household, wash your hands frequently and sanitize commonly-used areas.

“Now more than ever personal responsibility will determine whether El Dorado County moves forward or backward as we navigate the opening of more and more portions of our society and daily lives. I’m confident that our residents will continue to do what they can to keep our businesses open and our communities healthy.”

Businesses under the Stage 3 umbrella have been closed for nearly three months. California ordered all residents to shelter-in-place March 16 to curb the spread of COVID-19. In mid-May, El Dorado County began working its way through Stage 2 of the reopening plan.

Stage 4 of the reopening plan, which includes concerts, live sports with fans and other mass gatherings, could be months away. Gov. Gavin Newsom has indicated that Stage 4 will come once California gains herd immunity or a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed.

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