The Grapevine

Counties Slowing Down Reopening Efforts After Witnessing Spike In Coronavirus Cases

Most were warned that reopening states could lead to spikes in COVID-19 cases. And now that this theory has been proven correct, some counties have started slowing down their plans of trying to get some semblance of normality. Now one of the regions to begin reopening, Sonoma County, has started to backpedal a bit with coronavirus cases on the rise.

The move is understandable. Sonoma County has reported 203 new cases in the last 14 days. These are double the case rates in that span. From 20 per 100,000 residents, it is now up to 41 per 100,000, according to county health officer Dr. Sundari Mase in a report from the Los Angeles Times.

Just last Wednesday, Mase revealed that nine new cases increased its COVID-19 case count to 524. There have been four deaths in the area since the pandemic broke out. The spike is a result of more people returning to work.

In early May, health officials started to loosen up restrictions by allowing construction, car sales and landscaping services to resume operations. After a week, retail stores were allowed to reopen but can only entertain customers via pickup and delivery means. Just recently, outdoor dining, summer camps, drive-in, religious services and other ceremonies were allowed. With these moves, it seemed imminent that a rise in COVID-19 cases would follow.

“We’ve also seen, over the weekend, a few more hospitalizations that make us worried that we might be seeing more COVID in our vulnerable populations,” Mase said.

However, it appears the coronavirus problem is not limited to Sonoma County. Not far away, Lassen County has reported the first COVID-19 cases this week. It was bound to come at some point with the region previously seeming left untouched by the coronavirus strain. But that changed when COVID-19 tests started. A couple who lived in the same household tested positive and now contact tracing is being done. This forced county officials to walk back previously loosened restrictions on select businesses and services.

“Unfortunately, this did happen, and we now have a serious problem,” Dr. Kenneth Korver, a county public health officer, said in his most recent health order. “We need to contain the spread of the virus in Lassen County now.”

With plans to scale back reopening, frustration is likely to mount anew among business establishments. Peter Rumble, the chief executive of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, already criticized the slow reopening efforts as business communities wanted to resume economic activities in the area, the Press Democrat reported. But with a new spike in cases, it appears seeing that will take more time with the coronavirus far from being controlled.

COVID-19 lockdown A survey conducted in nearly 50 countries around the world showed that many employees would go to work even when sick or showing flu-like symptoms, particularly those in healthcare settings. Pixabay

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