County of San Mateo takes step towards easing shelter-in-place restrictions, align further with state reopening

by Linda Hubbard on June 12, 2020


The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today voted to ask the state for permission to re-open large sectors of the local economy, including dine-in restaurants, hair salons and gyms.

In the 5-0 vote, the Board directed President Warren Slocum to send a letter to the state supporting an attestation of County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow that the County can satisfy the readiness criteria outlined by the state’s Resilience Roadmap.

Today’s vote is a step toward having San Mateo County “fully align” with California’s Resilience Roadmap, said Louise Rogers, chief of San Mateo County Health. If the state approves the request, the County’s health orders are expected to be amended to permit a long list of additional activities currently prohibited.

The timeline for the state to announce whether it has approved the variance request is open ended. Until a variance is granted, the county cannot open the additional businesses the state has allowed to open today.

Rogers said the request to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) acknowledges a “balancing act” between protecting the public from the spread of COVID-19 and the need to reduce the economic harm due to shutting down large segments of the economy.

If the variance is approved by the state, Dr. Morrow will issue a revised Shelter In Place order, outlining the health and safety measures businesses must follow in order to open. According to the Resilience Roadmap, the following types of businesses may be considered for reopening with approval of the variance, subject to local guidelines:

-Dine-in restaurants
-Hair salons and barber shops
-Family entertainment centers
-Restaurants, wineries and bars
-Zoos and museums
-Gyms and fitness centers
-Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)
-Cardrooms
-Campgrounds and outdoor recreation
-Schools and day camps

Personal services like nail salons and tattoo parlors, playgrounds, concert venues and higher education are still not be allowed anywhere in the state.

As both San Mateo and Santa Clara County continue to allow more businesses and restaurants to open with restrictions, the cases of COVID-19 continues to rise. As of June 11, there were 2,533 cases in San Mateo County and as of June 12, there were 3,117 cases in Santa Clara County.

In InMenlo’s coverage during the past week, Atherton’s number of cases remained at 13, Ladera remained at less than 10, Menlo Park increased by 15 to 115, Portola Valley added 3 cases with 15 total, west Menlo Park remained at less than 10 and Woodside remained at 12.

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