Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday lowered Napa County’s COVID-19 “dimmer switch” and turned out the lights on indoor barber shops, hair salons, fitness centers, worship services and offices in non-critical sectors.
Newsom announced during a noon press conference he was taking the step for 30 counties on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list. Napa County is on the list, which Newsom said comprises 80% of the state’s population.
Napa County’s Office of Emergency Services said Monday evening that the closures were to take effect immediately. The county said in a Nixle alert it was awaiting further details from the state but anticipated the order will last at least 3 weeks.
Stacie Harrold, owner of Whirlwind Blow Dry Lounge in downtown Napa, learned of this latest turn of events from a customer who called to see if the salon was still open. Then came eight or 10 calls in the wake of the governor’s announcement.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” Harrold said. “We just got back on track, we were trying to get everybody employed. It’s a bit of a surprise, too, because we all thought we were being so diligent with our cleanliness and keeping everybody safe with masks.”
Napa County Board of Supervisors vice chairman Alfredo Pedroza said Monday afternoon the county must protect public health. But he advocated for a surgical approach based on information, as opposed to one-size-fits-all.
“I think we’re all frustrated by the position we’re in right now,” Pedroza said. “Those are difficult decisions being made that impact the livelihood of so many families, so many businesses, so many individuals.”
At this point, the route available to the county to reopen the affected businesses is to get off the state’s monitoring list.
“We are going to try as hard as humanly possible to get off that list,” Pedroza said. “It is a priority we owe to local residents.”
Napa County went on the state’s monitoring list last week for having 138.7 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days. The state threshold is 100 cases.
The immediate impact was closing indoor restaurant and indoor tasting room activities and breweries and bars both indoors and outdoors. They were to close for at least three weeks.
Newsom said during his press conference the positive COVID-19 testing rate for the state is 7.4% for 14 days, up 21% over two weeks. Hospitalizations have risen 28% and ICU admissions 20% in two weeks, he said.
“We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away any time soon until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy,” Newsom said.
Newsom on Monday closed indoor restaurant dining for all 58 California counties. He then added activities such as hair salons and fitness center for Napa County and other counties on the state monitoring list.
The goal is to keep trend lines from becoming headlines, Newsom said.
Other counties on the list are Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Yolo, Yuba and Ventura.
“As always, I want to remind you, limit your mixing with people outside of your households,” Newsom said. “It’s just common sense. But the data suggests not everybody is practicing common sense.”
You can reach Barry Eberling at 256-2253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.