San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the County progressed from the most restrictive widespread Purple Tier into the less restrictive substantial Red Tier effective April 7. This announcement by the State will allow restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses to begin moving operations indoors with capacity limits.
“It is because of the tireless efforts of San Joaquin County, our community partners and local residents that the County is able to move into the Red Tier,” Dr. Park reported. “However, the relaxing of restrictions should not encourage residents to let their guard down. We are urging community members to continue to do their part to help maintain our momentum by getting tested, taking the necessary precautions to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19 and being vaccinated once they are eligible.”
Restaurants and movie theaters will now be allowed to resume indoor operations at 25 percent capacity, or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen indoor operations at 10 percent of their indoor capacity. Museums, zoos and aquariums will be able to open indoor operations at 25 percent capacity and retail and shopping centers will be able to increase their indoor operations to 50 percent capacity. Effective April 15, additional sectors including gatherings, private events, and live indoor events can resume with modifications in the Red Tier. The Governor has also announced that all tiers would be eliminated by June 15 if vaccine supply remains steady and coronavirus metrics continue to decline.
“The Red Tier announcement is great news for San Joaquin County, but much more needs to be done to continue moving forward by leaps and bounds,” said San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Tom Patti. “Everyone is counting on us to get businesses, schools, gatherings, sports and everyday life back up and running and we all need to do everything possible including testing, testing, testing to make that happen.”
To view all of the County’s COVID-19 statistics, see the dashboard at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/4ec4f8e1dfd142998d1732c7f5c79e45
The County’s www.sjready.org, managed by the County’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), is a hub for all the COVID information the public needs to locate scheduled community vaccination events.
San Joaquin County Assistant County Administrator, Matt Paulin, reported to the Board that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County received a total of $295.1 million in COVID-related funding, $150.8 million of which was Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding that was distributed to departments, Small Business Grant Programs, Family Assistance Grants, Private Hospital Grant Program, Fire District Grant Program, and the Housing for the Harvest Program. The remaining $144.3 million was allocated directly to departments for department-specific services related to COVID-19. Mr. Paulin told the Board that a business and community assessment was recently conducted by the County Administrator’s Office to evaluate additional financial support that could be provided by the County to further assist impacted sectors. Concluding the presentation, the Board authorized the transfer of $13.9 million from County reserves for:
• $5.0 million to augment the existing Small Business Assistance Grant program in addition to the current $17.7 million allocation to fully fund all qualifying applications;
• $6.9 million for community needs (non-profit/CBO assistance, food banks, childcare providers);
• $2.0 million for the Children and Families Program (First 5).
Also, supervisors directed the County Administrator’s Office to work with the Environmental Health Department and Treasurer-Tax Collector to determine appropriate fees to waive for small businesses. The board also approved public meeting guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to safely allow for in-person participation at public meetings of the Board of Supervisors, with limited capacity.