Supervisor Sue Novasel District V Newsletter - May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020                                                                                 Edition #35

Supervisor Novasel

El Dorado County

District V Supervisor, Sue Novasel Updates and Input Newsletter 

Hello Everyone!

First of all I hope you all are healthy and doing well.

It’s been another busy (and somewhat confusing) week in the County!

On Tuesday, we held a special Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss COVID-19 issues and there were some important changes made. First, we heard a report from our Public Health Officer who announced that she will not be extending the County’s Shelter-in-Place order. What does that mean? Not much – let me explain.

Governor Newsom enacted a similar Stay-in-Place measure right after the County’s order was announced on March 19th. And since the Governor’s Order overrides our County’s order, the Stay-in-Place order from the State will stay in effect as long as the Governor wants it to last. So although our County’s order expired yesterday, the Governor’s order keeps us in Phase I of this emergency, until and unless the Governor changes things. That also means that the Governor’s order on non-essential travel is still in force. It is important to note that the County’s Emergency Ordinance concerning non-essential travel to Tahoe and the associated fines are also still in force. There is a $1,000 fine per day for anyone renting a vacation rental within El Dorado County’s Tahoe basin boundaries (similar to the City of South Lake Tahoe’s ordinance). Since this is an administrative fine, all vacation rental complaints or concerns should be addressed to our Code Enforcement Department, reachable at this link.  It is expected that the Board will rescind that ordinance when the Governor deems travel outside of one’s home area safe and acceptable.

As I said, confusing… but I hope that clears up some of the confusion going around in social media circles.

The Board also approved a letter to be sent to Governor Newsom (which can be read here) which asks our governor to consider moving El Dorado County to the next phase (Phase II) of suggested emergency response guidelines. Since our County has seen relatively little exposure and no deaths to date, we are requesting approval to allow for a limited, phased reopening of our economy that allows for the eventual safe return to normal operations and activities. It should be noted that the proposed Phase II would still include social distancing, travel restrictions and limits on public gatherings. It would allow for a slow, locals-only opening of workplaces and business operations.

We are hopeful that our Governor will seriously consider and analyze these suggested next steps. It’s important that we get back to economic stability as soon as possible – with an important eye on what business and travel will and can become as we try to live safe in our new world.


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19

County Directive Expiration, Travel to Lake Tahoe, Essential vs. Nonessential Workforce & Activities, Reopening El Dorado County

Q: What Does the Expiration of the County’s Stay-At-Home Directive Mean?
A: The expiration of the County Stay-At-Home directive doesn’t materially change anything.

It means residents are to continue to follow the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, which has always superseded County directives. See the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order HERE.

Nonessential businesses that have been closed from March 19th- April 30th are to remain closed. Nonessential activities you haven’t been allowed to participate in from March 19th-April 30th are still prohibited.

Nonessential travel bans that were in place on April 30th remain in place.

Q: Can I reopen my business?
A: No. Businesses that are nonessential and are currently closed are to remain closed, per the Governor’s Order.

Q: How do I know if my business is considered essential or nonessential?
A: For the list of essential workforce under the Governor’s Order, click HERE.

For specific questions about what activities are allowed under the Governor’s Order, email

Q: Can I reopen my business if I provide proper sanitizing and physical distancing of at least six feet?
A: No. If the Governor’s Order does not explicitly exempt it, nonessential businesses are still to remain closed.

Q: Will gyms, hair and nail salons, pet grooming, smoke shops, and other businesses be open if they require physical distancing of at least six feet?
A: No. Under the Governor’s Order, these remain nonessential businesses.

Q: Can my yard person mow, edge and blow my yard?
A: No. Under the Governor’s Order, this is still prohibited.

Q: Can I have contractors doing construction and/or landscaping on my property?
A: No. If it is for cosmetic purposes rather than essential purposes, it is considered nonessential.

Q: Can I go to the park with a group of friends now?
A: No. Under the Governor’s Order, gathering for any reason that is considered nonessential is prohibited, but you may go to the park with members of your household if you are there to recreate rather than socialize.

Q: Can I go camping, fishing or boating?
A: County parks are open (with the exception of playgrounds); if boat ramps are open and you are a local resident, you may boat with your household members; you may fish with your household members; check with US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin and CA State Parks for information about camping and recreating in those areas.

Q: If letting the County directive expire doesn’t change anything in how we provide businesses, services and the way we can recreate and gather, why did the County let it expire?
A: The Public Health Officer decided not to extend the County Stay-At-Home directive because it mirrors the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order and in hopes of preventing confusion about whether residents should follow the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order or the County Stay-At-Home directive.

Q: Can I travel to Lake Tahoe for recreation?
A: No. The County extended the nonessential travel ban to the El Dorado County portions of Lake Tahoe indefinitely.

Q: Can I go to my second home in Lake Tahoe, and if so, under what circumstances?
A: It is allowable if you need to do repairs or prepare it for the change in seasons.

We ask that you only travel with household members and that you practice physical distancing and personal hygiene on your way to and while in Lake Tahoe.

Q: Do I have to wear a face covering?
A: The Governor’s Order does not require the use of face coverings, but some essential retail outlets are requiring them. Face coverings do not, in any event, take the place of physical distancing and personal hygiene.

Q: When will the County begin to “reopen”?
A: The County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Governor Newsom Tuesday, April 28th signed by the Board Chair and Public Health Officer requesting approval to move into a careful, fourstep phased approach to relaxing restrictions in El Dorado County. We requested a response by May 8, 2020.

Q: Why does El Dorado County feel that it is ready to move into a new phase?
A: The Public Health Officer and public health staff closely track the occurrence of the COVID-19 cases in El Dorado County. Their assessment is that there is a very low transmission rate presently, our hospitals, healthcare system, public health, and other responders are prepared should a rise in cases occur, and appropriate guidance will be given to residents, employers, and employees to continue to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Q: What are the four phases to “reopening” our County?
A: The County cannot and will not loosen restrictions and allow for greater commerce and personal mobility without the Governor’s approval.

We are currently in Phase 1.

Phase 2 still requires physical distancing, bans nonessential travel and gathering of people from
different households, and directs high-risk people and those who feel ill to stay home except for necessary activities like medical visits. It allows some currently nonessential businesses to open, as long as they provide for physical distancing, limits the number of people allowed in at a time, and are non-contact related.

Phase 3 allows for gatherings of a limited number of people outside their households, nonessential travel farther from one’s home, and additional businesses and activities.

Phase 4 is essentially a return to normal.

All phases include evaluations and mitigation that would determine when and how we would move to the next Phase, with the Governor’s approval, and the ability to return to a previous Phase if warranted.

Q: Where can I go for general guidance on what’s prohibited and what’s allowed?
A: The California Department of Public Health has an extensive WEBSITE with current updates on

You can also call (833) 544-2374 for guidance and information.

Q: Where can I find changes and updates to the Governor’s Order?
A: The Governor’s Stay-At-Home order and clarifications can be found HERE. It is updated regularly to reflect changes in reopening the State.


Governor Newsom's Phased Reopening Roadmap

Governor Newsom announced his four stage plan to reopen the state today, called the California Resilience Roadmap. In response to some county concerns shared by CSAC, he indicated that the reopening process could occur regionally and promised to work closely with local health officers on the roadmap. He also took the opportunity to emphasize that the state is trending in the right direction and that he is thinking of the stages, especially moving from stage 1 (which we are in currently) to stage 2, in weeks, not months.

The Governor’s stages are as follows or view his presentation here:

Stage 1: Safety & Preparedness

  •  This is the current stage.
  • Focus is on making essential workplaces safe for employees and customers.
  • Continue planning for subsequent stages by establishing contact tracing, obtaining PPE, and building surge capacity in regions.
  • Before moving to stage two, there are several actions needed:
  • Government: Must institute policies to allow workers to stay home sick and provide guidance on how to reduce risk.
  • Business: Must make modifications to lower workplace risks and allow employees to continue working from home, where possible.
  • Individuals: Must take safety precautions like distancing and wearing masks, avoid non-essential travel, and care for high-risk communities.

Stage 2: Open Lower Risk Workplaces & Childcare

  •  The Governor did not give a timeline for when the state will move to Stage 2.
  • Gradually reopen lower-risk places like retail, manufacturing, offices where telework is not possible, and public spaces such as parks and trails.
  • Allow childcare facilities to provide more care and enable parents to return to work.
  • Expand the social safety net, including sick leave and wage replacement, to allow those who return to work to stay home when sick.

Stage 3: Open Higher Risk Workplaces  

  • Includes three categories of businesses where close proximity cannot be avoided:
    • Personal care (barbers, salons, spas, and gyms)
    • Entertainment venues (movie theaters, sports without live audiences)
    • In-person large gatherings or services (churches, weddings)
  • These businesses will require more adaptation to lower the risk of transmission among workers and individuals.

 Stage 4: End the Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

  •  This will likely include modifications of the state-wide order.
  • Highest-risk businesses can begin to resume like concerts, convention centers, and live audience sports.

Regional Variation
Both the Governor and Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health, discussed the concept of “regional variation” when it comes to lifting health precautions and re-opening businesses. Dr. Angell noted that greater regional variations will be made possible once a statewide COVID-19 surveillance system and adequate testing are in place. This will allow county public health officials to make decisions based not only on data in their own county, but also from surrounding areas.

The Governor said that they are considering starting the new school year as early as July or early August to help make up for “lost learning time.” However, in order to do so, the state and districts must ensure that schools are sanitized, PPE is available, and physical modifications are made to keep students and teachers safe. He did not specify when there will be an official announcement on the school year, and individual districts may also vary from the statewide guidance based on local conditions.

 Community Input
The Governor also invited community input on the California Resilience Roadmap, especially related to specific business sectors. He invited all Californians to submit ideas for making their sectors safe at the California Recovery Roadmap Survey.


El Dorado County COVID-19 Update

Update on COVID- cases in El Dorado County as of May 1, 2020.  

-- Three confirmed cases,  (47)*
    -- 1 male, 2 females
    -- 2 EDH, 1 SLT
    -- 2 50-64 years old, 1 18-49 years old

    --  100 new tests administered (2,240)

    -- Three recoveries (43)

    -- Four active cases

* Two of the three new cases listed a Sacramento P.O. Box as their address in March. Yesterday it was determined they live in El Dorado County. They have both recovered. So while we are technically reporting three new cases, there is only one new active case. 

Upcoming Virtual VHR Meetings

The two virtual VHR Meetings I talked about in last week's newsletter will be held using Zoom.  I will be sending the call-in information for the meeting to you in my newsletter and also to the list of emails I have when we get closer to the meeting date(s). 

As a reminder the meetings will be:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
-- TRPA Guidelines & Requirements for VHRs
-- Potential changes to the county Ordinance in order to be in-line with TRPA
-- Options to reduce the number of VHRs in the basin.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
For follow up and feedback from the first meeting.

Small Business

Relief for Small Businesses

The U.S. Government has authorized additional emergency economic relief for businesses. Click HERE to visit the Small Business Program to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program and other assistance options.






Governor's Reopening Roadmap

COVID-19 County Update

VHR Meetings

Relief for Small Businesses


Tahoe Fun Facts

Tahoe FF

Below are links to Federal Guidance issued on 3.20.20:

White House

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

United States Food and Drug Administration

Department of Homeland Security

United States Treasury

United States Department of Defense

United States Department of Agriculture

Department of Education

United States Environmental Protection Agency

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Transportation

United States Department of Veterans Affairs



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