Supervisor Sue Novasel District 5 Newsletter - May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020                                                                   Edition #39

Supervisor Novasel

El Dorado County

District V Supervisor, Sue Novasel Updates and Input Newsletter 

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Local Order Prohibiting Non-Essential Travel to Lake Tahoe Basin Rescinded, State Ban Remains

Like it did when letting the County-specific Stay At Home order expire in April, El Dorado County rescinded its nonessential travel ban into the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“Because the State ban on nonessential travel supersedes the County’s, there is no material change in what people should do in regards to visiting Lake Tahoe,” said Public Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. “I cannot emphasis this enough: people should not come to Lake Tahoe unless they have an essential purpose for doing so.”

Reasons for the decision to rescind the Local Order include the County’s sufficient testing and contact tracing capacity along with the ability to monitor COVID-19 indicators by a team of public health and hospital officials. A copy of the rescinded Order can be found here.

“The Governor’s Stay At Home Order is still in place and clearly requires that residents refrain from travel for nonessential purposes. I regret having to discourage visitors, but traveling outside of one’s home community is still proving to be a major factor in the spread of COVID-19. A visit to one of our County’s and State’s most popular destinations for the purpose of a vacation, hiking, boating, enjoying a meal at your favorite Tahoe restaurant, or change of scenery is still prohibited, whether or not there is a County-specific restriction in place,” Williams said.

The Local Order, issued April 3rd, 2020, was primarily issued because of concern about insufficient critical healthcare infrastructure and resources if a surge of COVID-19 cases were to occur. The Lake Tahoe basin is served by only one general acute care hospital, Barton Memorial hospital, which historically has relied on other facilities for any necessary backup. Due to the pandemic, such back up could not be assured at that

The Local Order was extended indefinitely on April 29th, noting it would be reviewed at least every 14 days.

“El Dorado County residents have taken actions that continue to show a low number of confirmed cases,
Barton hospital has done an excellent job preparing for a surge should it occur, the State’s order on
nonessential travel remains in place, and continual consultation with Barton and other leaders from Lake Tahoe indicating support for rescinding the Local Order have led me to this decision,” Williams said.

The Local Order rescission also eliminates the urgency ordinance that the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved on April 17th, 2020 allowing for a $1000 administrative fine tied to violating the Local Order, with the exception of travel by homeowners to their second home.

“Now more than ever, as the State begins to provide guidelines for additional industries and businesses to open, it’s critical that people take personal responsibility for their health,” Williams said. “The best advice remains current: stay home when ill for any reason, keep a minimum of six feet between you and others outside your household, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, and frequently sanitize commonly-touched surfaces.”


Q & A for Travel Order Rescission

Q: Does this mean I can go to Lake Tahoe for vacation now?
A: No. The State’s Stay At Home Order which prohibits nonessential travel ban is still in effect and does not permit leisure or vacation travel at this time.

Q: Can I book an Airbnb or Vacation Home Rental now?

A: No, not unless it is for an essential purpose, listed here or to provide care for a family member.

Q: Will I get fined if I travel from Tahoe from another state or county?

A: The rescission of the Local Order removes the urgency ordinance the County Board of Supervisors passed allowing for an administrative fine of $1,000 linked to violating the Local Order.

Q: Can I go to my second home in the Lake Tahoe Basin?

A: Travel to a second home is permitted if the owner needs to repair the home, prepare it for a new season, or relocate for the season (essentially making the second home your temporary main residence). Under these circumstances, we ask that travel be done with household members only, that you bring with you any necessary supplies, that you practice physical distancing and personal hygiene while there, and self-quarantine for 14 days if you are staying for the season to ensure your health and to protect the health of others in the community.

Q: Can I go to Tahoe for a day hike, boating, fishing, a visit to a restaurant, visit a friend or just a change of scenery?

A: No. The State’s Stay At Home Order still prohibits nonessential travel outside one’s own neighborhood/close area for purposes of recreation. Please enjoy recreation and visiting restaurants in your home community.

Q: Is there a difference between what I can do in the City of South Lake Tahoe versus the rest of the Lake Tahoe area in El Dorado County?

A: The State’s Stay At Home Order is effective statewide, but the City of South Lake Tahoe may have additional restrictions. Please check their City website here for information.

Q: Why shouldn’t I travel?

A: Travel provides the opportunity for the virus to move from one community to another. Without travel, COVID-19 would not have developed into a pandemic in the first place. As stated by CDC, “Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.”


El Dorado County COVID-19 Update

Update on COVID-19 in El Dorado County as of May 29, 2020.  

    --  104 new tests administered (6059)

    --  Six confirmed cases (90) All in Lake Tahoe Region;
2 male, 4 female; 2 aged 0-17, 4 aged 18-49

    --  No Hospitalizations

    --  Four recoveries (65)

    --  25 Active Cases

Barber and salon

El Dorado County Barbershops and Hair Salons May Open

The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Nancy Williams, El Dorado County  Public Health Officer regarding the State’s issuance of guidelines for barbershops and hair salons:

“Barbershops and hair salons in El Dorado County may now open as long as they have a safety plan in place that reflects the guidelines Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) published today.

“The release of these guidelines does not indicate that El Dorado County has entered Stage 3; it only means the State has moved this specific industry from Stage 3 to the current Stage 2.

“My attestation letter clearly states ‘Criteria placed on businesses and activities allowed under Stage 2 are that they must develop and implement plans for safe opening that are based on the industry-specific guidelines that have been issued by CDPH... Stage 2 activities may commence in El Dorado County as soon as the individual businesses have developed and are implementing their plans according to their industry's and general guidelines from CDPH.

“Therefore, barbershops and hair salons may open immediately as long as they have met the requirements provided in the State guidelines for this industry.

“CDPH’s guidelines also indicate that some services are not yet allowed. ‘Services that cannot be performed with face coverings on both the worker and customer or that require touching the customer’s face, e.g., eyelash services, eyebrow waxing and threading, facials, etc., should be suspended until those types of services are
allowed to resume.’

“This guidance does not include nail services and there is no indication of when those guidelines are
forthcoming from the State.

“It’s critical to remember the role of personal responsibility as the County allows for more activity, namely to stay home if ill for any reason, maintain a minimum of six feet from anyone besides one’s own household members, and practice personal hygiene such as proper handwashing and wiping commonly-touched surface areas.”


State Guidelines for Places of Worship to Open

The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Nancy Williams, El Dorado County  Public Health Officer regarding the State’s issuance of guidelines for barbershops and hair salons:

“The State’s guidelines for places of worship include a sentence noting the need for the County Public Health department’s approval of the activities, specifically: ‘This limitation will be in effect for the first 21-days of a county public health department’s approval of religious services and cultural ceremonies activities at places of worship within their jurisdictions.’

“In the County’s attestation letter, it is clearly stated in the Sectors and Timelines section that businesses may open as long as they implement a safety plan reflecting the State’s guidelines for their industry.

“Therefore, there is no need for additional County approval for places of worship to provide services.”

Stage 2 vs Stage 3

The Governor and the California Department of Public Health have the sole authority to determine when and how a County can move from stage to stage and within each particular stage. El Dorado County's Public Health Officer can provide guidelines, directives and orders that are more restrictive than the State's but not less restrictive than the State's.

The Governor has not yet provided a clear indication of when or under what circumstances a County may enter Stage 3. Therefore, we cannot predict when El Dorado County will be able to move to Stage 3. For the most timely updates, check our COVID-19 website here and click the News tab. For answers to questions about what is an allowable business in Stage 2, email the California Department of Public Health at

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flyer spanish

Coronavirus Testing Sites

El Dorado County officials have opened two appointment-only community sites for COVID-19 testing for any resident wanting to be tested for the virus.

Please click on the flyer above to be re-directed to view this flyer and set up an appointment.


Second Virtual VHR Town Hall

The second VHR Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 4:00 - 6:00. This meeting we will be discussing feedback from the first Town Hall, which is now available to watch here, and going over the results of the Survey Monkey.

To join this meeting:
Log in at:
or join by phone: 530-621-7603 or 530-621-7610
Webinar ID: 923 8605 1841



Lake Tahoe Fun Facts

Fun Facts


Local Order Rescinded-State Ban Remains

Q & A for Travel

Barbershops and Hair Salons Open in EDC

Places of Worship May Open

Stage 2 VS Stage 3

Coronavirus Testing Sites

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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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