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California backtracks on COVID-19 reopening with Placer among 30 counties facing tightest restrictions

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 12:03 AM PDT
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TAHOE CITY, Calif. (KOLO) - California is taking a step backward in its reopening as the Coronavirus continues to spread within the Golden State.

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered many businesses to stop indoor operations, including restaurants, museums, zoos, movie theaters, entertainment centers and more. In addition, 30 counties must close indoor gyms, salons, personal care facilities, churches, malls and non-critical offices.

Of the 30 counties facing the toughest restrictions is Placer, which has seen an exponential spike in cases and hospitalizations. In late June, state data had Placer at single-digit COVID-related hospitalizations.

By July 13th, that number was in the 40s.

“As a local, if I’m not working, I’m at home,” said Kara Fox, who helps run Trunk Show in Tahoe City - a shop selling local art, jewelry and much more. “There’s just so many people up here.”

It hasn’t been a slow tourist season in North Lake Tahoe, which can surely be attributed to Placer County’s rise in COVID-19 cases.

“I do feel it’s safe to move one step back,” said Chris Taylor, the general manager at Tahoe Tap Haus. “My number one priority is to keep my employees safe. Whatever we have to do to keep ourselves at a nice level.”

“If you look at the numbers, we’ve sky-rocketed,” adds Taylor.

Taylor says he’s had run-ins with patrons who’ve been disrespectful, especially when asked to follow the state’s mask mandate. While Lake Tahoe relies on its out-of-town business, the summer of 2020 is anything but the status quo.

“It’s hard to find that balance of accepting tourists up here, but also, please respect as locals,” said Fox. “This is a small mountain town and we have limited capacity.”

“We want to be safe in our zone, which we were,” adds Taylor. “Now, we’re having this big spike because other people are coming and bringing that spike with them.”

There’s no set date as to when California’s COVID-19 reopening could resume, but these current closures are expected to last until at least the end of July.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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