California Public Health Officials Provide COVID-19 Update
Date: June 12, 2020
Positivity Rate – a Key Indicator of Community Spread -- Remains Stable
State Releases Guidance for Nail Salons and Other Personal Care Services
New Personal Care Guidance Includes Strict Modifications
to Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Transmission
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. California's positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread -- remains stable in the 14-day average. Hospitalization rates remain stable over the long-term while showing a slight uptick in the 14-day average. California has 141,983 confirmed cases to date, and 2,662,258 tests have been conducted in California. As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, an increase in the number of positive cases has been expected – increasing the importance of positivity rates to find signs of community spread. There have been 4,943 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
"As California continues to release guidance to help Californians lower the risk of COVID-19 transmissions in a number of settings, it's important to remember that guidance doesn't mean 'go.' Once having met state health requirements, county public health officers will use county health data to decide when it's appropriate to reopen sectors in each county," said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. "COVID-19 remains a real threat to Californians. Protect yourself and those around you by keeping a physical distance of six feet, wearing a face covering, and washing hands frequently."
Given the state's vast geographic diversity, many counties have attested to epidemiological readiness and overall preparedness and are able to move at their own pace through the reopening process depending on local conditions. California provides guidance on how local jurisdictions should modify operations to reduce risk for infection should the local jurisdiction decide to reopen a specific sector. Local officials in counties with attestations determine when specific sectors of their economy that have state guidance posted will reopen. It is up to the local health officers to make decisions regarding reopening specific sectors based upon the epidemiology and readiness of the county.
Expanded Personal Care Services
The California Department of Public Health today released guidance (PDF) for expanded personal services for counties with attestations, which includes personal care that requires touching a client's face, e.g. facials, electrolysis, and waxing. This guidance also applies to esthetician, skin care, and cosmetology services; electrology; nail salons; body art professionals, tattoo parlors, and piercing shops; and massage therapy (in non-healthcare settings). This guidance includes stringent protections intended to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. For example, workers and customers at nail salons, tattoo parlors and massage businesses must wear face coverings.
This guidance is instructive on how businesses should operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce the risk of transmission. Local health officials should decide when the sectors covered by the guidance can resume operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 populations, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing.
Review of State Restrictions on Attendance Capacities for Constitutionally Protected Activities, Including Places of Worship
The California Department of Public Health today released updated guidance (PDF) for places of worship, providers of religious services and cultural ceremonies, and corresponding direction for other constitutionally protected activities, such as the right to protest. This guidance replaces guidance issued in May and does not obligate places of worship to resume in-person activity. It is strongly recommended that places of worship continue to facilitate remote services and other related activities for those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 including older adults and those with co-morbidities.
Under the updated guidance, capacity limitations for indoor services remain the same. Places of worship may continue to hold indoor religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of the building's capacity, or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
Today's updated guidance lifts the state's numerical cap for outdoor attendance at places of worship and other constitutionally protected First Amendment activities. Local health officials should consider limitations on outdoor attendance, factoring in their jurisdiction's COVID-19 key health indicators. At a minimum, outdoor attendance should be limited naturally through the implementation of strict physical distancing measures of a minimum of six feet between attendees from different households.
The California Department of Public Health, in consultation with local health officials, will regularly review and assess the impact of these guidelines on public health and provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of in-person activities in places of worship.