We put the call out for your questions related to the coronavirus pandemic, and you’ve asked about the reopening of additional business, youth sports, testing and more.
Here are a few answers to some of those recent question submissions. We answer more each Tuesday night during our virtual coronavirus Town Hall with Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase. If you have a question, please submit it using the form at the right.
Note: Our last Town Hall is scheduled for June 2. We want to know: what's the best way to get you continuing coronavirus information after that date? Let us know by using the submission form to the right and mark "Future coronavirus coverage" for question category.
When will barbershops, indoor shopping and religious services reopen in Sonoma County? —Angela, Deborah, Michelle, Barry
Even though Gov. Gavin Newsom gave approval this week for California counties who meet state requirements to begin reopening barbershops and allowing indoor shopping and religious services, those activities are still not permitted in Sonoma County.
Dr. Mase said there’s been an increase in local COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks — partly due to increased contact tracing, but also due to community transmission — that merits caution.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the full impact of what we’ve just altered with our recent shelter-in-place order, with the amendments, and so I think we’re going to wait a little bit to see where we’re going in order to protect the community,” she said.
Those recent amendments have included allowing outdoor dining at restaurants, bars and wineries, and drive-through religious services, among other changes.
Mase noted that the governor’s order applies to counties of all different sizes, with different case rates and testng capabilities.
“It’s meant for counties to look at their own situations and then make decisions as to how to move forward,” she said.
She said the county will be monitoring on a daily basis the rate of cases, the level of community transmission, the effects on vulnerable populations, PPE and hospital bed availability and other relevant data to make decisions about further reopening.
Are youth sports allowed under the recent health order amendment that allows summer day camps and other recreational programs? —David
“I think any camp is fine as long as the guidance is met,” Mase said.
The health order limits these types of programs to 12 kids or fewer per group, and the same instructor and children should be maintained in each group.
Find more details in the full health order on the county website.
How often do you recommend that members of the public get tested if we do not have symptoms? Does the recommendation change based on our job? —Anonymous
Mase said you don’t typically need to get retested after an initial COVID-19 test.
“I think people need baseline testing, and then if they become symptomatic or if they’ve had an exposure to someone with COVID, then they should be retested,” she said.
Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, and a cough, among others. Information on how and where to get tested can be found at SoCoEmergency.org.
Watch Tuesday's Town Hall program here. Mase's interview begins at 35:45.