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Amendment No. 1 to Order of the Health Officer of the County of Sonoma No. C19-02 Residential Care Facilities Visitation
DATE OF AMENDMENT: October 16, 2020
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120275, et seq.)
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SONOMA (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:
- This Amendment becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on October 17, 2020, and continues in effect until Order C19-02 is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer or by the State Public Health Officer.
- This Amendment incorporates by reference the March 13, 2020 Order of the Health Officer No. C19-02. Except as otherwise amended herein, the provisions of that Order remain in full force and effect.
- The vulnerable nature of the population in long-term care facilities has required aggressive efforts to limit COVID-19 exposure and transmission, including limiting movement of residents within and outside facilities and restricting non-essential personnel and visitors from entering facilities.
- This amendment is necessitated by the social isolation experienced by many residents at long term care facilities due to the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on visitation contained in Health Officer Order No. C19-02.
- Due to the duration of the pandemic, physical separation from family and other loved ones is taking a toll on residents of long-term care facilities leading to a deterioration of their physical and emotional health.
- At this stage of the pandemic, scientific evidence and best practices suggest that visitation can occur without significant increased risk of COVID-19 transmission as long as safety guidelines are strictly followed, and the risk of poor health outcomes as a result of social isolation outweighs the risk of COVID-19 transmission as long as those safety guidelines are followed.
- As of October 16, 2020, many long term care facilities are still experiencing cases of COVID-19; therefore, the guidance permitting visitation pursuant to this amendment will limit visitation to outdoors. The Health Officer will update the guidance to accommodate indoor visitation when safe to do so.
- The following Paragraph is added to Order No. C-19-02:Notwithstanding any other provision of this Order, family and friends of residents in Long-Term Care Facilities may visit the resident as long as the facility and the visitor strictly comply with guidance issued by the Health Officer entitled “Guidance for Visitation in Long-Term Care Facilities” and found here: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health-Services/. To the extent the Health Officer updates the guidance, this Order automatically incorporates those changes by reference.
- Pursuant to Government Code sections 26602 and 41601 and Health and Safety Code section 101029, the Health Officer requests that the Sheriff and all chiefs of police in the County ensure compliance with and enforce this Order. The violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
- Copies of Order C19-02 and this Amendment shall promptly be 1) made available at the County Administration Center at 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403; 2) posted on the SoCoEmergency website; and 3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy.
- If any provision of this Amendment or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the remainder of the Amendment, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Amendment are severable.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
Dr. Sundari R. Mase, MD MPH
Health Officer of the County of Sonoma