Updated 11:23 a.m.
Yolo County reported its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases Wednesday, and now no longer meets the state requirements for expanded reopening.
The surge in cases does not mean the county will automatically shut down open businesses, but is a troubling sign as other counties in the region also deal with increases in COVID-19 positives.
Yolo County reported 26 new cases Wednesday, almost twice their previous highest single-day increase of 14 new cases on April 15. This increase brought the county to a total of 76 positive COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, meaning it now exceeds the number of new cases in 14 days that the state originally set as a metric to evaluate whether counties could begin reopening.
Under the State of California’s plan to allow counties to enter staged reopening, counties were to have no more than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in order to enter the reopening process. That translates to no more than 55 cases in Yolo County, which the county has now exceeded as it had reported 76 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days as of 5 p.m. on June 17.
The county also announced Thursday that personal care services will be allowed to resume in the county on Friday. This means nail salons, skin care and cosmetology services, tattoo parlors, piercing shops, electrolysis providers and massage shops will be allowed to reopen with the mandatory use of face coverings and strict social distancing requirements.
The county says that there has not been evidence of COVID-19 being spread through recently reopened activities, but rather through social and family gatherings and people returning to Yolo County after traveling to other areas and bringing the virus with them.
There has not yet been evidence of transmission in Yolo County related to recently reopened activities and given this current information, the County will allow personal services to resume as stated by the state.
Exceeding this threshold does not result in reopened activities in the county automatically rolling back, or the state automatically withdrawing approval for the county’s reopening, according to a press release from Yolo County. The county will be reviewing the cases to determine if other protective measures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The state originally allowed Yolo County to move further into Stage 2 of the state’s four stage reopening plan on May 20, and the county met all of the required metrics for that approval at the time. Those benchmarks included the stabilization of case and health data and increased preparedness in the business sectors allowed to reopen.
A significant number of the new cases in Yolo County have been linked to social gatherings or a lack of social distancing, which is happening throughout the region as well, according to the county. Yesterday Sacramento County reported its largest single-day increase in cases since April.
For counties like Yolo that have already been approved for reopening but developed areas of concern, the state of California has supplemental criteria to look at different data to evaluate those counties. Those include increasing hospitalizations, limited hospital capacity and elevated disease transmission.
Yolo County is not currently on the state’s watch list for counties experiencing surges. The county encourages people to maintain social distancing, wear face coverings and avoid gathering in groups to slow the spread.
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