Mono can re-open many indoor services, business Aug. 31

Times Staff Report
Staff Writer

Mono is now in “moderate” Covid-19 status; one of only 11 counties in state’s in top two reopening tiers

Mono County be allowed to reopen indoor dining (with restrictions) and many other services and businesses on Aug. 31 ollowing new guidance from the state and based on improving Covid-19 numbers.
The new state guidance places all 58 counties into one of four categories of Covid-19 impact, with each category also assigned a color code: “Widespread/Purple;” “Substantial/Red”; “Moderate/Orange,” and “Minimal/Yellow.”
Mono County is now in the Moderate/Orange category, meaning it can reopen indoor dining in restaurants (with restrictions), it can reopen hair salons and personal care businesses, it can reopen gyms (with restrictions), churches (with restrictions) and more services and businesses, all starting on Sunday, Aug. 31.
“The Orange or ‘moderate’ third tier (1-3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 and 2–4.9% positive tests) allows Mono County to reopen several business sectors following both State and County guidelines in time for Labor Day Weekend,” the county said.
That said, the existing requirements placed on businesses by the county, such as mandatory face masks, county-mandated limits on capacity for short term rentals and more are still in place, according to the county (see below).
Here are the details on how this re-opening process will work:
“On August 28, Governor Newsom released a “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” a stringent, careful statewide plan for living with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) that replaces the “County Data Monitoring List,” the Mono County Emergency Operations Center team said in a news release Saturday.
“The Blueprint establishes four Tiers which determine what business sectors can and cannot operate according to a County’s current infection rate, beginning August 31.
It should be noted that Mono County Health Officer orders intended to reduce COVID-19 spread remain in effect and will supersede state guidance if the state guidance is less strict,” the county said. “For example, while restaurants may open to indoor dining at 50% capacity on Monday August 31, requirements for staff to wear higher level face masks and for employers to document screening of each employee for illness each time they come to work remain in place. Similarly, local restrictions on lodging and short-term rentals in the Town of Mammoth Lakes are unaffected by the state changes.
“The local COVID-19 containment strategy led by the County/Town Unified Command and implemented by our residents and businesses has achieved our current status as a “moderately” affected county where more activities are permitted than most jurisdictions in California. According to Mono County Health Officer Dr. Tom Boo, “It is definitely encouraging that the number of people affected by COVID- 19 has decreased and I am gratified that more economic activity is now possible. The challenge now is to keep infections low by doubling down on our efforts to Stay Safe to Stay Open. We are definitely not out of the pandemic woods so please let us continue to distance, cover, wash and avoid gatherings.”
“This Blueprint is statewide, stringent and slow,” said Governor Newsom. “We have made notable progress over recent weeks, but the disease is still too widespread across the state. COVID-19 will be with us for a long time and we all need to adapt. We need to live differently. And we need to minimize exposure for our health, for our families and for our communities.”
The Blueprint builds on lessons learned and scientific knowledge gained during the first six months of the pandemic to create a new system for regulating movement and COVID-19 transmissions. It includes:
• A uniform state framework, with four categories instead of 58 different sets of rules;
• A more nuanced way of allowing activity: Instead of open vs. closed, sectors can be partially opened and progressively add to their operations as disease transmission decreases; and
• Mandatory metrics – case rates and test positivity – to measure how widespread COVID-19 is in each county and guide what is allowed;
• At least 21 days within a tier with stable infection rates before a county may further advance to the next tier;
• A new process for tightening back up again quickly when conditions worsen.
The plan also emphasizes that no matter what restrictions the State puts in place, COVID-19 will get the upper hand if Californians don’t adapt their behaviors for the duration of the pandemic.
What can open or reopen and under what criteria?

Here is a brief summary of what is called "The Summary Status of Mono County Business Sector Operations" and which is effective Aug. 31. Details can be found at
• Critical Infrastructure
• All Retail Stores
• Hair Salons and Barbershops
• Personal Care Services
• Restaurants at Max 50% Capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
• Museums at Max 50% Capacity Indoors
• Places of Worship at Max 50% Capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
• Movie Theaters at Max 50% Capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
In addition:
• Hotels andlodging can open fitness centers with 5% maximum capacity; can Open indoor pools, but they are still subject to County-level restrictions
• Gyms and Fitness Centers at Max 25% Capacity; they can Can Open Indoor Pools
Family Entertainment Centers (including Bowling Alleys & Climbing Walls) at Max 25% Capacity

For additional information, visit or