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YREKA, CA — As of Tuesday, May 26, Siskiyou County Public Health announced the reopening of places of worship for religious services, in-store retail shopping, hair salons and nail salons with modifications that follow the standard guidelines located at the Siskiyou County Public Health Division.

Approved by the California State Public Health Officer, all retail stores can reopen for in-store shopping under previously issued guidelines. Under new guidance, places of worship can hold religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity — or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower.

Approved by the Siskiyou County Public Health Officer, Aaron Stutz, MD, all Salons may reopen for services under new guideline as follows: Nail salons should provide a barrier between them and their client and each provider will wear a mask and abide by all Standard Guidelines; and Hair Salons should abide by all Standard Guidelines and each licensee will wear a mask while providing services to clients. The exception to salons at this time are as follows: No services that involve close work on the face are allowed to operate at this time (i.e., facials, face waxing, eyelash services). Each salon must have a written plan in place.

While the majority of large gatherings still remain prohibited under the state’s stay-at-home order, the California Department of Public Health has released guidelines for in-person protests and events designed for political expression. The guidance limits attendance to 25% of an area’s maximum occupancy — or up to 100 attendees.

The new guidance for religious services and cultural ceremonies encourages organizations to continue online services and activities, including to protect individuals who are most at risk for more severe COVID-19, including older adults and people with specific medical conditions.

To reopen for religious services, funerals and places of worship are recommended to follow below:

n Establish and implement a COVID-19 prevention plan for every location, train staff on the plan, and regularly evaluate workplaces for compliance.

n Train employees and volunteers on COVID-19, including how to prevent it from spreading and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.

n Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

n Set physical distancing guidelines.

n Recommend that staff and guests wear cloth face coverings, and screen staff for temperature and symptoms at the beginning of their shifts.

n Set parameters around or consider eliminating singing and group recitations. These activities dramatically increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For this reason, congregants engaging in singing, particularly in the choir, and group recitation should wear face coverings at all times and when possible, these activities should be conducted outside with greater than 6-foot distancing.

n Religious services and funerals shall limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity — or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower.

The existing guidance for retailers, previously allowed for counties approved to advance in the reopening process, now applies statewide. Retail can now open for in-store shopping statewide. The guidelines help reduce the risk for workers and customers.

As the reopening phases progress, Siskiyou County Public Health and the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors will review and assess the impact of the religious services guidelines as well as the retail guidelines and will provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of activities.

More information about reopening Siskiyou County and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is available at www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/publichealth.