Yolo County Issues Order on Masks, Amends Shelter in Place


Yolo County issued the order on Friday, as expected, to require wearing a face covering in public.  At the same time, it has amended the current Shelter in Place order to allow certain activities to resume.

The current Shelter in Place order will end on May 1, but will be extended with the amendments.

Under the face covering order, people will be required to wear such coverings when they wait in lines, shop at a store, pick up food, are on or waiting for public transit, are in a taxi or rideshare vehicle, are seeking healthcare, go inside public facilities, or work at jobs that interact with the public.

Children two years and older should be encouraged to wear a mask when around others closer than six feet. When they do, they must be supervised by an adult.

Face coverings are not required to be worn at home or in a car either alone or with members of their own housing—and children under two should not wear one due to risk of suffocation.  Face coverings are also not required outdoors or engaging in recreational activity.

They do note that “people must comply with social distancing during these activities, including maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from other people. People should also have a face covering readily accessible.”

Also residents with health conditions whose medical doctor has advised against wearing a face covering and can provide documentation are not required to wear face coverings.

The county release notes, “Residents are still required to stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet, and use other public health measures, such as frequent hand washing, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.”

Businesses must require their employees and other “volunteers to wear a face covering at the workplace and when performing work off-site.”

They also should advise “customers about the need to wear a face covering, including posting signs and advising those in line or in the store.”  They should take “reasonable steps to keep people who are not wearing a face covering from entering their business” and “refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering.”

The release notes, “Individual violators are unlikely to be cited,” however, they do expect “essential businesses and other enterprises will be expected to enforce this order.”

The county states, “Everyone has an opportunity to contribute to public health and the welfare of our community by following this health order. Individuals that choose not to wear face coverings may encounter difficulties such as being refused access to public transit and essential businesses.”

Yolo County has amended the current Shelter in Place order to allow certain activities “that have been assessed to be low-risk for the spread of COVID-19.”

These include: golf courses, gun and archery, boat ramps, and fishing.

However, they note: “Each of these activities are not strictly prohibited by the State Order. County staff and law enforcement will closely monitor outdoor activities over the first 14 days to ensure adherence to the public health order. It must be noted that any and all activities, dates, and/or roll backs may be altered at any stage if there are indications of an increase in public health risk due to these activities.”

Most importantly, “Gatherings (are) still not allowed.”

The dashboard shows Yolo County with a relatively flat rate of increases in cases.  The current total as of 5 pm on April 24, was 157 cases countywide.  There were 31 new from April 17 to April 24.

The number of deaths is at 13, relatively high for the number of cases, but six of those reported earlier this week were at one nursing home facility.  The public should be wary, though, of those numbers because officially there have been just 1694 tests performed.

In Davis, the total number is 18 cases with two of them resulting in hospitalization.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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10 thoughts on “Yolo County Issues Order on Masks, Amends Shelter in Place”

  1. Alan Miller

    Yolo County has amended the current Shelter in Place order to allow certain activities “that have been assessed to be low-risk for the spread of COVID-19.”  These include: golf courses, gun and archery, boat ramps, and fishing.

    How where these ever not allowed?  . . . along with taking loads to the dump (also again allowed).  One cannot clamp down too hard on activities.  As much as I disagree with the protestors in Michigan (for example), their governor was clamping down too hard, and invited that backlash (for example not allowing purchase of, and roping off — in open stores — non-essential items; and disallowing non-gathering recreational activities.

    But credit where credit is due — these things were reversed, meaning our Yolo team is thinking these things through and revising.  I am very pleased, and hope that Yolo sets an example for other small counties, especially on mandatory masks.

    And I remain amazed, confounded, angered by my home county Santa Clara County, with the one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the state, not requiring mandatory face covering.  We should just rename them Georgia County, California.  Note Solano, Napa and Sacramento Counties could also join in with the Ostrich Award for Stupidity.

    If I lived in Santa Clara County, I would be apoplectic, probably circling my Jeep around the City and County offices in San Jose honking my horn and yelling “Stupid M*th*r F*ck*rs!” until they arrested me for being an *ssh*l* in public.  That’s a crime, isn’t it?

  2. Don Shor

    This is absolutely miserable for those of us who work outside in the sun. My hope is that this order can be modified to take into account low-risk businesses where the face covering create significant discomfort and breathing difficulty. I understand the difficulty of tailoring a regulation in that manner, but if it is going to be sustained for any period of time (like, say, through the summer) then it will be very challenging.

    1. Alan Miller

      DS, I understand your concern, and I’m sure if your (and similar business) outdoor employees carried a mask and didn’t wear it while working outside with the plants, and wore masks while interacting with the public, you would be fine.  Since much of your business is delivery now, this should be quite doable.  I would (personally) write a letter to Yolo County Health Dept. and state your concerns and your intentions.  You are quite right about masks being almost intolerable for hot conditions and especially outside.  You may already be exempt when not in close contact with the public.

      This order is meant much more for semi-crowded conditions inside grocery stores and other indoor public spaces (or outdoor where six-feet-plus can’t be maintained).  I see people driving by in cars and riding by on bicycles wearing masks — totally unnecessary and not required by the new law (unless in a taxi or Lyft/Uber) – these people are just making themselves miserable for no reason.  Clearly, people aren’t getting the nuances of the reason for masks or when they are necessary.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      Might be able to apply for a waiver. Hard to imagine they expect farm workers to wear masks either as long as they are six feet apart.

      1. Alan Miller

        Which brings up another point — are people working outdoors really ‘getting it’?  A friend, who used to work construction, watched the workers at a ‘nearby large construction site visible from my house’ and said ‘those guys aren’t even six feet part with some of the moves they are doing’! There’s that whole macho mentality at many such sites — ‘what’s a matter Jimmy, you afraid of some little virus?’.  I can just see some of the workers being intimidated by others and not wanting to be the guy who’s always backing up away from others, or not recommending certain practices are modified to allow distancing.

        Is it any different in the fields?  I doubt it.  Working on belt-lines on sorting/harvesting machines or being transported, are employers really requiring that farm workers stay six-feet apart?  I doubt it, but then again I don’t have a farm field I can see from my house.  Does anyone reading have any experience with this, especially on large farms that employee undocumented and/or seasonal employees?

  3. Bill Marshall

    Ahhh… another example of how language “morphs”….

    “shelter in place” being the most recent example… used to mean, find shelter wherever you are, because there is an “active shooter”… now it means “stay home as much as possible”… hard for the “so-called homeless” to do, w/o intervention/support… which appears to be happening, to some degree…

    It is what it is… for the time being, I intend to follow the advice, even as I believe it is a bit “over the top”… better a bit of ‘overkill’, than true overkill.

  4. Alan Miller

    hard for the “so-called homeless” to do, w/o intervention/support… which appears to be happening, to some degree…

    “To some degree” is correct.  There is an encampment in view out my window, attracting others and causing negative issues.  The rail depot triangle has become a no-man’s-land after dark with so few people out, attracting so-called homeless, young partiers, clearly intoxicated or mentally ill people.  I’ve lived here over 30 years and never felt concerned walking though that area at any time of day and night.  I wouldn’t do so these days – it’s crazyland.

    Serious question – do the so-called homeless get a free pass on wearing masks, social distancing, gathering.  By that if someone is labeled ‘homeless’ in Davis they get a free pass on all sorts of behaviors that the rest of us would be jailed or cited for – stealing bikes, yelling harassing comments at people, camping in public and private spaces, public intoxication, pooping in the open, etc.  Will the so-called homeless be allowed to gather, talk near others without masks?

    Since we’ve rented hotels and have beds for them, why are those still outdoors not being cited and moved out?  The Pocatello Ruling only applies if you don’t have beds.  We do now! I’ve heard a couple of them with deep, dry coughs – can emergency power not be brought down to alleviate the spread of CV-19? I can tell you as it is, social distancing, mask wearing, not gathering are all jokes among those hanging out in the depot triangle.

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