Solano County on re-opening: guide and links to 8 new documents on County website

By Roger Straw, May 8, 2020

Late on Thursday evening, Solano County Public Health added 8 new links to COVID-19 information on the County website.

The detail is welcome, although late to be posted.  The detail is also somewhat confusing and open to interpretation.

I will detail here the new material.  I will leave the analysis and critique to others, or maybe to a later posting here.

Inventory of changes on County website as of 8am Friday May 8 (changes most likely posted sometime between 6 and 9pm on 5/7)

  1. The County’s main Coronavirus page at top, “NEW Solano County Public Health amends the shelter at home order, enabling low-risk businesses to reopen starting Friday, May 8, 2020 with specific social distancing practices. Click here for more information about the roadmap.”
    1. The link “amends the shelter at home order” goes to a 14-page PDF, “ORDER OF THE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER No. 2020-07”.  The ORDER includes sections on Effective Date, Intent and Purpose, Guiding Principles for Resuming Activities, Prohibited Activities, Level of Risk (Low, Medium and High), Social Distancing, High-Risk Populations, General COVID-19 Business Precautions, and Enforcement.  It also includes Exhibit A – Previously Designated Essential Activities, Exhibit B – Low Risk Activity, Appendix A – Low Risk Activity – Golf Courses, Appendix B – Solano County Social Distancing Protocol (Updated May 5, 2020). Two additional pages are empty: Exhibit C – Medium Risk Activities and Exhibit D – High Risk Activities, both of which state, “Currently not permitted to be opened until the County Public Health Officer promulgates the necessary guidelines. Once issued, such guidelines will be inserted here.”
    2. The link “roadmap” goes to a web page, “Solano County COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery”.   This page summarizes the May 8 re-opening of low-risk activities, stating that “low risk businesses can open starting May 8th, subject to specific social distancing practices.”  The summary at top begins with the following links:
      1. Another link to the Public Health Order (see above).
      2. A link to a similarly named but more detailed Roadmap to Recovery.  This is a 9-page PDF, revised May 7, 2020, that details Low Risk, Medium Risk and High Risk activities with color-coded guides to re-opening.  This document “outlines the criteria for reopening and the phases for lifting the stay at home order to guide critical decisions in support of the public’s health and well-being in the weeks and months ahead.”
      3. A link to a “press release about the amendment and roadmap.” The May 7, 2020 press release begins, “County Public Health Officer amends shelter-at-home order — low-risk businesses to reopen starting Friday subject to specific social distancing practices”.
        1. The press release announces “Starting May 8, 2020, low-risk businesses in Solano County may reopen providing they have implemented and maintain social distancing best practices for reducing the spread of COVID-19.” Acknowledging that enforcement will be near impossible, the document quotes Dr. Matyas, “Changes to lifting this order place a lot of responsibility on business owners, their staff and residents to make good decisions.”
        2. The press release states that “The FOX 40 News report and comments by Fairfield Councilwomen Moy are incorrect.”  That report (posted here on the Benicia Independent and subsequently removed), asserted that all Solano restaurants would be reopened by Friday, May 15.
        3. The press release announces the Supervisor meeting on May 12 when strategies for reopening medium-risk businesses will be considered, and links to “Details, including how to view and participate…included on the County’s website.” That link goes to a general page about Board of Supervisor meetings but with two new links:
          1. A bright red header box: “Solano County public meeting protocol in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19): CLICK HERE”. That page outlines how to access the live-streamed meeting, and how to submit public comments by email or phone.
          2. A link to Board Rules and Procedures, which goes to a 7 page PDF, the 2009 standing rules for Solano BOS meetings.

So yes, complicated.  I only hope this outline of the County’s new postings will help guide you to an understanding of the slow and careful openings that were passed by our Board of Supervisors on Tuesday May 5.  You, like me, might think it is still too soon to be opening these “low-risk” businesses.  And you, like me, might stay away from those businesses that do open.

Let’s all hope the County does NOT open “medium-risk” businesses when it considers the matter next Tuesday, May 12.  Consider attending or sending in your comment.  From the County press release: “The strategy for minimizing risk and the timeline for reopening of medium-risk businesses are still being reviewed and will be discussed further with the Solano County Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, starting at 9 a.m.  Details, including how to view and participate, are included on the County’s website at”