Closures and online classes loom for Butte County as fifth COVID death announced

With mounting case numbers, county faces more death and disruption

(Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

With coronavirus cases multiplying, including the fifth death attributed to the virus, Butte County Public Health announced today (July 20) that the county likely will face added restrictions from the state.

In a news release, Public Health said the California Department of Public Health informed county officials that, barring an improvement in COVID-19 data over the next 48 hours, Butte County will be added to the County Monitoring List on Wednesday. If Butte remains on the list for 72 hours, county businesses face rollbacks of reopening allowances, starting Saturday.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Butte County now stands at 640, with 264 of those (more than 40 percent of the current total) reported in the last week alone. In a separate news release today, Butte County Public Health announced the fifth COVID-19 death—a victim identified as someone who was in their 80s and living in a long-term care facility.

Should the county face restrictions per the Monitoring List, all indoor operations for gyms/fitness centers, places of worship, protests, offices for non-critical sectors, nail salons, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, hair salons and barber shops would be ordered to close until further California Department of Public Health action.

This would come in addition to the July 13 statewide order reclosing indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, brewpubs, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, museums and card rooms.

In response to Public Health’s announcement, the Chico Unified School District postponed registration for fall. That was planned to start this afternoon, but the district notified parents that “all schools in Butte County will be mandated to begin the [2020-21] school year with online learning” if the state places and keeps the county on the monitoring list.

CUSD “will be working to streamline the student registration options” for next week (July 27).

Public Health advises that residents postpone or cancel gatherings of any size—even those among family members—and remain diligent with sanitation and physical distancing guidelines. The use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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