The Stanislaus County public health director released new guidelines Wednesday for the stay at home order and what businesses are and are not essential services.
The guidelines come as a new report shows Stanislaus County has some room for improvement when it comes to implementing social distancing. The data company Unacast gave Stanislaus County a D grade for social distancing. Unacast determined the grades for all California counties by looking at GPS data and the change in average distance traveled when compared to the pre-stay at home order and now.
Social distancing appears to be one of the best methods of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve. The less it is implemented, the more likely the virus will spread in a community and the longer the stay at home order will continue.
As of Wednesday morning, Stanislaus County has 40 positive cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths. There have been 1,196 negative test results reported to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. Private labs and clinics are not required to report negative test results to the health department.
The positive COVID-19 cases are in the following cities: Ceres 5; Modesto 15; Riverbank 2; Turlock 1; and unincorporated areas of Stanislaus County 10. The remaining seven cases are in Oakdale, Patterson and Waterford, but the health department didn't specify how many cases were in each town.
Eighteen of the cases in Stanislaus County have been hospitalized.
The new guidelines signed by Stanislaus County Public Health Director Dr. Julie Vaishampayan reinforces the statewide order to stay at home and maintain a social distance of at least six feet when out in public. It specifically states that all travel in the county is prohibited, unless it is to access an essential service or to go to work at one of the sectors identified as an essential service.
People can still go out for groceries, medications, see a healthcare provider, get supplies needed for working from home or distance learning and to help other individuals with supplies and needs. People can also still engage in outdoor activity like going for walks or a bicycle ride, as long as they maintain a distance of six feet apart from other individuals not in their household.
The order states all bars, wine tasting rooms, brewpubs, pet grooming, gyms, bingo halls, golf courses and cardrooms must close. Restaurants cannot have any in-dine service and are only allowed to do delivery or curbside takeout.
The order goes into effect at 5 a.m. Thursday.