A closer look at what the lifting of statewide Covid-19 restrictions means for Humboldt County

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) — All eyes are on June 15th. That’s the day California’s blueprint for a safer economy is set to expire, meaning no more restrictions on businesses or capacity limits. We’re starting to learn more about what that will look like for Humboldt County.

“From the standpoint of Public Health, those recommendations might stand, but they will not be requirements any longer,” according to Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman.

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Businesses will be able to decide what kinds of safety measures they want to get rid of and which ones they want to keep. One of those measures includes masking. The current guidance will stay in place until restrictions are lifted. After that, the California Public Health Department is working to create a policy that makes a space safe for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

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“We know that it will align much more closely with the CDC than it does currently,” Dr. Hoffman adds.

One reason restrictions were initially put in place was to protect the hospital system. If local hospitals appear to be unable to meet capacity in the future, Public Health might have to consider more restrictions.

“We never really got to any point in the pandemic where our hospital system was so overstressed, so I think it’s highly unlikely we would need to resort to those kinds of measures again,” Dr. Hoffman says.

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Health officials do expect that less restrictions will allow the virus to circulate more in the community with the estimate that cases will peak sometime in the middle of the summer. Dr. Hoffman has some advice for business owners, and the general public, about our last line of defense. 

“Get vaccinated before June 15th because it’s your number one tool, it’s the best tool we have. When we look at the protection it offers, it’s extraordinarily strong,” Dr. Hoffman says.

Just a reminder, for more information on where to get a Covid-19 vaccine, you can visit the county’s website or check out www.vaccines.gov.