EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) – El Dorado County health officials said it’s likely inevitable that the county finds itself on the state’s watch list in a matter of weeks. Though, with public help, Dr. Nancy Williams says there’s still a slim chance at avoiding it.
At Aji Japanese Bistro, owner Russell Okubo had to move all service outdoors after the state shut down indoor dining across California earlier in the week. But more businesses in El Dorado County, like gyms and salons, could be forced to adapt next.
“I lost 75% of my seats,” Okubo said. “These are challenging times, but we have to do what we have to do to survive.”
Dr. Williams has been following the data herself and said she believes those businesses could face closure in a matter of weeks, especially as she said more people begin to feel at ease during the pandemic.
“It’s just been really easy for people to get lax on wearing face coverings and doing the distancing, that sort of thing,” Dr. Williams said.
That tidbit is one reason Rancho Cordova couple Jimmy and Shirley Brooks enjoy coming to El Dorado Hills.
“We don’t have to wear a mask here, at least we’re not forced to,” Shirley Brooks said. “Kids, friends, families – they smile. You can see their faces. Things are different here.”
Though, the thought of ending up on the list is a concern to some who live in the area like Jan Wilson. She’s not surprised about numbers continuing to spike and the county seeing its first death, an older man from Lake Tahoe, four months after the pandemic began.
“It’s going to happen – especially when people are going out and standing close to each other,” Wilson said.
Dr. Williams said if more people wore their masks, and avoided gatherings – there’s a small chance the curve could be bent enough to keep those other businesses off the closure list.
“We’re going to enjoy a better life,” Dr. Williams said. “We can patronize our businesses better and keep fewer people from getting sick.”
Dr. Williams said she’s still not optimistic that El Dorado County will flatten that curve enough. That would also put the idea of schools reopening in jeopardy – which she said she hopes can be done in person, and a goal she’s working on with the El Dorado County Office of Education.
It’s just a matter of if the county lands on the list, and when.