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Madera County Gets Greenlight to Move to Stage 2.5

MADERA — Madera County has approval from the state to move to Stage 2.5 on the governor’s Roadmap to Re-opening.

Local health officials submitted documentation to the state on this week (May 19) confirming the county’s ability to meet the readiness criteria set by the governor — and the County’s “attestation” was approved by the state Wednesday morning.

At a press conference held Tuesday at the Madera County Government Center, Board Chair David Rogers said: “We are in a tough position where we want our businesses to open, but we don’t want them to be in a position where they could be the subject of action from the state regulatory board.”

Additional businesses under Stage 2.5 now allowed to reopen with safety precautions include retail, dine-in restaurants, office-based businesses, outdoor museums and gallery spaces, childcare, and swap meets.

The changes take effect today (May 20) for all businesses — with the exception of the swap meets, which may re-open on May 31.

The timeline for schools to reopen is not yet determined — and some businesses may choose to reopen at a slower pace.

“Madera County is prepared to move forward,” said Dr. Simon Paul, Madera County public health officer.

“Through the efforts of Madera County residents and staff in the Emergency Operations Center we have been able to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Paul added. “As more businesses open up it is imperative that community members continue to practice social distancing and hygiene behaviors, and wear masks when they go out.”

Stage 2 does not include entertainment such as movie theaters, bars and nightclubs or personal services such as gyms, hair and nail salons; large venues such as convention or sports arenas; and other locations such as public pools and playgrounds.

The governor is expected to provide a more detailed timeline this week for counties hoping to move beyond Stage 2 into Stage 3.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Madera County Department of Pubic Health officials reported two new COVID-19 cases, a man and a woman both in their 50s. Both contracted the virus through person-to-person transmission, according to MCDPH.

Also Wednesday, county officials removed one person from the victim list, reporting their test taken May 18 had registered a “false positive.”

With today’s latest cases, the total number of cases countywide rose to 82, with 22 of those cases still classified as “active.”

For a complete list of cases and countywide COVID-19 activity, click here.

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