UPDATE: 9:40 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 - Saturday morning, Shasta County health officials announced that the state of California is allowing the county to stay in the red tier of the state's Covid-19 system, an abrupt reversal which is expected to be a "huge relief for our local businesses," said Public Health Branch Director Robin Schurig.
Shasta County officials said this decision will allow restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, fitness centers, and museums to remain open indoors with modifications.
Last weekend, officials turned in a report requesting that Shasta County remain in the red tier because the recent uptick in cases was due in large part to two specific outbreaks that are not on the decline. That request was declined.
Wednesday night, HHSA Director Donnell Ewert, Health Officer Karen Ramstrom, and HHSA Public Health Branch Director Robin Schurig joined CEO Matt Pontes and Supervisors Leonard Moty and Joe Chimenti to plead the county's case to California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
Late Friday evening, Dr. Ghaly personally called Pontes to report that the California Department of Public Health would put Shasta County back into the red tier after recalculating the average daily case rate using more recent data.
Public Health Branch Director, Robin Schurig, said, "We know that most of our cases have not been tied to the businesses that were most heavily impacted by a move to the purple, and he heard us. We have assured him that we will continue to work diligently to promote mask use, distancing, and the avoidance of gatherings in order to continue to slow the spread of Covid-19 in our community."
REDDING, Calif. – It’s day one of the new purple tiers restrictions for businesses in Shasta County.
For many businesses, they are faced with this new reality.
“It's been brutal, I’m not going to lie,” said Marla Johnston, the owner of The Katwalk.
Johnston says there were times where she thought she would have to close. Insider her store, items that are hanging on the wall go all the way back to March.
With Shasta County now in the purple, Johnston is now bracing to see fewer customers coming through.
“There will be, I think, less people making appointments and coming in,” said Johnston.
“It will slow down a bit, but hoping it's lifted soon so I can get the fall stuff and get more people through the door.”
Johnston’s boutique is small. But to help keep her business alive and going, she’s only meeting with clients by appointments.