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Lake County CA Sheriff's Department
Saturday March 21st, 2020 :: 04:49 p.m. PDT


In-Person Activities and Gatherings to be Canceled

Public Health Orders

In-Person Activities and Gatherings to be Canceled


Gary Pace MD, MPH, County of Lake, Health Officer


The risk from coronavirus continues to escalate in our region and across the country.  We have taken strong measures to try to slow the spread-- issuing emergency orders, closing schools, and on March 19, Lake County began following “shelter in place” orders.  These actions are very disruptive to people’s lives and financial security, yet they are necessary to prevent the spread of this potentially devastating illness.


Sadly, yesterday, Sonoma County had their first death from Coronavirus.  They now have 11 known cases and presumed community transmission.  Marin County has 38 known cases, and many of those were found in people with less severe symptoms.  Many hospitals in the Bay Area are preparing for severely increased demand on their facilities.  Lake County continues to have no known cases.


I issued Public Health orders for the County beginning on March 19, 2020, similar to orders issued by many neighboring counties that mandated people stay home and stop all non-essential visitation and gatherings, except to conduct “essential business.”  What constitutes “Essential” businesses are well-outlined in the order, and FAQs that can be found on our webpage.  Governor Newsom issued similar orders for the whole state the following day.  Reportedly, 25% of the US population has been placed under some form of these isolation orders.


Most people have honored this order, because they realize the safety of our community is at stake.  We have approximately 50 hospital beds in Lake County, with 11 ventilators (potentially able to scale to 16 if needed), for a population of 65,000.  We easily see the vulnerability of the system, so a strategy of interfering with the entrance of the virus into the county and slowing the spread is essential.  Countywide, health facilities are actively engaged in planning for the next phase of the outbreak, but resources are limited.


We need your cooperation to stop any unnecessary activity.  Please do not ignore the Order to stay at home with your family.  Mixing with other people, ignoring social distancing, having out of town guests, and traveling around because you are restless are ways this virus will get a foothold in the community.


In reality, most stores should be closed, except for grocery stores – and social distancing and strong disinfecting is mandatory.


To close immediately:

       Churches need to cancel their in-person services and go to Facebook streaming or some other online strategy. 

       Restaurants with indoor or outdoor dining. (Take out, delivery, curbside and drive-through is allowed.)

       Bars and night clubs with or without food.

       Small convenience or other stores selling mainly chips and candy are not essential and should be closed.  

       Entertainment venues including golf courses, gun ranges, bowling alleys, movie theaters, swimming pools, skating rinks, skate parks, batting cages indoor & outdoor, all youth or adult sports events.

       Thrift stores, second hand stores, consignment and antique stores.

       Gyms and fitness studios, including yoga, Thai Chi, boxing, karate, gymnastics, etc.

       Public events and gatherings, including recreational outdoor events like disk golf, golf, boating, fishing (fishing for food is okay), skate parks, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc.

       Convention Centers, and Centers that provide any live entertainment.

       Hair and nail salons, including spas, massage parlors and tattoo parlors.


Be responsible to the people of Lake County and SHUT DOWN.  We understand these actions are extremely inconvenient and bring on severe hardship; these have not been easy decisions to make, and are not taken lightly.  Watching the progress of this outbreak has been alarming, and I want to let people of the county know just what is at stake here.


Local law enforcement, Health Department inspectors, and your neighbors will be monitoring the situation.  Enforcement activities will be increased in the coming week. 


If you have questions, look on the website:


If you still have questions, send an email request:


You can also call during business hours: 707-263-8174


Thank you for your cooperation.


Gary Pace, MD, MPH

Lake County CA Sheriff's Department
1220 Martin St
Lakeport, CA 95453

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-263-2690

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