Contra Costa County may move into the red tier next week, allowing activities like indoor dining to resume, county health officials said Tuesday. (Photo via Pixabay)

Solano County’s public health officer expressed support Tuesday for the Board of Supervisors asking state public health officials to relax COVID-19 coronavirus reopening guidelines that prohibit such activities as indoor dining and going to bars.

Solano County Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas detailed the county’s reopening possibilities to the board when the county eventually falls off the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list.

The county has been on the list for nearly two months due to heightened case and hospitalization counts.

Matyas and other county officials have argued it’s nigh impossible to meet the state’s thresholds to get off the list, which include maintaining a case rate under 100 per 100,000 residents and keeping more than 20 percent of a county’s intensive care unit beds available.

“The health officers are complaining but we’re just one group of voices,” Matyas told the board Tuesday.

Prior to the state establishing the monitoring list, counties were allowed to resume indoor dining and reopen other indoor businesses like cardrooms, arcades and movie theaters.

On July 13, the state ordered all of the state’s 58 counties to suspend those indoor operations indefinitely, with state public health officials arguing that they were contributing to the virus’s spread.

In addition, all bars, breweries and pubs were required to close indoor and outdoor operations statewide unless they were offering outdoor dining.

Given the state’s orders, even when Solano County is removed from the monitoring list it will not be able to resume activities indefinitely suspended statewide, regardless of whether the county had resumed those activities prior to being placed on the list.

“We, as well as all the other counties on the watch list, have raised this concern with the state and are hopeful that they will rewrite that in order to permit us to reopen those businesses,” Matyas told the board.

Supervisor Erin Hannigan suggested the board write a letter to state officials requesting that indoor businesses and activities be allowed to reopen when the county comes off the list.

“The primary origin of new positive cases is obviously not from bars, because they’re not open, but are from family and friend gatherings,” Hannigan said. “And that was the case prior to closing.”

Solano County schools would be allowed to resume in-person classes if it came off the monitoring list and remained off for at least 14 days.

Until then, the county will have to conduct the fall semester via distance learning.

Solano County’s case rate per 100,000 sits at 117.5 and only 8.9 percent of the county’s ICU beds are currently available, according to California Department of Public Health data from Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, the county has confirmed 5,231 cases and 46 deaths since the pandemic began.