By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The County’s Education, Engagement and Enforcement (EEE) plan has gotten off to a rousing start, with officials from Environmental Health Services (EHS) visiting almost 1,650 businesses during the program’s first two weeks. The response from business owners and managers has been overwhelmingly favorable.
The County’s EEE program was developed to help local businesses understand the steps they need to take to comply with various state mandates, all of which are designed to limit spread of COVID-19. While the program largely focuses on high-risk businesses such as bars, restaurants and gyms, the EHS team has also responded to citizen reports of businesses that appear to be ignoring public health mandates.
“The vast majority of business operators appreciate that our team members are taking the time to explain various requirements for operating safely and in a COVID-compliant manner,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “They are especially appreciate that we provide a variety of suggestions for implementing protective measures, with practical solutions for their particular facilities.”
Officials are closely coordinating efforts with the cities within the county, many of which are assuming responsibility for reaching out to businesses within their own jurisdictions. The County itself plans to visit more than 2,000 businesses by the end of next week.
“In addition to other benefits, this campaign has also enabled us to share information on the County’s COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program,” said Hagman, who added that several business owners have acknowledged the value they’ve received from the program.
A very small number of business operators – less than 3% – continue to defy COVID safety directives.
“Unfortunately, a small handful of business owners continue to resist following safety guidelines, so we’ve had no choice but to refer them to the State, which will follow through with enforcement measures,” said Hagman. “While the numbers are few, we’re still disappointed that some have chosen not to work with us in helping to get the County off the State monitoring list.”
The California Department of Public Health is requiring all counties in the state to meet six specific criteria in order to continue reopening different business sectors. These criteria include new positive cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions and others.