Oakmont is still operating under orders issued by Sonoma County’s Health Services office. Order C19-03, issued on March 17, directed Sonoma County residents to shelter in place until at least April 7th. This order was superseded on March 31 by Order C19-05, which extended the shelter in place period until May 3.
On March 23, Order C19-04 closed all Sonoma County parks. Parks are defined as areas of land, beach or water open to the public for recreation, including walking, hiking, biking, relaxing, boating, and playing, regardless of ownership. On April 13, Order C19-07 directed everyone to wear facial coverings when leaving the house to enter any other indoor facility, occupy an enclosed space, or when we’re unable to maintain a six-foot space between ourselves and other individuals.
Information of interest to Oakmonters includes the following:
- The county’s orders don’t preclude outdoor gatherings unless appropriate social distancing is not possible. But, when gathering in neighborhoods, backyards and elsewhere, the county’s orders require maintaining a six-foot social distance;
- Although facial coverings are not mandated by the county’s orders when walking around Oakmont, they are required if you can’t maintain six-foot social distance. Be especially careful when veering into Oakmont streets to avoid others;
- Walking on the golf courses is still not permitted. Both OVA and AGP have contacted the county (twice each) and confirmed this is the case on all four separate occasions. That said, we’re aware that some continue to do so under the apparent belief that, since we own the courses, they have the right to do so. This is incorrect reasoning. OVA is third in line behind the county and AGP in determining when and how walking on the courses is permitted.
- Private gardeners are permitted only when needed for safety and sanitary reasons. We’re aware some are stretching interpretations of the words “safety” and “sanitary” to scarcely credible ends. The county admits their requirements are open to interpretation, so please act responsibly when doing so;
- Although other counties such as Santa Clara and San Francisco have apparently ramped up testing, Sonoma County has not yet done so. We believe county health institutions such as Kaiser and Sutter are not yet able to test everyone with symptoms, so they are apparently still recommending that you come in for tests only after you call your health care provider and they tell you to come in. However, if you have symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact your health care providers and follow their guidance.
- Finally, please recognize that OVA is not the enforcer of city, county and state law, so please don’t contact OVA Directors or staff to report perceived transgressions. If you feel very strongly about what you see, you may contact the county or the police, but please recognize they have many other things to do and will likely not prioritize very highly your photograph of someone walking on the golf course.
So far as we know, there still only one confirmed COVID case in our community and neither of the two county deaths attributed to COVID were Oakmont residents. However, if you follow the news, you know there are likely many more COVID-positive individuals walking around, so please don’t let down your guard.
Although many government leaders are beginning to experience pressure to re-open the American economy, the six conditions for doing so, as stated by our governor and county health administrator, have not yet been met. All the credible reporting I see suggests the chances of a spike in COVID cases is still very high if we re-open too quickly.
Here in Sonoma County, we’re doing well so far, but we’re a long way from home. The latest I’ve seen suggests our COVID peak will not occur until June. It would not surprise me at all if the shelter in place period is soon extended beyond May 3, although parks may be reopened sooner. Please continue to behave responsibly and, to the extent possible, enjoy the coming good weather.