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Town Hall

April 28th, 2020

Unanswered Questions from the Town Hall Q&A Session 

We want to thank all of the community members that participated in the COVID-19 Town Hall Meeting on April 28. We had a number of questions come in and there was not enough time in our session to address them all. Below are the answers to the questions that were not answered during the meeting

Finance – Answered by City Finance Director, Brad Koehn

Please advise if the City has a budgetary challenge since the auto mall is the major sales tax producer. If so, what is the estimated decrease in revenue that is expected through June?
The City expects that the COVID-19 impacted General Fund revenues to fall short in FY 20 by approximately $1.6 million. In addition, the General Fund revenue projections for FY21 are also expected to be impacted by a loss of $5,570,000

Public Health – Answered by Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Olivia Kasirye

When might we start to relax the stay home order?
We have extended the health order until May 22. We are working in conjunction with the state on when and how to loosen the order’s restriction depending on what the virus data shows
I understand the reasons for closing and being hyper cautious when we didn't have 2 months of data. We could see that the death rate and severity of this virus is not what it was first believed to be. Now that we see other countries and hear more medical experts challenging the approach we've taken, why aren't we trying a less intrusive approach? Has Herd Immunity been considered? If so, why aren't we trying it, in light of all this new data?
  • Initial data we received on the rate of occurrence of new cases indicated that this outbreak had the capacity to cause a lot of hospitalizations and deaths and overwhelm the system. The measures that were put in place with social distancing and stay-at-home orders were implemented to reduce the rate of new cases. The fact that we did not see the hospitalizations and death rate that were initially anticipated is a testament to the effectiveness of these measures. In order to prevent another surge of cases, the stay-at-home order needs to be lifted slowly
  • At this time, herd immunity is not an option. We do not have an effective vaccine yet
What's your stance on Herd Immunity?
Herd immunity is only possible when a large part of the community has either had the virus or has been vaccinated against the virus. Right now, we have neither. The best way to achieve herd immunity is by vaccination. Allowing a lot of people to get the disease naturally would end up with devastatingly high rates of death and overwhelm the medical system, so it is not a viable option
Will parks, schools and restaurants be opening up soon?
  • Our latest Public Health Order allows for some park usage, provided that social distancing guidelines are still being followed, equipment is not being shared, and safe sanitation practices are being used
  • Schools and restaurants will remain closed (for in-person use) for a while longer
We have new data showing that this virus is not any deadlier than other viruses and diseases we've dealt with. The death rate is not as high as first described. Why are we being asked to continue with social distancing and shutting down businesses, in light of other countries (Sweden) not being as strict and they have the same infection rate and mortality as we do?
Initial data we received on the rate of occurrence of new cases indicated that this outbreak had the capacity to cause a lot of hospitalizations and deaths and overwhelm the system. The measures that were put in place with social distancing and stay-at-home orders were implemented to reduce the rate of new cases. The fact that we did not see the hospitalizations and death rate that were initially anticipated is a testament to the effectiveness of these measures. In order to prevent another surge of cases, the stay-at-home order needs to be lifted slowly
What is the policy for pet groomers? I used a mobile groomer and now she will not service due to penalties if she does work. I do see other groomers open
Some groomers have been able to remain open in pet stores. They had to implement measures for social distancing
Why is Lowes open with over 500 to thousands of people a day with no one practicing any distancing? Plants for your back yard is not a necessity?
Construction is an essential service. Lowes, as well as other stores that are open must facilitate social distancing in their stores
How come images of New York and San Francisco barely have people in the streets vs. Elk Grove looks like it is business as usual (i.e. people out and about)? Are we being to light on the Order?
Our Public Health Order continues to enforce social distancing when out of your home. However, people can be out of their home for essential functions and exercise
I still want to know how Green Acres and other non-essential stores can remain open when clearly gardening is not essential. The Dr. did not answer any of the questions.
Businesses that provide services that fall in the ‘essential services’ category such as construction and hardware stores were allowed to remain open
Dr. Erickson and Dr. Massihi have a different approach to how we should proceed through this virus. What's the stance of the Dr. in this meeting?
We are following State guidelines and CDC guidelines.
Why are we not OK with more cases if the symptoms are not severe? If there are more people infected and they develop antibodies, they provide a layer that slows down the virus? Aren't we just kicking the can down the road by isolating people?
This virus has the virulence or capacity to cause a lot of hospitalizations and deaths if left unchecked. The goal of stay at home and social distancing is to not only flatten the curve (which stretches out the number of cases in order to protect hospital staff and capacity) but to protect the most vulnerable to serious complication to the virus. The best way to attain herd immunity is by vaccination. With all the research going on, we hope that we will have a vaccine in the near future
Has the total number of deaths increased due to COVID virus and all the other deaths that happened during this time last year? If so, what's the percentage of increase?
We will look at that, we have not analyzed all the data. However, we do know that COVID19 has resulted in a lot more deaths than we see from the flu
The Dr. mentioned the order will be extended on the 1st. how long will that be?
The updated order is extended until May 22
Does the County plan to extent the current shelter in place like 6 Bay Area Counties that runs until May 31?
The updated order is extended until May 22
I thought people were supposed to wear masks in public. Not a large majority are doing so. What are we doing about that?
Sacramento County has not put out a requirement on face coverings in public, but it is recommended to continue to protect our community
Has the death rate increased since last year?
We usually get that information at the end of the year.
Then why are we taking such drastic measures, if there's not an increase?
This is a pandemic that can cause devastating number of deaths if left unchecked

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