SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — It’s a resort community pushing the reset button. The city of South Lake Tahoe has drafted a letter addressed to the governor’s office requesting permission to begin reopening its economy.
South Lake Tahoe Mayor Jason Collin says the city is ready for the change.
“So our goal is to take the first step back toward reopening business,” Collin said. “We know we need to take small strategic steps.”
Collin says he hopes the city can safely move quickly through the governor’s reopening guidelines.
Luca Genasci owns Lake Tahoe AleWorX and is cautiously optimistic about the plan.
“We’re ready,” Genasci said. “If we got the green light, we’re ready to go. Let’s make sure we’re doing this in a safe way, the re-opening, that is. Let’s make sure that we don’t just get bombarded from people that are from everywhere.”
The South Lake Tahoe city council will vote on sending their re-opening proposal to the governor’s office Wednesday. It includes stats showing for the past 14 days, the number of active cases has remained flat in and around South Lake Tahoe.
“And we’ve done a really good job of either flattening that curve or avoiding that curve and the transmission rates in Tahoe have been remarkably low,” Collin said.
Six weeks ago, the mayor and South Lake Tahoe’s healthcare provider Barton Health warned their small health care system could be overwhelmed by the coronavirus. The county public health officer issued a travel ban to the area. The ban remains in effect.
South Lake Tahoe’s plans come as its neighbor Stateline, Nevada considers casino coronavirus prevention plans.
The Nevada State Gaming Commission has published proposed re-opening rules for casinos including limiting blackjack tables to three players and removing chairs at every other gaming machine. So far there is no timetable for the casinos to reopen.
Turning the Lake Tahoe of today, into the post-COVID-19 Tahoe of tomorrow. The plans are underway.
“We’re ready to take that next step we just want to do it thoughtfully and methodically,” Collin said. “And keep moving forward.”
The mayor says the city staff is talking with the public health office about allowing hotel and vacation rental lodging to re-open as another next step. He could not provide a timeline for that.
Editor’s note on 5/5/20: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated in its headline that El Dorado County was defying the state’s shelter-at-home order, which is incorrect. The headline has since been changed.