YUBA CITY (CBS13) — After going directly against state orders allowing restaurants, salons and other businesses to open without state approval, Yuba and Sutter counties are now being granted an expanded reopening.
The Yuba Sutter Mall was the first mall in the state to reopen under county rules, defying state orders. A week later, little has changed, despite the county agreeing to make changes.
A busy salon with little social distancing is not what Deborah Mertz was expecting when she booked her nail appointment for later in the evening to avoid the crowds.
“It doesn’t look to me like there are six feet between people,” said Mertz. “For me, I just need some help here, because my fingers hurt. They are not social distancing, I see that but I’m being as cautious as I can be.”
Yuba and Sutter counties made concessions to be able to reopen under state guidelines including restricting gyms, hair and nail salons from reopening. Despite peddling back on their reopening, some businesses are still not following the guidelines.
“It was very clear to us that the state did not want us to take steps in certain areas and allow us to open up under the order that our health officer had. Our health officer made it clear when she put out the order that some things didn’t mesh with what the state had,” said Russ Brown, spokesperson for Yuba County.
For those who may be confused with the new rules, Brown said this: “The public needs to hear what we say each time.”
“Some people want to automatically jump ahead, that has always been a concern of ours. We try to frame things correctly,” he said.
The mall said they have not received any complaints or concerns regarding social distancing at the mall’s nail salon. Natasha Shelton, Sr. General Manager at Yuba Sutter Mall, said the nail salon is leaving a chair in-between customers to allow for distancing, among other things.
“We have encouraged them to go appointment only. That is something we are highly encouraging them to do to avoid any lines outside,” she said.
Social distancing and face masks are required by the county. Yuba Sutter Mall believes they are following those guidelines with floor decals for social distancing and posters encouraging face mask. The mall is only requiring face masks to be worn by employees and staff.
“We have already aligned ourselves with the state guidelines, we wanted to do that right at the beginning and do it right,” Shelton explained. “In the case with common areas in the mall, which is what we manage, we haven’t had an issue with social distancing not being able to be met due to the size of the center and the traffic is relatively low.”
According to Brown, the county is focusing on education and relying on the state to enforce the policies. As more stores continue to reopen throughout the area, that could change if people continue to break the rules.