SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — South Lake Tahoe is getting creative in an effort to keep its residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The city is recruiting volunteers for a new “Safety Ambassador” program which will focus on educating residents and visitors about safety during the pandemic.
Volunteers will help make sure people know to wear a mask and wash their hands, the city said. To help with education, the city ordered 2,000 masks that volunteers can distribute along with educational flyers.
The volunteers will also be given PPE so they stay safe while working. They will go through an on-boarding process and will be required to submit their temperature before each shift.
As of Monday, El Dorado County has reported 443 coronavirus cases, 210 of which are in the Lake Tahoe region. The town accounts for 17% of the county’s population but has nearly 50% of positive cases.
Earlier this month, county leaders held an emergency meeting about how to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing. The leaders have vowed to crack down as coronavirus cases surge in South Lake Tahoe.
El Dorado County supervisors said they don’t want that to happen, but people need to step up to the plate by social distancing and wearing a mask.
County licensing authorities were given the power to suspend the health permits of businesses that flagrantly defy state guidelines.
The county is not yet on the state’s monitoring list, but health officials said it’s likely inevitable that the county finds itself on the state’s watch list in a matter of weeks. Counties on the state’s watch list for more than three days are required to shut down indoor operations of several businesses, including hair salons.
Dr. Nancy Williams, the county’s public health officer, said if more people wore their masks, and avoided gatherings – there’s a small chance the curve could be bent enough to keep those other businesses off the closure list.
Dr. Williams said she’s still not optimistic that El Dorado County will flatten that curve enough. That would also put the idea of schools reopening in jeopardy – which she said she hopes can be done in person, and a goal she’s working on with the El Dorado County Office of Education.
People interest in volunteering for the Safety Ambassador program can email Chris Fiore at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.