Imperial County Health Officer, Dr. Stephen Munday, has issued an amended health officer order, effective 5 p.m. Oct. 10 (today) updating guidelines for private social gatherings that bring together people from different households, according to a county Public Health Department press release.
The new guidance allows private gathering attendance of individuals from up to three (3) separate households and gives local health officers authority to enforce additional limits. The amended order reflects guidance released by the California Department of Public Health.
Due to the continued widespread circulation of COVID-19 in Imperial County, the Imperial County health officer has added an attendance limit of no more than 16 people for all private social gatherings, according to the county release.
Additionally, the health officer order disallows high-risk activities such as singing and the use of wind instruments during these gatherings as a way to further reduce the spread of COVID-19. The three separate household total consists of everyone in attendance, including the hosts.
“While we know that gatherings of any size pose an increased risk of virus transmission, there are things we can do to lower that risk,” stated Munday in the release. “Limiting the number of households that come together, avoiding high-risk activities, and meeting in outdoor spaces helps to reduce the risk of virus spread.”
The state recommends that individuals keep the households that they interact with consistent over time, adding that participating with multiple different households or groups is strongly discouraged. Hosts of social gatherings are encouraged to gather contact information for all attendees, should contact tracing become necessary following the event, the county release states.
The full Guidance for Private Gatherings can be found on the California Department of Public Health website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Guidance-for-the- Prevention-of-COVID-19-Transmission-for-Gatherings-10-09.aspx. The amended local health officer order can be found at www.icphd.org. It is anticipated that the State will release guidance related to Halloween activities sometime next week.