As positive COVID-19 cases grow across the nation, we are beginning to see both states and counties within California tighten restrictions for business operations. El Dorado County is at risk of these restrictions and further closures if the number of positive cases in our area continues to climb. There’s a simple way to protect our freedom to enjoy favorite activities this summer: wear a face-covering in public.

Wearing a face mask in public is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our economy open. Since people can spread COVID-19 even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms, wearing a face-covering outside the home is pivotal to keep our community’s COVID-19 cases from rapidly growing and triggering further closures. Physical distancing, vigilant hand hygiene, and staying home when sick are also essential ways we can support our community and maintain our economic momentum.

The city of South Lake Tahoe has been working hard to push these messages. We’ve worked with our community partners to create a marketing campaign encouraging people to do their part to stay healthy and keep others around them healthy, too. We even started a volunteer ambassador program to address this. This program is designed for volunteers to go into high traffic areas, wearing proper PPE, and deliver masks and educational material to those who need them.

Like so many around the basin, our staff have been working diligently to devise best practices to ensure the safety of all of our residents and visitors.

Our region worked hard to limit community transmission of the coronavirus, which in turn allowed beaches, lodging, retail establishments, and other aspects of local business to reopen. But with the recent spike of positive cases across the state and nation, this is not the time to let our guard down. This has been a challenging, unprecedented time in our community. Together we can get through this.

Stay safe to stay open,

Joe Irvin is the city manager for South Lake Tahoe