San Luis Obispo County will allow the reopening of four major businesses and activity types, Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein announced Wednesday, April 22.

The four areas include houses of worship, janitorial and housekeeping, fabric stores and drive-in theaters. All openings will have precautionary measures taken to adhere to local and statewide shelter-in-place orders.

Religious congregations will be allowed to gather as long as they stay in cars and follow the county policy on social distancing.

“We strongly recommend that during those religious services that no material be passed between people,” Borenstein said. “No objects, plates or food.”

Janitorial and housekeeping businesses have been found important to maintain “proper health and hygiene,” according to Borenstein. She added that janitorial services have been needed in large health facilities and essential services.

Housekeeping services are especially necessary for those being asked to remain in their homes such as elderly people, Borenstein said.

“There are a number of elderly people that can’t change their sheets,” Borenstein said. “They may not need in-home healthcare, but [they] don’t have the physical strength to do that kind of activity.”

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department recommends social distancing while providing housekeeping or janitorial services.

County Public Health also recognizes fabric stores as an essential service, as they can provide resources for protective devices such as masks.

“We believe fabric stores can provide [essential] services and the reason we want them to do so is we understand there is a shortage of raw materials,” Borenstein said.

Drive-in theaters will also resume business.

“Similar to religious gatherings, we ask people to remain in their cars,” Borenstein added.

Food will be allowed for purchase at concession stands, but physical distancing must be maintained.

County Public Health will begin to observe the opportunities to open businesses in small increments, according to Borenstein.

“Opening places in small increments and then continuing to watch what the disease is doing is going to be our best approach, rather than let everything open up at the same time,” said Borenstein.

The announcement came after the county called for the reopening of  recreational fishing, pet grooming services, elective surgeries and outpatient practices on Monday, April 20.

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