EL CENTRO — The Imperial County Health Officer has issued an amended Health Officer Order that takes effect today and will remain in effect until further notice.

The amended order reiterates the stay-at-home order for all residents living in Imperial County, except to attend to critical needs such as getting food, medications or medical assistance.

Exceptions are also made for essential workers employed in the essential critical infrastructure sector as identified by the California Department of Public Health.

Additionally, all businesses in Imperial County are to remain closed except for those determined to be part of the essential critical infrastructure sector. CDPH reserves the right to amend the list of essential critical infrastructure sectors at any time.

Currently, the essential services that will remain open include:

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out, and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

The following will remain closed:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention Centers
  • Hair and nail salons

According to the order, managers and operators of businesses affected by this order are encouraged to post copies of this order at their place of business and to provide a copy to members of the public requesting copies.

Business managers and operators are also responsible for consulting with the CDPH website daily to stay informed of any modifications made to the State’s list of essential critical infrastructure.

In a continued effort to protect the public’s health and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the Imperial County Public Health Officer may take additional actions for failure to comply with the amended order, the county Public Health Department said in a release.

Violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both, enforceable by local law enforcement.

Through Wednesday there have been 38 cases of COVID-19 reported in Imperial County. There are 14 test results pending, while 177 patients have tested negative.

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