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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

More than a year after the start of the pandemic, local businesses continue to adapt

As Delta variant spreads, officials encourage adhering to public health and safety guidelines in order to stay safe while supporting local businesses

Throughout the pandemic, California’s small local businesses have experienced an economic downturn. As vaccinations rise, public health guidelines have allowed businesses to open back up. 

In Davis, many businesses and services are reliant on or are greatly impacted by the number of students that are in town. Fifty three percent of Davis’ population is composed of students, according to UC Davis

As a result of the pandemic, students were dispersed all around the world, so there was a lower number of students in town during this last school year compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Although businesses have largely reopened, many students have left Davis for the summer, which during the pandemic decreases the already comparatively lower amount of students in town.

Former Yolo County Public Information Officer Jenny Tan explained in May how she has seen businesses and other establishments in Yolo County adapting as more of them start to open up this spring.

“We’ve seen a variety of things, for example more outdoor seating, signs up that talk about face coverings still being needed, as well as workers following the State and CalOSHA guidance,” Tan said via email. “As we reopen, we all need to remember the health measures we’ve been following for over a year can still help to keep us healthy.”

Following health and safety guidelines, such as the one mentioned above, it is important to continue supporting local businesses, Tan explained.

On July 27, Yolo County announced in a press release that face coverings are still required indoors, as COVID-19 cases rise, especially because of the Delta variant. 

“As a result of rapidly increasing case rates, testing positivity rates, and number of COVID19-positive patients in hospitals, additional layers of protection are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 amidst a fourth surge,” the press release reads. “Wearing a face covering in indoor public spaces reduces both the risk of getting and transmitting COVID-19 and does not limit business occupancy or operations.”

Communications Coordinator for Yolo County Frank Schneegas explained how the Delta variant has had an impact on COVID-19 cases in Yolo County.

“[…] Rising case rates, testing positivity, and hospitalizations are largely due to the predominance of the highly infectious Delta variant, which is over twice as contagious and may double the risk of hospitalization compared to the original virus,” Schneegas said via email. “Since the statewide transition to Beyond the Blueprint on June 15 Yolo County’s COVID-19 case rate has risen eight-fold from 1.2 to 10 per 100,000 residents.”

Businesses are still operating however, “since the June 15 transition to Beyond the Blueprint,” Schneegas said.

Schneegas noted the importance of getting vaccinated and adhering to public health guidelines in order to ensure the health of the community and continue supporting local businesses.

“Please get vaccinated as soon as possible and wear a mask in indoor public spaces, even if you are vaccinated,” Schneegas said. “We need to take steps to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of our community and support local businesses by preventing surges in cases that could impact business operations.”

Ultimately, especially as a result of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to continue supporting local businesses, especially as many students are away from Davis for the summer. 

“If you can, support local businesses,” Tan said. “They are part of the backbone [sic] of our community. If you are going to be coming back to Davis for the next school year, you want to be able to still visit your favorite restaurant or store. Some things you can do to support your local business is to shop local, order online, or share that you like the business on social media.”

Written by: Shraddha Jhingan — city@theaggie.org


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