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Why county business leaders are pushing to 'Turn Sacramento Orange'

Sacramento County public health leaders are pushing the community to do three simple tasks to help the county reopen more in time for Halloween.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As things begin to reopen once again, Sacramento County is rolling out a new campaign to help push the community into the orange tier, instead of red, all before Halloween.

With the help of some mask-wearing pumpkins and business leaders, Sacramento County public health leaders are pushing the community as a whole to help do their part.

"It's a five-week discrete period of time when we think people can do three important actions to stop the threat of the disease," said Dr. Pete Beilenson, the Sacramento County Public Health director. "So wearing masks indoors, socially distancing indoors and outdoors, and no indoor gatherings for people outside of your family for just five weeks, we should be able to move Sacramento down to orange."

For Suzanne Peck, it's about the 119 people, many of which, living with dementia at the Windsor Care Center of Sacramento, which she oversees.

"We still need to protect those that are most vulnerable," Peck said.

They've been able to keep coronavirus out so far and they'd like to keep it that way.

"Oh it's extremely important, everyone needs to stay conscientious and be careful and don't let your guard down. It's still present in the community and we need to be careful," she said.

But for Kimberley Pitillo, the director of the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce, it's about getting people back to work. 

"Probably 75% of our businesses are all small mom and pop shops and a lot of them have closed due to the situation that we're going through right now. So it's really, really important to get everybody back open and get our businesses back open and get our community back open and thriving," Pitillo said.

With armfuls of posters and window decals promoting the "Turn Sacramento Orange" campaign from the county, she's ready to hit the ground running to start plastering them all over the 250 businesses under her belt.

"Let's get this state open as soon as possible so we can all survive," she said.

Whenever Sacramento does get to the orange tier, Beilenson says movie theaters, restaurants, churches will move from 25% capacity, which is where they are now, to 50%, with gyms and fitness studios opening up to some extent as well.

"These things for the next five weeks we think will make a big difference and bring us to orange, which again allows us to open the economy wider, and just as importantly, allows public health to keep control of the virus should we have a few extra cases," he said.

If we get to the orange tier, bars, wineries, and breweries will also be allowed to open with modifications as well as office buildings.

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