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How can you go to a restaurant during a stay-at-home order? County reopening guidelines cause confusion

Confused about county and state orders? You're not alone. Sacramento County Health Director Peter Beilenson told ABC10 "we are struggling" to decide what's allowed.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — A large majority of California's 58 counties have been given the go-ahead to move deeper into Phase 2. That means opening malls and restaurants with physical distancing measures in place.

Sacramento County is among those counties allowed to move further into the reopening process, but the county's recently released health order is causing some confusion among residents who are still being asked to stay home.

It's something that Sacramento County Public Health Officer Peter Beilenson said he recognizes.

"There's a lot of nuances to this and inconsistencies, so we are struggling, as is everybody, to actually come up with what is allowed and what is not allowed," Beilenson explaiend.

Let's try to break some of the confusing language down.

Just two months ago, dining in was forbidden. But now, with the quicker entry into Phase 2, dining in is considered "low risk." The reason for that is partially because of the change in language from essential and non-essential to low risk and high risk, Beilenson said.

The county's justification for reopening restaurants are that with proper precautions in place, dining in has a low to moderate risk in coronavirus spread. 

So, unless you're thinking about traveling, forget about what's essential and not essential. That is from previous orders. 

The new order gives you a list of things you can do now that the county is in Phase 2. But those come with restrictions that come along with them.

So the question now is why keep "stay at home" in the order if we don't have to stay at home?

Beilenson said it's semantics. It allows county officials to emphasize that the benefit of staying home as much as possible still outweighs leaving your house during the pandemic.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Monica Coleman.

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