By Ann Peterson and Cathy Tallyn
(Friday, June 11) California – and Rossmoor – will “fully” reopen for business Tuesday, June 15 for the first time in 15 months.
With COVID-19 cases falling and more than 45% of the state fully vaccinated, California will allow all businesses to reopen and dropped social distancing mandates.
The state also will align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for masks, meaning everyone can ditch face coverings outdoors and all those who are fully vaccinated can go without a mask indoors, except in a few situations. To be fully vaccinated, people must be at least two weeks past their final vaccination shot.
The state is recommending that outdoor live events of 10,000 people or more verify vaccine status or require proof of negative COVID tests in order for attendees to go without a mask. For indoor events of 5,000 or more people, this verification system to drop masks is a state requirement. The California Department of Public Health said it will re-evaluate those guidelines on Sept. 1.
Vaccinated people also will still be required to wear masks in hospitals, school settings, homeless shelters, prisons and on mass transit, including the Rossmoor buses.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary, did caution that the loosening of restrictions is contingent on California avoiding future surges.
“We will be watching closely to determine if and when we need other public health protections to come back into play,” he said.
Still not entirely resolved is whether employees will have to wear masks. On June 9, California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board dropped a contentious plan to allow workers to forgo masks only if everyone in the room was fully vaccinated. The board said at its June 17 meeting it will consider rules more closely aligned with the state’s plan, allowing anyone fully vaccinated to go maskless. The new rules that will be adopted June 17 will go into effect by month’s end.
Residents are reminded that local, state and federal health officials can change the guidelines at any time. In the event of last-minute changes, residents will be alerted by Nixle, on Rossmoor.com’s breaking news page and the Channel 28 scroll.
Here are some of the changes with the reopening plan:
The Tice Creek Fitness Center will no longer require reservations. Some classes will resume June 21 with capacity limits. Not all classes will return right away because the Fitness Center is still hiring trainers to replace those who left last year. Doubles pickleball play returns to the gym on Monday, June 21.
All of the pools at Dollar, Hillside and the Fitness Center will reopen without reservations. The spa and the locker rooms at the Fitness Center will reopen. Aqua aerobics classes will begin. For the time being, there will be no family swim time at Hillside pool.
Events will really kick off on Friday, June 18, with a free outdoor concert in Peacock Plaza with required tickets. There will be a big Fourth of July concert in the Event Center with reduced capacity and required tickets.
GRF-sponsored concerts and special events are resuming, as will excursions. Movies return to their Thursday, Friday and Saturday schedule in Peacock Hall. Reservations will no longer be required for those movies, but seats are first-come, first-served.
In-person classes are back, but recognizing that not everyone may want to rush back to take a class, Recreation will continue to film them for viewing on its YouTube channel.
There may be capacity limits on some events. Online ticketing and class registration are encouraged. Appointments will be required to meet with staff.
Golf and other sports
The Golf Shop will open with no capacity limit. Carts will be allowed to be shared again, and will still be cleaned periodically. All lessons types and social gatherings will be allowed.
Tournament play with outside clubs will be permitted at outdoor sports facilities, including golf, pickleball, bocce, lawn bowling and tennis. Table tennis is playing indoors.
Rossmoor buses will no longer have passenger limits, but riders must wear masks. The Green Line again will go to and from downtown Walnut Creek.
The Mutual Operations Department (MOD) is promoting visitor and staff safety by encouraging residents and other customers to contact staff by telephone from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and by email. Otherwise, visitors will be able to drop in with or without an appointment from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Appointments will be required from noon to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Member Records will open by appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Counseling Services will offer in-person counseling for individuals and couples. Support groups will resume but with fewer people. Office appointments will be staggered to prevent overcrowding.
Because of the small lobby space and staffing, the Rossmoor News and Channel 28 office will open by appointment only at least through July 31. Residents can call 1-925-988-7800 or email email@example.com to make an appointment for the News. They can call 1-925-988-7828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment for Channel 28. Walk-ins will be accepted only if there isn’t an upcoming appointment, so calling in advance is advised.
Extra copies of that week’s paper are available on the news racks outside the News office at Creekside and outside the front of the Gateway Clubhouse.
For Channel 28 Bingo, residents can call or email to request a bingo card to be mailed out a week before the game; prizes will be mailed to winners. Residents who wish to pick up a card must make an appointment in advance. No bingo cards will be distributed on the day of the game.
The main office for Securitas, Rossmoor’s security service provider, will resume normal hours at Creekside, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.