This updated Order continues to restrict most activity to essential functions and needs. But because of progress we have collectively achieved in slowing the spread of the disease and limiting hospitalizations, the Order allows certain additional essential businesses and activities to resume, allows certain low-risk outdoor businesses to being operating again, and authorizes certain additional outdoor activities to take place even though they are not essential. The new Order also introduces a framework to guide the Health Officer’s decisions about further easing of restrictions, focusing on progress achieved addressing COVID-19 and ensuring that there are adequate health care resources available.
This new Order replaces the shelter order issued on March 31, 2020. We refer to the March 31 order as the “Prior Order” and the May 4 Order as the “new Order” or “Order.”
What changes does this new Order make?
This new Order will go into effect on 11:59 pm on Sunday May 3, 2020, and will remain in effect until 11:59 pm on Sunday May 31, 2020, unless the Health Officer amends or extends it.
Most of the Prior Order’s restrictions remain in place. However, the new Order makes a number of significant changes, which are highlighted below:
- Under the new Order, all construction projects can resume, provided they comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols issued as part of the Order. (These protocols replace the COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines applicable to the Prior Order).
- Commercial as well as residential real estate transactions are allowed to fully resume, but with continued restrictions on in-person viewings and appointments.
- Under the new Order, childcare establishments, summer camps, schools, and other educational and recreational programs can operate to provide care and supervision for children to allow all persons who are working in essential businesses or outdoor businesses or performing minimum basic operations to access childcare. All of these operations must comply with restrictions specified in the Order, including that they be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children. This category is also subject to the State’s Shelter in Place Order, but the Health Officer will assess whether to ease childcare restrictions further in coordination with the State and as the spread of COVID-19 is further contained.
- Outdoor Businesses (as defined in the Order and described below) are now allowed to operate, and people are allowed to visit them to perform work or to obtain goods, services, or supplies.
- Outdoor Businesses are those that normally operated primarily outdoors prior to the Shelter in Place Orders, and where social distancing of at least six feet can be maintained between all people. These include outdoor retail businesses like nurseries, outdoor service providers like landscapers, and agricultural operations.
Social Distancing Protocols for Businesses:
- All business facilities operating in the County, including businesses carrying out minimum basic operations, must comply with the requirement to create a Social Distancing Protocol. (Note: construction activities must instead comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols.)
- In their Social Distancing Protocols, businesses must now ensure that personnel and customers wear face coverings when entering their facilities (except those customers for whom face coverings are not recommended, like very young children).
- All existing Social Distancing Protocols must be updated to reflect the new requirements.
- We encourage businesses that are not yet allowed to operate to focus on planning to effectively implement social distancing and related measures in their facilities so they are ready to safely reopen when allowed.
Essential Activities and Travel:
- All residential moves are now allowed to proceed.
- The new Order allows use of shared outdoor recreational facilities that do not encourage gathering or contain high-touch equipment. However, everyone must follow any restrictions that either state or local authorities impose. For instance, right now, the State Shelter Order prohibits golf courses from operating.
- The Health Officer will consider easing or expanding restrictions based on the progress we collectively achieve on several key indicators described in the new Order and referred to as the COVID-19 Indicators.