On January 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California was ending its Regional Stay At Home Order and returning to the State's previous Blueprint for a Safer Economy. California made this transition based on its current projection of ICU bed capacity being above 15% for every region in the state.
Under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan, each county is assigned to one of four different colored tiers according its COVID-19 case rate. Each tier consists of different restrictions on activities and businesses. Counties will move up and down through the four tiers, as their COVID-19 case rates shift. If case rates decline below a certain threshold, counties will be allowed to move up a tier and begin reopening additional parts of the economy. Counties may also move down a tier if the health statistics worsen. Note however, that under the State's Blueprint, local county and city health departments are permitted to impose tighter restrictions of their own if the local Health Officer thinks such restrictions are warranted.
Please see our previous issue of Compliance Matters for further explanation of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tiered system.
Currently, 54 of the 58 California counties are in the “Purple Tier,” the most restrictive tier, representing the existence of widespread COVID-19 transmission in those counties. The only counties not in the Purple Tier are Trinity County, Sierra County, Alpine County, and Mariposa County.
Under the Purple Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the following businesses & activities can resume with certain modifications. Some highlights:
- Gatherings. Outdoor gatherings are permitted with a maximum of three (3) households and certain modifications.
- Critical Infrastructure.
- Limited Services.
- Outdoor Playgrounds & Outdoor Recreational Facilities.
- Hair Salons & Barbershops. Indoor with limitations.
- Retail. limited operations
- Shopping Centers. Can open indoors with modifications and at 25% capacity.
- Personal Care Services. limited operations
- Museums, Zoos, & Aquariums. Outdoors only.
- Places of Worship. Outdoors only.
- Movie Theaters. Outdoors only.
- Hotels & Lodging. Limited operations
- Gyms & Fitness Centers. Outdoors only.
- Restaurants. Outdoor dining only.
- Wineries. Outdoors only.
- Family Entertainment Centers. Outdoors only.
- Cardrooms, Satellite Wagering. Outdoors only.
- Offices. Remote unless essential infrastructure.
- Professional Sports. Open without live audiences.
Businesses planning to reopen under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy must be sure to implement the specific California Department of Public Heath guidance applicable to their industry. In addition, they also must review local COVID-19 public health orders and guidance because the State's Blueprint authorizes counties and cities to issue even tighter restrictions of their own.
This afternoon, the County of Los Angeles decided to allow limited outdoor dining to reopen. These restrictions will be included in an updated County Health Order. We will continue to monitor major COVID-19 related developments that impact the workplace. If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at 818-508-3700 or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.
Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Charles H.W. Foster
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP