WHAT IS THE STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER?
On Thursday, March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order requiring Californians to stay home in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The statewide Order still applies to Nevada County.
WHAT DOES THE STATEWIDE ORDER MEAN TO ME?
The Governor has announced four stages of re-opening or relaxing the stay-at-home order. This is allowing for re-opening of certainly businesses and activities little by little, with guidance from the state and with timing determined by the local health department. The re-opening process is a balance and, by design, will move forward incrementally. As of June 12, the state and Nevada County are moving in to Stage 3, which means that we will continue to open Stage 3 businesses and activities locally, as the state allows. The stages, and what’s included in each stage, are defined by the state.
DOES THIS MEAN BUSINESS AS USUAL?
COVID-19 is still actively circulating and is serious and deadly. It is still very important for everyone to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from non-household members, to wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds, to sanitize high-touch surfaces frequently, and we strongly recommend wearing a face covering when you can’t stay at least 6 feet from another person who isn’t part of your household. It is very important to say home if you are sick, even just a little bit sick. Remember, COVID-19 can be transmitted by people who have no or few symptoms.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A FACE COVERING?
Nevada County’s public health officer continues to strongly recommend that you wear a face coverings in public when you can’t maintain 6 feet of physical distance from people who aren’t part of your household. Businesses may require employees who can cover their face to do so as well as requiring that of customers. Certain businesses, like hair salons/barbershops, are required to wear face coverings and to have clients wear face coverings.
WHAT ABOUT OLDER ADULTS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE IMMUNO-COMPROMISED?
The state recommends that higher risk individuals (over 65 years old or with serious medical conditions) should continue to stay home until Stage 4. Minimize errands by getting groceries delivered or asking for help from friends or family.
IS THE STATE ORDER MANDATORY OR JUST GUIDANCE?
The state Order is mandatory.
SO CAN THE COUNTY “REOPEN”?
The state Order applies statewide, including Nevada County, since March 19. The governor has announced four stages around how California may modify the statewide stay-at-home Order, as part of a “Resilience Roadmap.” On May 7th the state released a process for jurisdictions to apply for a variance to move through Stage 2 at a different pace than the statewide Order. Nevada County received approval for that Stage 2 variance and is now considered a “variance county.” That has allowed us to move more quickly through Stage 2 and in to Stage 3 than the state as a whole. That said, Nevada County cannot open sectors or activities that the state has not given variance counties the specific approval to open.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BUSINESS IS ALLOWED TO OPEN?
Please see answers to frequently asked questions about the state order by visiting covid19.ca.gov. If a business or sector is allowed to open statewide across California, it can be open in Nevada County (except schools, which are not allowed in Nevada County at this time – a date for resuming schools in our county has not yet been determined). If it is a business or activity that only a “variance county” can open, please check Nevada County’s Reopen Plan to see local allowable business and activities.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE GUIDANCE RELATED TO A PARTICULAR BUSINESS OR ACTIVITY AND HOW IT CAN OPEN SAFELY?
We are in Stage 3, so those businesses and activities allowed in Stage 3 can be open in Nevada County (with the exception of schools). Businesses must follow the relevant guidance provided by the state for that type of business. There are two places to look on the state’s website to find the guidance you need: 1. If an activity or business is allowed statewide, you can find guidance on the state’s Statewide Industry page. 2. If an activity or business is only allowed in “variance” counties (Nevada County is a variance county), you can find the state’s guidance for that type of business on the state’s Roadmap page. The state also has a General FAQ to help answer general questions.
WHAT CAN BE OPEN?
Starting June 12, business including gyms, movie theaters, summer day camps, wineries, bars, museums, family entertainment centers, hotels, campgrounds, RV parks, and card rooms can now open if they can follow the state guidance for their business sector. See our county’s Reopening Plan for more detail on what’s allowed in Nevada County.
WHAT CAN’T OPEN YET?
Slowing moving in to Stage 3 does not mean that all of Stage 3 is automatically allowed. This is a process that the state is allowing little by little. Current sectors that are not currently permitted include personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage, also playgrounds and picnic areas, live theater, festivals, theme parks, saunas and steam rooms, hot tubs, higher education, concert venues, nightclubs, indoor playgrounds (laser tag, bounce centers, and the like), team or contact sports, concerts, and other large gatherings. We will continue to amend our county’s Reopening Plan as the state allows for additional sectors in Stage 3.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “STAYING AT HOME” AND “SOCIAL DISTANCING”?
Staying home is a rigorous form of social distancing.
Staying at home means:
• Only going out for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” or for “essential travel” as those terms are defined in the Order. This includes travel for retail activities.
• Stay 6 feet or more away from others (physical distancing)
• No formal gathering except for the few exceptions currently allowed, including worship services and political protests.
The other principles of social distancing and hygiene should continue to be practiced whenever you can. These help to reduce your risk and the risk for those around you. These include washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and not going out if sick. We continue to encourage people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infection, including older adults and people with compromised immune systems, to stay home as much as possible
AM I ALLOWED TO LEAVE MY HOME AT THIS TIME?
Yes. Individuals may leave their place of residence to get necessities such as food, prescriptions, and health care, and for exercise, to pick up retail products, and to engage in allowable activities. General gatherings of people other than households are still not allowed, with the exception of places of worship with the modifications and restrictions provided by the state, and political protests. We continue to encourage people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infection, including older adults and people with compromised immune systems, to stay home as much as possible.
WHAT ABOUT PREVENTIVE AND OTHER DEFERRED HEALTH CARE SERVICES?
Per the state, preventive care services and other deferred services can now take place if hospitals and medical offices have enough capacity and protective equipment to do so safely. Dental care can take place, including preventive care, if the providers follows the guidelines provided by CDPH.
CAN I ATTEND A POLITICAL PROTEST?
The state has provided guidance related to political protest gatherings and that guidance applies to Nevada County. That guidance, as of 6/1, is reproduced below. However, we encourage you to check the state’s FAQ to find the most up-to-date guidance on political protest gatherings and other COVID-19-related questions. Can I engage in political protest gatherings? Yes, as explained below, although in-person protests present special public health concerns. Even with adherence to physical distancing, bringing members of different households together to engage in in-person protest carries a higher risk of widespread transmission of COVID-19. Such gatherings may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, especially among more vulnerable populations. In particular, activities like chanting, shouting, singing, and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing. For this reason, people engaging in these activities should wear face coverings at all times. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that those exercising their right to engage in political expression (including, for example, their right to petition the government) should utilize alternative channels, such as the many online and broadcasting platforms available in the digital age, in place of in-person gatherings.
However, state public health directives do not prohibit in-person protests as long as
(1) attendance is limited to 25% of the relevant area’s maximum occupancy, as defined by the relevant local permitting authority or other relevant authority, or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower, and
(2) physical distancing of six feet between persons or Updated 6/11/2020 9 groups of persons from different households is maintained at all times.
Failure to maintain adequate physical distancing may result in an order to disperse or other enforcement action. Face coverings are strongly recommended. Participants must maintain a physical distance of six feet from any uniformed peace officers and other public safety personnel present, unless otherwise directed, and follow all other requirements and directives imposed by local health officers and law enforcement, or other applicable authorities. This limitation on attendance will be reviewed at least once every 21 days, beginning May 25, 2020. This review will assess the impacts of these imposed limits on public health and provide further direction as part of a phased-in restoration of gatherings that implicate the First Amendment.
THE STATE SAYS MY BUSINESS NEEDS A COVID PREVENTION PLAN TO REOPEN. IS THAT REQUIRED?
Yes, most business are required to prepare a COVID prevention plan prior to re-opening. It must be posted on site and available to customers. The state’s guidance outlines what businesses need such plan and what should be in the plan. The plan does not need individual approval from local officials.
I’VE READ ALL THE RELEVANT GUIDANCE FOR MY TYPE OF BUSINESS BUT I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO DO THIS RIGHT.
WHO CAN I ASK?
• If you have general questions about COVID-19, testing, or other general questions, you can call 211 (or 1-833-DIAL211) to talk to a local call agent who can help.
• If you have specific questions related to your business and the state guidance, and how to re-open a particular kind of business safely, you can email COVID19recovery@co.nevada.ca.us for assistance.
• If you need to lodge a complaint about a business that is not following the guidance or is open when it should not be, there is information here about how to submit a compliant.
Click here for Nevada County’s full FAQ list on reopening.