Updated: California Governor Newsom Announces Statewide Rollback on Reopening

July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020 Update.  On July 13, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, effective July 13, 2020, all counties statewide must close indoor operations for dine-in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums and cardrooms.  Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide. Thirty counties, including Los Angeles County, are required to close indoor operations for further industries, including fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons, barbershops and malls. A list of workers previously identified as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” by the California Public Health Officer can be found here.

June 2, 2020 Update.  California has issued industry guidance for office workspaces. More detailed information about that guidance can be found in our blog post, California’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Reopening Office Workspaces.

May 12, 2020 Update. On May 12, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced additional statewide updates to the Stay-At-Home-Order. As California continues to progress gradually through Stage 2 of the previously issued four-stage Resilience Roadmap, additional industries statewide, including limited personal services (e.g., pet grooming, car washes and landscaping) and outdoor museums, can now open if they implement certain modifications to their operations and obtain county approval. Certain counties that have obtained state approval to move more quickly through Stage 2 may open additional industries, including dine-in restaurants and shopping malls, with modifications to their operations. California continues to issue and update its industry guidance as new industries are permitted to reopen with modifications.

May 8, 2020 Update. On May 7, 2020, Governor Newsom released guidance to help businesses reduce risk and establish a safe, clean environment for workers and customers, as the state gradually moves into Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap for the reopening of California businesses. This new guidance has been incorporated into this updated post. 
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On May 4, 2020, Governor Newsom announced that the state will allow certain lower-risk businesses to partially reopen on Friday, May 8, 2020, as the state moves into the early phase of Stage 2 of modifying the statewide Stay-At-Home Order.  The Resilience Roadmap Stages that California will use to guide its gradual reopening process include:
  • Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness
  • Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces
  • Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces
  • Stage 4: End of Stay-At-Home Order
California has been in Stage 1 since the Stay-At-Home Order took effect on March 19, 2020.  On May 8, 2020, California will move into Stage 2 of the reopening process, which allows for the partial reopening of certain lower-risk workplaces including retail, manufacturing and logistics businesses.
  • Early in Stage 2. Starting on May 8, the following businesses may reopen for curbside pickup and delivery:  bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores and florists.  Supply chains supporting these businesses in manufacturing and logistical sectors may also reopen on May 8.
  • Later in Stage 2. Businesses that will be part of a later phase of Stage 2 reopening include:  destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets; personal services, limited to car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities and landscape gardening; office-based businesses; dine-in restaurants; schools and childcare facilities; and outdoor museums and open gallery spaces.
  • Excluded from Stage 2. The following higher-risk workplaces are excluded from Stage 2 reopening:  personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios; hospitality services, such as bars and lounges; entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming facilities and professional sports venues; indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos and libraries; community centers, including public pools, playgrounds and picnic areas; religious services and cultural ceremonies; nightclubs; concert venues; festivals; theme parks; and hotels or lodging for leisure and tourism.
Requirements for Reopening. Before reopening on May 8, all businesses are required to:
  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan;
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have symptoms;
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings;
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols; and
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines.
Industry-Specific Guidance. Businesses are encouraged to review industry-specific guidance that is available and post an industry-specific checklist in the workspace to show customers and employees the steps taken to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Examples of industry-specific guidance include:
  • Retailers should increase pickup and delivery service options and encourage physical distancing during pickup, such as loading items directly into a customer’s trunk or leaving items at the customer’s door.
  • Retailers should install hands-free devices, if possible, including motion sensor lights, contactless payment systems, automatic soap and paper towel dispensers and timecard systems.
  • Manufacturing companies should close breakrooms, use barriers, or increase distance between tables and chairs to separate workers and discourage congregating during breaks. Where possible, manufacturing companies should create outdoor break areas with shade covers and seating that ensures physical distancing.
  • Warehouses should minimize transaction time between warehouse employees and transportation personnel and, if feasible, perform gate check-ins and complete paperwork digitally.
  • Warehouse workers should clean delivery vehicles and equipment before and after delivery, carry additional sanitation materials during deliveries and use clean personal protective equipment for each delivery stop.
State Report Card. The Stage 2 reopening announcement is based on the release of a State Report Card showing the state’s progress in meeting a variety of metrics, including:
  • Stability of Hospitalizations
  • Personal Protective Equipment Inventory
  • Health Care Surge Capacity
  • Growing Testing Capacity
  • Expanding Contact Tracing Capabilities
Regional Variation. Although the state will be moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2, counties may choose to maintain more restrictive measures beyond May 8 based on local conditions.  Counties may also be able to move more quickly through Stage 2 and reopen more businesses before the state as a whole if they meet the criteria set forth by the California Department of Public Health and follow the process in the Guidance to County Governments.

The Coronavirus situation is fluid, and laws are changing rapidly.  Our recent memoranda and other information discussing various aspects of Coronavirus can be found here.