California "Safer at Home" Orders

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency that is unprecedented. Starting at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and ending on April 19, 2020, the State of California, Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, the City of Pasadena, and the City of Long Beach are ordering new “Safer at Home” stay-at-home restrictions on Californians, businesses and activities. We will address the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles Orders in this update.

The Safer at Home orders call for residents to isolate themselves in their residences, whenever possible, subject to certain exceptions. “With this virus, we are safer at home.” The orders call for all “non-essential businesses” to cease operation and for all residents to stay at home when not participating in “essential activities”. On the occasions that residents are outside of their home for necessary tasks, residents are urged to stay at least six feet away from others and to engage in safe practices to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.

Each order referenced above may be viewed below:

The City and County of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles “Safer at Home” Orders provide that people may lawfully leave their residence while the order is in effect only to engage in essential activities (the City of Los Angeles Order only) or essential businesses (both Orders).

The Orders allow for a 24-hour period following the effective date, or until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, to allow employees and business owners to access their workplaces to gather belongings, so long as social distancing requirements are followed. Such workplaces shall remain closed to the public in accordance with the Orders.

Essential Businesses Applicable to both the City and the County of Los Angeles (non-exhaustive and subject to certain limitations or variations)

  • City/County government services such as police stations, fire stations, jails, courts, garbage/sanitation, public transportation, water, power and gas utilities, public works construction including construction of housing, airport and port operations.
  • All healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care providers, mental health providers, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers and suppliers. Healthcare operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
  • Grocery stores, water retailers, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse stores, food banks and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, any other household consumer products (such as construction supplies, cleaning and personal care products).
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing.
  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals (including gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence, and homeless services agencies).
  • Newspapers, television, radio, magazine, podcast and other media services.
  • Gas service stations, auto supply, mobile auto repair operations, auto repair shops (including, without limitation, auto repair shops that operate adjacent to or otherwise in connection with any used or retail auto dealership), bicycle repair shops and related facilities.
  • Banks, credit unions, financial institutions and insurance companies.
  • Hardware and building supply stores, and nurseries.
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other essential activities discussed in the order.
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes.
  • Educational institutions -- including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities -- for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers.
  • Restaurants and retail food facilities that prepare and offer food to customers, but only via delivery service, to be picked up, or drive-thru.
  • Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and carry out basis only.  Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or any other gathering site.
  • Cafeterias, commissaries, and restaurants located within hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities are also exempt from this Order.  Social distancing shall be maintained at a distance of at least six feet away from others.
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support, services, or supplies necessary to operate, provided that strict social distancing is maintained.
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses.
  • Airlines, taxis, ride sharing services, and other private transportation services providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order.
  • Home-based care for disabled persons, seniors, adults, or children.
  • Residential facilities and shelters for disabled persons, seniors, adults, and children.
  • Professional services, such as legal, payroll or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in the order to work as permitted, and subject to mandatory conditions.
  • Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.
  • Military/Defense Contractors/FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Centers), subject to certain provisions.

Essential Activities (the City of Los Angeles Order only)

Essential activities exempted by the City of Los Angeles Order include:

  • visiting a health care professional
  • visiting a veterinary care professional
  • obtaining medical supplies or medication
  • obtaining grocery items (including, without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, any other household consumer products and products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and other buildings) for their household or to deliver to others, or for legally mandated government purposes
  • travel related to:
    • (a) providing care for minors, the elderly, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
    • (b) returning to one’s place of residence from outside the City;
    • (c) travelling to one’s place of residence located outside the City;
    • (d) compliance with an order of law enforcement or court shall be exempt from this Order; or
    • (e) legally mandated government purposes.

Persons engaging in these essential activities shall maintain reasonable social distancing practices. This includes maintaining a distance of at least six feet away from others, frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.

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