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California Department of Public Health Issues COVID-19 Travel Advisory Recommending 14-Day Self Quarantine for Any Non-Essential Travel Out of State and Previous Public Health Guidance Issued Regarding Holiday Gatherings and Higher Risk Activities
On November 13, 2020, in response to alarming increases in the incidence rates of COVID-19 in other countries and states, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued a travel advisory to California residents. This travel advisory follows recent state and federal guidance limiting personal gatherings, and updated federal guidance regarding higher risk travel and activities.
The travel advisory expressly recommends that California residents not engage in non-essential travel out of the state at this time. CDPH advises California residents to remain at home or close to home in order to reduce the risk of contracting and/or transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19. CDPH provides that travel itself may present a risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, particularly travel by a shared conveyance or common carrier, such as a commercial airplane, bus, or rail.
Importantly, the CDPH travel advisory recommends that any California resident who travels out of state, whether internationally or domestically, for non-essential reasons self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to California. During the self-quarantine, CDPH advises individuals to limit their interactions to only members of their immediate family.
While the CDPH travel advisory does not constitute an order for residents to stay home or to quarantine following high-risk travel out of state or by shared conveyance, the public health guidance is indicative of the seriousness of the current state of the present public health emergency.
Schools should consider how they intend to address the guidance and recommendations provided in the CDPH travel advisory. For example, schools may want to consider notifying employees about the CDPH guidance, recommend that employees not engage in high-risk travel during the holidays or until such time as CDPH and other public health authorities advise that the increased risk of such activity has abated, or undertaking other health and safety measures related to their operations. Schools may also want to ask employees to report any out-of-state travel and suggest or require a 14-day self-quarantine as a matter of policy. If you have questions about this travel advisory and how it may affect your school’s operations, LCW attorneys are available to answer your questions.