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Updated Special Bulletin: Governor Issues New Statewide Guidance for Reopening of Businesses, Including Childcare Facilities
Last month the Governor laid out a four stage plan for reopening the state. Last week, we provided an update that the State entered into the first phase of stage 2 of the reopening process on Friday May 8th. This first phase of stage 2 permitted the retail industry, including the reopening of bookstores, clothing stores, florists, and sporting goods stores, to open on May 8th for curbside pickup. The Governor stated that other businesses such as offices, dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, and schools were not allowed to reopen as a part of this first phase of Stage 2. However, the Governor indicated those industries may be allowed to reopen in a later phase of Stage 2.
The Governor announced last week that counties could request to move more quickly through stage 2 if they meet certain readiness criteria. That readiness criteria has been published and is available at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID-19-County-Variance-Attestation-Memo.aspx.
Governor Newsom announced on May 12, 2020, that Butte and El Dorado Counties had met the readiness criteria to move more quickly through stage 2 of the reopening process, and the Governor’s office has been in communications with 27 other counties regarding readiness criteria. As of May 13th there are 16 total counties that have been certified to move more quickly through this process. The documentation submitted by these counties supporting that they met the readiness criteria is available to the public. The Governor’s office will continue to update the list of counties who are approved to move more quickly through stage 2 of the reopening process.
The Governor published guidance that as of May 12th, in addition to essential services, the following services could open statewide if they do not conflict with county orders, and if they meet the published statewide industry guidance:
- Childcare services (for everyone, not just essential)
- Limited services (which includes businesses that can provide services without close customer contact, sch as dry cleaners, car washes, auto repair, pet grooming, landscapers, and dog walkers)
- Outdoor museums
- Office-based workplaces (with teleworking strongly encouraged)
- All manufacturing industries supporting retail
- All logistics industries supporting retail
For counties that have been approved to move more quickly into stage 2, they will be able to open the following services if they do not conflict with county orders:
- Dine-in restaurants
- Shopping centers and all retail stores
The Governor made clear that counties remain free to issue more stringent restrictions, and Californians will need to comply with local and state wide orders. The Governor’s office issued guidance for the reopening of the businesses set forth above, as well as industry guidance for the reopening of other businesses, which is accessible here: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/. Before reopening, all facilities must:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement individual control measures and screenings
- Implement disinfecting protocols
- Implement physical distancing guidelines
At this time, there has not been guidance issued regarding the reopening of schools. At least one of the counties has included in their approved plans an anticipated date to reopen schools in July, and several have indicated that they do not have a plan in place to open schools as part of stage 2. However, counties are only permitted to open sectors once state guidance is posted for that specific sector.
Guidance has been issued regarding office workplaces, which is accessible here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-office-workspaces.pdf.
The state has issued social and physical distancing and healthy practices guidance to childcare facilities and providers, which is accessible here: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/Portals/9/CCLD/PINs/2020/CCP/PIN_20-06-CCP.pdf. Schools that have opened their preschool programs to provide childcare services, or plan to do so, should follow this state guidance, in addition to any county orders and guidance that may have been issued. Many of the current county orders only permit childcare facilities to open for care and supervision of children of essential workers.