On April 29, public health officials in six Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara) and the city of Berkeley released new health orders extending mandates to shelter in place through May 31, while relaxing restrictions around some outdoor businesses and recreation activities. The new Orders will take effect May 4, the day existing shelter-in-place mandates would have expired. (We previously discussed the local Orders here and here.)

What Stays the Same

  • The extension is intended to ensure continued social distancing and limit person-to person contact to reduce the rate of transmission.
  • The Orders continue to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions.
  • When people need to leave their place of residence for the limited purposes allowed in the Orders, they must strictly comply with Social Distancing Requirements, except as expressly provided in the Orders, and must wear Face Coverings (with certain exceptions for outdoor recreation activities).

Changes to the Orders

  • In light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area, the modified Orders allow a limited number of additional Essential Businesses and certain lower risk Outdoor Businesses to resume operating. This initial, measured resumption of those activities is designed to keep the overall volume of person-to-person contact very low to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.
    • “Additional Essential Businesses” includes:
      • All construction projects that follow the Construction Project Safety Protocols included with the Orders.
      • Childcare, camps and educational/ rec programs that provide care for children of people who are allowed to work outside of their homes.
    • “Outdoor Businesses” means:
      • Businesses primarily operated outdoors, such as wholesale and retail plant nurseries, agricultural operations, and garden centers.
      • Service providers that primarily provide outdoor services, such as landscaping and gardening services, and environmental site remediation services.
      • “Outdoor Businesses” do not include outdoor restaurants, cafes, or bars.
    • The Orders also authorizes certain additional outdoor activities to take place even though they are not essential, including the use of certain outdoor recreational facilities, such as skate parks, golf courses, and athletic fields.
      • Use of shared outdoor facilities for recreational activities that may occur outside of residences must, before they may begin, comply with social distancing and health/safety protocols posted at the site and any other restrictions, including prohibitions, on access and use established by the Health Officer, government, or other entity that manages such area to reduce crowding and risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Conditions of Operating

  • As a condition of operating under this Order, the operators of all businesses must prepare or update, post, implement, and distribute to their personnel a Social Distancing Protocol for each of their facilities in the county (or city) frequented by personnel or members of the public.
  • Businesses that include an Essential Business or Outdoor Business component at their facilities alongside other components must, to the extent feasible, scale down their operations to the Essential Business and Outdoor Business components only; provided, however, mixed retail businesses that are otherwise allowed to operate under this Order may continue to stock and sell non-essential products.

These orders are generally consistent with the state’s shelter-in-place order. On any issue where the local and state orders may differ, consult your Baker McKenzie employment attorney.