Governor Newsom issues Statewide “Stay Home” Order
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on March 19, 2020, implementing a new statewide “stay home” directive aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The Order requires “all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as outlined at https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19.”
The website referred to in the Executive Order is that of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The CISA website identifies broadly the following sixteen “critical infrastructure sectors”:
- Chemical Sector
- Commercial Facilities Sector
- Communications Sector
- Critical Manufacturing Sector
- Dams Sector
- Defense Industrial Base Sector
- Emergency Services Sector
- Energy Sector
- Financial Services Sector
- Food and Agriculture Sector
- Government Facilities Sector
- Healthcare and Public Health Sector
- Information Technology Sector
- Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector
- Transportation Systems Sector
- Water and Wastewater Systems Sector
Thus, the Executive Order, which is enforceable pursuant to California law, provides an exception for “Californians working in these 16 critical infrastructure sectors,” but advises that individuals leaving their home to obtain or perform these critical functions, “or to otherwise facilitate authorized necessary activities,” “should at all times practice social distancing.”
The Executive Order further states that the State public health directives reflected in the Order are meant to be “consistent with the March 19, 2020, Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response” (“CISA Memorandum”). The CISA Memorandum identifies what CISA characterizes as a non-exhaustive list, “advisory in nature,” of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers within many of the sixteen “Critical Infrastructure Sectors” identified by CISA and cited by the Executive Order. You can read the full CISA Memorandum and the CISA’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce here.
In addition, at his news conference announcing the Executive Order, Governor Newsom also indicated that his office would be issuing additional guidance and clarifications in the coming days regarding which industries and workers are covered by the exceptions in the Executive Order. The Executive Order itself also provides that the governor “may designate additional sectors as critical in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.”
The Executive Order is effective immediately. Significantly, the Executive Order does not provide an end date, and Governor Newsom declined to provide one in response to questions from reporters at the news conference.
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 developments and what the Governor’s Executive Order and the various county and city orders mean for your business. We will update this Alert with more information as it becomes available, including in particular any further clarification Governor Newsom may provide in the coming days about sectors, businesses, and workers covered by the exceptions in the Executive Order. Contact the attorneys at AALRR if you have any questions about how COVID-19 affects your business.