Governor Newsom Issues New Guidelines to Reopen More California Businesses

05.07.2020

On Thursday, May 7, 2020 Governor Newsom released new guidelines that will allow more businesses across the state of California to reopen as part of Phase 2 of the reopening plan.  The business sectors that will be able to reopen statewide as early as May 8, 2020 are considered low-risk and include retail, manufacturing and logistics businesses.  Retail businesses include bookstores, sporting goods, florists and clothing stores.  These business sectors must comply with social distancing and sanitation protocols in order to reopen. 

Retailers

The guidelines for retailers to reopen can be found through the following link at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf.  These guidelines include the following:

  • Work Site Specific Plans: Establishing a Worksite Specific COVID-19 Plan for every location, which includes: (1) performing risk assessments of all work areas; (2) identifying contact information for the local health department; (3) training and communicating the plan to employees; (4) evaluating compliance with the plan; (5) investigating illnesses; and (6) identifying close contacts (within 6-10 feet) of an infected employee and taking steps to isolate those persons.
  • Employee Training: Employee trainings which provide information on COVID-19 and how to help prevent the spread, self-screening at home using the CDC symptom check, staying home when sick, seeking medical attention when severe symptoms present, handwashing, proper use of face coverings and importance of social distancing.
  • Individual Control Measures: Employee temperature and symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift, encouraging workers that are sick to stay home, providing and ensuring use of personal protective equipment when required and encouraging face coverings for employees and customers.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols: Thorough and frequent cleaning of all high-traffic areas and frequently touched objects, sanitizing stations at all customer entrances and exits, providing and ensuring availability of sanitizing equipment, modifying store hours to allow for more regular cleaning and installation of more hands-free/no touch devices, including for payment processing, doors, paper towel dispensers and sinks. 
  • Physical Distancing Guidelines: Implementing measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between workers and customers, including physical barriers, or visual cues.

Manufacturers

The guidelines for manufacturers to reopen can be found through the following link at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-manufacturing.pdf.  These guidelines include the following:

  • Work Site Specific Plans: Establishing a Worksite Specific COVID-19 Plan for every location, which includes: (1) performing risk assessments of all work areas; (2) identifying contact information for the local health department; (3) training and communicating the plan to employees; (4) evaluating compliance with the plan; (5) investigating illnesses; and (6) identifying close contacts (within 6-10 feet) of an infected employee and taking steps to isolate those persons.
  • Employee Training: Employee trainings which provide information on COVID-19 and how to help prevent the spread, self-screening at home using the CDC symptom check, staying home when sick, seeking medical attention when severe symptoms present, handwashing, proper use of face coverings and importance of social distancing.
  • Individual Control Measures: Employee temperature and symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift, encouraging workers that are sick to stay home, providing and ensuring use of personal protective equipment when required and encouraging face coverings for employees and restricting access of the facility by non-employees.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols: Thorough and frequent cleaning of all high-traffic areas and frequently touched objects, avoiding sharing of equipment, providing and ensuring availability of sanitizing equipment, providing sufficient time to allow for employees to implement cleaning practices before, during and after shifts, staggering breaks to allow for more regular cleaning, installation of more hands-free/no touch devices, including for payment processing, doors, paper towel dispensers and sinks, cleaning delivery vehicles and equipment before and after routes and modifying options at on-site cafeteria to grab-and-go options. 
  • Physical Distancing Guidelines: Implementing measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between workers, including physical barriers, or visual cues, staggering shifts to reduce the number of employees in a facility at any one time and implementing engineering controls to limit contact where physical distancing is not possible (i.e. plexi-glass shields).

Logistics (Warehouses and Transportation)

The guidelines for logistics businesses to reopen can be found through the following link at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-logistics.pdf.  These guidelines include the following:

  • Work Site Specific Plans: Establishing a Worksite Specific COVID-19 Plan for every location, which includes: (1) performing risk assessments of all work areas; (2) identifying contact information for the local health department; (3) training and communicating the plan to employees; (4) evaluating compliance with the plan; (5) investigating illnesses; and (6) identifying close contacts (within 6-10 feet) of an infected employee and taking steps to isolate those persons.
  • Employee Training: Employee trainings which provide information on COVID-19 and how to help prevent the spread, self-screening at home using the CDC symptom check, staying home when sick, seeking medical attention when severe symptoms present, handwashing, proper use of face coverings and importance of social distancing.
  • Individual Control Measures: Employee temperature and symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift, encouraging workers that are sick to stay home, providing and ensuring use of personal protective equipment when required and encouraging face coverings for employees and restricting access of the facility by non-employees.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols: Thorough and frequent cleaning of all high-traffic areas and frequently touched objects, avoiding sharing of equipment, providing and ensuring availability of sanitizing equipment, providing sufficient time to allow for employees to implement cleaning practices before, during and after shifts, staggering breaks to allow for more regular cleaning, installation of more hands-free/no touch devices, including for payment processing, doors, paper towel dispensers and sinks, cleaning delivery vehicles and equipment before and after routes and modifying options at on-site cafeteria to grab-and-go options. 
  • Physical Distancing Guidelines: Implementing measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between workers, including physical barriers, or visual cues, staggering shifts to reduce the number of employees in a facility at any one time, implementing engineering controls to limit contact where physical distancing is not possible (i.e. plexi-glass shields), minimizing transaction time between warehouse and transportation personnel and closing common areas likely to cause workers to congregate.

Once businesses in these sectors have identified how they will comply with the reopening guidance and guidelines provided, they must post the checklists provided by the California Department of Public Health.  The checklists for the industries can be found below:

Retail Checklist:  covid19.ca.gov/pdf/checklist-retail.pdf

Manufacturing Checklist: covid19.ca.gov/pdf/checklist-manufacturing.pdf

Logistics Checklist:  covid19.ca.gov/pdf/checklist-logistics-warehousing.pdf

The Governor will also release more guidelines for further expansion of Phase 2 on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.  While the first wave of Phase 2 establishments that are allowed to begin reopening on May 8 does not include offices, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls, or schools, the guidelines indicate that “[o]ther Stage 2 sectors, such as offices and dine-in restaurants, will be part of a later Stage 2 opening.”

County and Local Government Can Ease Restrictions Early

The new guidelines also authorize county and local governments to ease restrictions for Phase 2 businesses ahead of statewide reopening.  If a county decides to pursue a variance, the local public health officer must:

  1. Notify the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and engage in a phone consultation regarding the county's intent to seek a variance.
  2. Certify through submission of a written attestation to CDPH that the county has met the readiness criteria (outlined below) designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Attestations should be submitted by the local public health officer, and accompanied by a letter of support from the County Board of Supervisors, as well as a letter of support from the local hospitals or health care systems.  In the event that the county does not have a hospital or health care system within its jurisdiction, a letter of support from the relevant regional health system(s) is also acceptable. The full submission must be signed by the local public health officer.

The attestations must demonstrate that counties requesting a variance meet the following criteria:

  • CDPH Criteria
    • Epidemiologic stability. A determination must be made by the county that the prevalence of COVID-19 cases is low enough to be swiftly contained by an epidemiological response.  Given the anticipated increase in cases as a result of modifications, this is a foundational parameter that must be met to safely increase the county's progression through Stage 2.  The county must attest to:
      • No more than 1 case per 10,000 people in last 14 days
      • No COVID-19 deaths in the past 14 days
    • Protection of Stage 1 Essential Workers
      • Ability to support employees when sick or exposed
      • Availability of PPE and disinfectant
    • Testing
      • Minimum daily testing of 1.5 tests per each 1,000 residents
    • Containment Capacity
      • Sufficient contact tracing. For counties that have no cases, there should be at least 15 staff per 100,000 county population trained and available for contact tracing; for counties with small populations, there must be at least one staff person trained and available. 
      • Availability of temporary housing units to shelter at least 15% of county residents experiencing homelessness in case of an outbreak among this population requiring isolation and quarantine of affected individuals.
    • Hospital capacity
      • At least 35% capacity for potential surges in COVID-19
      • Robust employee protection plans with available PPE
    • Vulnerable populations
      • Skilled Nursing Facilities must have more than a 14 day supply of available PPE
    • Triggers for Adjusting Modifications
      • Metrics that serve as triggers for either slowing pace through Phase 2 or tightening modifications

The State will review county attestations and all attestations will be publicly posted so county residents can stay updated on their county’s progress on Phase 2 reopening.  Please note that the flexibility provided to the counties by the Governor also includes the ability to impose more restrictive protective measures as determined by the local counties.  The Governor’s office issued a statement that “[w]hile the state will be moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2, counties can choose to continue more restrictive measures in place based on their local conditions, and the state expects some counties to keep their more robust stay at home orders in place beyond May 8.”  Should you have any questions about the expansion of the Governor’s Phase 2 reopening plan, contact your Atkinson, Andelson, Loya Rudd & Romo attorney for guidance.

This AALRR publication is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process. 

©2020 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

PDF
Back to Page

By scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse our website, you consent to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie and Privacy Policy. If you do not wish to accept cookies from our website, or would like to stop cookies being stored on your device in the future, you can find out more and adjust your preferences here.