Regional Stay-at-Home Order Issued Providing Limited Closures Based on ICU Capacity


On December 3, 2020, Governor Newsom announced the Regional Stay Home Order (the “Order”), which goes into effect at 12:59 p.m. on December 5, 2020. The Order will impose restrictions on a variety of individual and business activities, starting 24 hours after a region's Intensive Care Unit (“ICU”) capacity drops below 15 percent. 

The state has placed all counties into one of the following five regions, as follows:

Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma

Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne

Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

No regions currently face an ICU capacity below 15%, but Governor Newsom indicated it is likely that multiple regions will be subject to the order within the next week.  The Order will remain in effect for impacted regions for at least three weeks and will be lifted once the impacted region’s ICU capacity (projected four weeks out) meets or exceeds 15 percent.

Once a region’s ICU capacity causes the order to go into effect, individuals will be prohibited from attending private gatherings, but will be able to access and travel to critical services and outdoor activities. 

In regions subject to the order, the following business sectors will also be closed:

Indoor and outdoor playgrounds

Indoor recreational facilities

Hair salons and barbershops

Personal care services

Museums, zoos, and aquariums

Movie theaters


Bars, breweries, and distilleries

Family entertainment centers

Cardrooms and satellite wagering

Limited services

Live audience sports

Amusement parks

In regions subject to the Order, rules governing schools and colleges appear unchanged (as discussed below).  Additionally, the sectors below may continue to stay open subject to additional restrictions as detailed below:

Restaurants will be limited to serving food via take-out, pick-up and delivery only.

Outdoor recreational facilities are allowed to continue outdoor operation but cannot serve food, drink or alcohol sales.  Overnight stays at campgrounds are prohibited.

Retail stores may continue indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores.  Special hours should also be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.

Shopping centers may continue indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores.  Special hours should also be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.

Hotels and lodging are allowed to operate only for critical infrastructure support.

Offices are limited to remote work only, except for critical infrastructure sectors as designated in the State Public Health Officer’s list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers, provided such Critical Infrastructure sectors continue to modify operations pursuant to the applicable sector guidance.

Places of worship and political expression are authorized only for outdoor services.

Entertainment production, including professional sports, is allowed to operate without live audiences and testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

Critical Infrastructure, non-urgent medical and dental care, and child care and pre-kindergarten sectors are allowed to continue to remain open and must practice social distancing and 100% masking.  Among other critical infrastructure sectors, this includes critical government workers, law enforcement personnel, and fire and rescue service workers.

Schools that have reopened for in-person instruction are permitted to remain open.  The Order provides that “Guidance related to schools remain in effect and unchanged. Accordingly, when this Order takes effect in a Region, schools that have previously reopened for in-person instruction may remain open, and schools may continue to bring students back for in-person instruction under the Elementary School Waiver Process or Cohorting Guidance.”

Although the Order does not specifically reference higher education, there is no indication that the Order is intended to impose further limits on higher education above and beyond those already in place.

We recommend that private and public employers closely monitor the announcements and updates published by the Governor, and other state and local public health officials, for additional local curfews or restrictions.

Please feel free to reach out to the Authors of this Alert or your regular AALRR counsel with questions relating to this new Regional Stay at Home Order.

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.


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