The State of California has announced the guidelines “low-risk” businesses need to follow to be able to open as early as tomorrow. These newest modifications to the stay at home order are part of the early steps in Stage 2 out of the four stages Governor Gavin Newsom described.
In many areas of the state, lower-risk businesses in the sectors of retail, manufacturing, and warehouses are allowed to reopen if they can follow guidelines made public today in the State’s new playbook. The playbook includes detailed guidelines for these businesses; however, the state realizes they can’t cover every possible situation, so these rules are dynamic and flexible, said Newsom.
For retail stores, the basic guidelines include the direction that they should increase pick-up and delivery services with physical distancing. They should also install hands-free payment devices. Additionally, there should be constant sanitation and the use of protective equipment.
Under the new guidelines, manufactures should enforce physical distancing. Specifically, they should close breakrooms and create an outdoor break area with physical distancing.
Warehouses should carry sanitation materials during deliveries and use personal protective equipment for each stop.
Broadly, all industries should perform a detailed risk assessment. Industries should train employees on limiting the spread of COVID-19 as well as how to screen for symptoms. Employees should also know that they should stay home if they’re sick. Industries should also implement a protection plan, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and physical distancing guidelines.
They also released additional guidelines for auto dealerships, real estate and construction.
Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly listed the sectors next in the queue to get their own guidelines for reopening. These sectors are offices that can’t accommodate telecommuting, seated dining in restaurants, shopping malls and outdoor museums. These are all part of the later steps in Stage 2.
Santa Clara County businesses, though excluded from the option of opening this month, can see what is expected of them to be able to open their doors when the County’s shelter in place order is lifted.
While in the Bay Area, including Santa Clara County, there is stricter shelter in place orders extending through the end of May, other counties may be able to be put on the reopening fast-track.
If counties can demonstrate that they can follow specific criteria, they can open faster than other counties. These criteria are:
- Epidemiologic stability: no more than one case per 10,000 people in the last 14 days and no COVID-19 death in the past 14 days.
- Protection of Stage 1 essential workers: ability to support employees when sick or exposed to COVID-19 and availability of disinfectant supplies and protective gear.
- Testing capacity: minimum daily testing of 1.5 per 1,000 residents.
- Containment capacity: at least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents and the ability to temporarily house at least 15 percent of residents experiencing homelessness.
If a county meets these criteria, then, with certification from the county’s local health officials and from the county’s supervisors, the state can consider putting that county on a reopening fast-track.
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.