- Reporters Desk
SAFER AT HOME ORDER FOR CONTROL OF COVID-19
Temporary Prohibition of Events and Gatherings of 10 Persons or More
Closure of Non-Essential Businesses and Areas
Date Order Issued: March 19, 2020
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295;
Los Angeles County Code § 11.02.080.)
SUMMARY OF THE ORDER: This Health Officer Order amends and supplements the Order of the County of Los Angeles Health Officer (Health Officer) issued on March 16, 2020, to control the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) within the County of Los Angeles. The purpose of this Order is to further restrict and limit the gathering of persons and require the closure of malls, shopping centers, children’s playgrounds, and non-essential retail businesses in an effort to stem or slow the spread of COVID-19 within the greater Los Angeles community.
Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, this Order prohibits all indoor public and private gatherings and all outdoor public and private events within a confined space, where at least 10 people are expected to be in attendance at the same time. This Order applies within the County of Los Angeles Public Health Jurisdiction, beginning at 11:59 p.m. on March 19, 2020 and continues through April 19, 2020, subject to the terms and conditions more particularly set forth below.
For all gatherings that are not prohibited, the Health Officer orders those persons attending an event or gathering and the venues holding the event or gathering implement the following infection control precautions: (1) practice social distancing within the confined space by requiring attendees to be separated by six (6) feet; (2) provide access to hand washing facilities with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol; (3) post a sign in a conspicuous place at the public entry to the venue instructing members of the public to not attend if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever or cough; and (4) adhere to communicable disease control recommendations provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. As a point of clarity, this Order does not prohibit any individual or family from outdoor activities such as hiking, walking, shopping at Essential Businesses, include grocery stores and restaurants, so long as all persons practice social distancing to the extent practicable.
Further, this Health Officer Order, requires all malls, shopping centers, playgrounds and non-essential businesses to close. This order applies to all cities in Los Angeles County except the cities of Pasadena, Long Beach and Vernon. This order does not supersede any stricter limitation imposed by a local public entity.
The County Health Officer will continue to monitor the rate of COVID-19 disease spread, State and CDC recommendations, and the impact of the required measures, and as needed, may revisit, extend, expand, or otherwise modify this Order to protect the public’s health.
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES HEALTH OFFICER ORDERS:
- Effective 11:59 p.m. on March 19, 2020 and continuing through April 19, 2020, all public and private group events and gatherings, as defined below, of 10 or more people are prohibited anywhere within the Los Angeles County Public Health Jurisdiction.
- For public and private gatherings attended by between 2-9 persons, held in a confined or enclosed space, and not prohibited by this Order, the organizer or the owner, manager, or operator of the venue holding the gathering shall:
- Enforce social distancing measures by requiring attendees who remain at the event or gathering for over 5 minutes to be separated by at least six (6) feet from other attendees during the entirety of the event or gathering. Persons who attend the event or gathering as a group, e.g., a group of family members or household contacts, may sit or remain together, but groups of attendees must be separated by a distance of at least six (6) feet.
- Provide access to hand washing facilities with soap and water or with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Post a sign in a conspicuous place at all public entries to the venue that instructs members of the public to not enter or attend if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever or cough.
- facilities and hand sanitizer.
- (6)ns who attend the event or gathering as a group may sit or remain together, but groups of atAdhere to communicable disease control recommendations provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, including guidance for cleaning and disinfecting the site. See guidance posted at publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/.
- The Health Officer orders the immediate closure of the following types of commercial properties and businesses:
- Non-Essential Retail Businesses.
- Indoor Malls and Indoor Shopping Centers, including all stores therein regardless whether they are Essential or Non-Essential Retail Businesses. As an exception, Essential Businesses that part of an Indoor Mall or Indoor Shopping Center, that are accessible to the public from the exterior of the Indoor Mall or Shopping Center may remain open. The interior of the Indoor Mall or Indoor Shopping Center shall remain closed to the public.
- Indoor or Outdoor Playgrounds for Children, except for those located within childcare centers.
- This Order shall exempt, for a 24-hour period following the effective date above, all employees and business owners to allow for access to their workplaces to gather belongings, so long as social distancing requirements are followed. Such workplaces shall remain closed to the public in accordance with this order.
- This Order does not supersede any stricter limitation imposed by a local public entity within the Los Angeles County Public Health Jurisdiction.
REASONS FOR THE ORDER
- This Order is based upon scientific evidence and best practices, as currently known and available, to protect members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness and death resulting from the spread of COVID-19, as well as to protect the healthcare system from a surge of cases into its emergency rooms and hospitals. The Order supports the CDC’s efforts to institute more stringent and necessary social distancing measures to reduce community transmission of COVID-19.
- Existing community transmission of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County presents a substantial and significant risk of harm to the health of residents. Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against and no specific treatment for COVID-19. As of March 19, 2020, there have been at least 230 cases of COVID-19 and 2 deaths reported in Los Angeles County. There remains a strong likelihood of a significant and increasing number of suspected cases of community transmission.
- The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread easily through person-to-person contact. This risk of transmission is increased when people are in close proximity. All gatherings pose an increased risk for community transmission of COVID-19 and thus, are a substantial risk to public health. As such, places where people gather, such as Indoor and Outdoor Malls, Shopping Centers, Children’s Playgrounds, and Non-Essential Retail Businesses, provide significant opportunities for patrons or groups of patrons to have close contact with each other. Thus, the reasons that persons gathering at these locations are likely to exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 include, without limitation: (a) that these gatherings and businesses will attract people from throughout the county when there is widespread COVID-19 community transmission, (b) the prolonged time period during which many people are in close proximity at these locations, (c) the difficulty in tracing and controlling additional exposures when large numbers of people visit a Mall, Shopping Center, Playground or Non-Essential Retail Business, and (d) the visitor may be unknowingly infected with COVID-19 and may not follow adequate hygienic and social distancing practices.
- In the absence of a specific immunization or treatment for COVID-19, social distancing is the only and most readily available tool to prevent this disease. Increasing social distancing and limiting events and gatherings slow transmission of communicable diseases. Accordingly, to reduce the community transmission of COVID-19, the Health Officer has ordered the temporary prohibition of all Events and Gatherings, as defined in Sections 10, 11 and 12, and is also requiring the closure of certain businesses where it is usual practice for patrons to remain in close proximity.
- For purposes of this Order, Events and Gatherings are any gathering, assembly, event, or convening that brings together or is likely to bring together 10 or more persons at the same time in an indoor or outdoor confined or enclosed space for greater than 5 minutes, for any purpose including a business, cultural, athletic, entertainment, social, or other special event.
- For purposes of this Order, Indoor and Outdoor Malls and Shopping Centers are defined for as either:
A building with seven (7) or more “sales or retail establishments” or
A series of buildings on a common site, either under common ownership or common control or developed together, with seven (7) or more “sales or retail establishments.”
- Non-Essential Retail Businesses are retail establishments that provide goods or services to the public that do not come within the definition of Essential Businesses set forth in Paragraph 12 of this Order.
- For purposes of this Order, Essential Businesses are defined as the following:
- Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, pet supply, water, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning or personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
- Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
- Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
- Newspapers, television, radio, magazine, podcast and other media services;
- Gas stations, and auto-supply, auto-repair, car dealerships and related facilities;
- Banks, credit unions, and related financial institutions;
- Hardware stores, nurseries; building supplies;
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other Essential Businesses;
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
- Educational institutions (including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities) for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of 6-feet per person is maintaining to the greatest extent possible;
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, laundry service providers, personal grooming services;
- Restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery, drive thru or carry out;
- Businesses that supply office or computer products needed by people who work from home;
- Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
- Businesses that ship, truck, provide logistical support or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences ,Essential Businesses, Healthcare Operations, Essential Infrastructure;
- Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for activities of daily living and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
- Businesses that provide parts and service for Essential Infrastructure;
- Home-based care for seniors, adults, disabled persons, or children;
- Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, disabled persons, and children;
- Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities, and the permitting, inspection, construction, transfer and recording of ownership, of housing and anything incidental thereto;
- Military/Defense Contractors/FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Centers). For purposes of this Order, essential personnel may leave their residence to provide any service or perform any work deemed essential for national security including, but not limited to defense, intelligence and aerospace development and manufacturing for the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and NASA and other federal government, and or United States Government departments and agencies. Essential personnel include prime, sub-primes, and supplier contractor employees, at both the prime contract level and any supplier levels at any tier, working on federal United States Government contracts such as contracts rated under the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) and contracts for national intelligence and national security requirements.;
(v) Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions: (1) Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day); (2) Children shall not change from one group to another; (3) If more than one group of children is cared for at once facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other; (4) Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.
(w) Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.
- This Order is intended to deter the spread of COVID-19 by preventing people from being in unnecessary close contact. Certain activities are essential to the functioning of the County and the well-being of our residents and must continue.
The limitations on events and gatherings contained in this Order do not apply to the following sites or situations where residents must obtain or participate in governmental or other essential services (those that meet basic human needs): (a) attendance at regular school classes, work at Essential Businesses, or essential governmental services;
(b) places where people are in transit or waiting for transit including airports or bus or train stations or terminals; (c) ; (c) congregate living situations, including dormitories; or (d) hospitals and healthcare facilities.
- This Order does not prohibit use of enclosed spaces where 10 or more people may be present at different times during the day, as long as 10 or more people are not present in the space at the same time.
- This Order does not apply to the following essential infrastructure or operations:
- Healthcare Operations (hospitals, clinics, laboratories, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other licensed healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare service providers, mental health providers, cannabis dispensaries with a medicinal cannabis license, medical or scientific research companies, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers, distributors and servicers of medical devices, diagnostics, and equipment, veterinary care, and all healthcare provided to animals. This exemption shall be broadly construed to avoid any impact to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. Healthcare Operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar exercise or training facilities.
- Essential Infrastructure, including but not limited to, public works construction, construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experience homelessness), airport operations, port operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, road and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), and manufacturing and distribution companies deemed essential as part of the Essential Infrastructure supply chain, provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with social distancing requirements, to the extent practicable.
14This Order does not, in any way, restrict: (a) first responder access to the site(s) named in this Order during an emergency or (b) local, state or federal officers, investigators, or medical or law enforcement personnel from carrying out their lawful duties at the site(s) named in this Order.
15.The entities subject to this Order that are not required to close may otherwise remain open for business and perform essential functions and operations during the duration of this Order.
- The County shall promptly provide copies of this Order by: (a) posting it on the Los Angeles Department of Public Health’s website (publichealth.lacounty.gov), (b) posting it at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration located at 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (c) providing it to any member of the public requesting a copy, (d) issuing a press release to publicize the Order throughout the county, and (e) by serving via email on large facilities known to the County’s Health Officer that are likely to be subject to this Order (but service via email is not required for compliance).
- The owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this Order onsite and to provide a copy to any member of the public requesting a copy.
- Because guidance may change, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is subject to this Order is ordered to consult the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s website (publichealth.lacounty.gov) daily to identify any modifications to the Order and is required to comply with any updates until the Order is terminated.
- If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.
- This Order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference, the March 4, 2020 Proclamation of a State of Emergency issued by Governor Gavin Newsom and the
March 4, 2020 declarations of a local and public health emergency issued by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles County Health Officer, respectively, and as they may be supplemented.
- To protect the public’s health, the Health Officer may take additional action(s) for failure to comply with this Order. Violation of this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both under California Health and Section Code Section 120295 et seq. Further, pursuant to Sections 26602 and 41601 of the California Government Code and Section 101029 of the California Health and Safety Code, the Health Officer requests that the Sheriff and the Chiefs of Police in all cities located in the Los Angeles County Public Health Jurisdiction ensure compliance with and enforcement of this Order.