Sacramento County Health Officer Extends Stay at Home Order through May 1, 2020; Additional Clarifications for Essential Businesses

Public Agency  

April 8, 2020

Downey Brand COVID-19 News and Updates

On April 7, 2020, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, issued a new Public Health Order (“Order”) extending the requirement that County residents stay at home during the ongoing Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) public health emergency. The Order incorporates Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20 and extends the County’s March 19, 2020 order to limit activity, travel, and business functions to only core essential needs. The Order directs all individuals in Sacramento County to remain at home to increase social distancing and minimize person-to-person contact to help slow the transmission rate of COVID-19. The new Order expires at 11:59 on May 1, 2020 and contains additional clarifications and restrictions on business, travel, and activities occurring within the County.

Essential Businesses

The Order continues to encourage all essential businesses to remain open while maximizing the number of employees who work from home. The list of essential businesses is expanded to include service providers that enable residential rentals, leases, and sales, as well as funeral home providers, mortuaries, cemeteries and crematoriums. To the extent that essential businesses include non-essential components or functions, they must scale down to only essential functions where feasible. Childcare facilities are limited to caring for the children of owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors of essential businesses or essential government functions.

All essential businesses are also now required to implement and post a social distancing protocol at each operational facility that explains how the business is achieving social distancing in conformance with criteria set forth by the County. The protocol includes required signage and measures that protect employee health, prevent the gathering of crowds, increases sanitation, and ensures proper social distancing is employed.

For additional information about essential businesses whose activities are covered by stay-home exceptions, see our previous announcement here.

Essential Travel and Activities

Essential travel now includes travel to manage after-death and funeral arrangements, travel for parental custody arrangements, and any travel necessary to avoid homelessness, domestic violence, or child abuse. Essential activities now include attendance at a funeral with no more than 10 individuals present and moving to a new residence where deferral to a later date is not feasible.

The Order still allows individuals to engage in outdoor recreation activity such as walking, hiking, biking, running, and horseback riding, in compliance with social distancing requirements. Parks generally remain open, with the exception of a temporary closure from April 11-12 to discourage gatherings over the Easter weekend (by separate order), though facilities and outdoor features that encourage public gatherings such as playground equipment, tennis courts, pools, picnic areas, etc. will be closed to public access by signage or physical barriers.

Prohibited Gatherings

Unlike the March 19 order which allowed private gatherings of up to six nonrelatives in a place of residence, the new Order prohibits all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals whether in a home or elsewhere, though nothing in the Order prohibits members of a single household or living unit from continuing to engage in essential travel or essential activities together.

Downey Brand attorneys continue to track these fast-moving changes, and will be available to assist as you adapt your operations to this new environment. Please feel free to reach out to the Downey Brand attorney you regularly work with, or to any of the attorneys throughout our Firm.