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Public Policy Newsletter Article

State Returns to County-by-County Health Orders

  • 2021-01-28T16:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Melanie Cohn

Early Monday, the California Department of Public Health announced an end to the state’s regional Stay at Home orders, returning to the county-by-county colored tier system. Most counties will fall into the most restrictive purple tier. Counties must adhere to the state guidelines at minimum and can add more restrictive measures of their own. The new development Monday lifts the order in the Bay Area, Southern California, and San Joaquin Valley regions. It had already been lifted in Sacramento, and Northern California never reached the threshold of intensive care unit capacity falling under 15%.

You can find the most recent status for activities in your county here.

The state is launching My Turn, a website to help residents find out when they can get vaccinated and make appointments. My Turn is currently being piloted in San Diego and Los Angeles counties and is expected to be available statewide in early February.

In the Bay Area, all counties have returned to the purple tier. Each of the counties have announced that they will adhere to the state’s restrictions; some counties have added additional restrictions of their own. Alameda County is allowing small outdoor gatherings with three or fewer households with masks and social distancing required. Contra Costa will allow gatherings of fewer than 25 people from three or fewer households. In addition to her previous statement, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, “members of up to 3 households with a maximum of 12 people total may gather outdoors if social distance can be maintained and no food or drink is being consumed. If food or drink is being consumed, only members from two households of up to 6 people total is allowed.”

In addition, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Marin Counties all noted in their press releases that they will continue to enforce a 10-day quarantine requirement for all travelers from outside the Bay Area.

This article from ABC7 details how each Bay Area County is handling vaccine distribution.

In Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis said Monday the county will align with the state's guidelines, and it will allow outdoor dining at restaurants to resume at 50% of patio occupancy when a new health officer order is enacted Friday.

The county immediately permitted personal care businesses such as barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons to resume indoor services at 25% of capacity. Churches are still restricted to outdoor services only, while outdoor cardrooms and outdoor recreation centers such as mini-golf courses and batting cages can resume at 50% of capacity. Fitness centers will still be restricted to outdoor operations only.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned that if the county begins to see its COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations spike upward again, businesses could be closed again.

For vaccine access in LA County, 65 and older can sign up for an appointment at the county Public Health Department’s website. Residents without computer access can call (833) 540-0473 between 8am and 8:30pm for assistance with reservations. The City of Los Angeles is also offering the vaccine to those 65 or older, through a different online portal. That website connects patients to mass-vaccination sites.

In San Diego County, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Monday the following business can reopen in an outdoor capacity: restaurant dining, gyms, places of worship, museums, zoos and aquariums, camping and outdoor recreation, bars, breweries and distilleries if they serve food, low contact youth sports such as cross country, swimming and diving, golf and track and field, family entertainment centers and movie theaters. Personal care services such as barbershops, hair and nail salons, and tattoo shops can operate indoors with proper measures in place.

Grocery stores can operate at 50% capacity, retail at 25%, and live sports can continue as long as fans aren’t in attendance. Amusement parks will remain closed.

In addition to its Petco Park vaccination site, the county opened another “superstation” on Thursday in Chula Vista. Currently eligible are front line health care workers and those age 65 and over. More information about the county’s vaccination program can be seen and reservations made at www.vaccinationsuperstationsd.com.