Governor Newsom Relaxes California Guidelines for Business Reopening
Governor Newsom Relaxes California Guidelines for Business Reopening

On Monday, May 18, 2020, Governor Gavin Newson announced relaxed state guidelines for Phase 2 reopening of dine-in restaurants, offices, outdoor museums, shopping centers and malls. The relaxed guidelines would permit 53 of California’s 58 counties to move into Phase 2 reopening. However, with its higher infection and death rate, it is not expected that Los Angeles County will be ready for Phase 2 in the immediate future. 

Instead of the prior guideline of having no deaths within the last 14 days, under the new state guidelines, COVID-19 hospitalizations cannot increase more than 5% over a seven-day period, or no more than 20 COVID-19 hospitalizations can occur per day over a 14-day period. Further, no more than 25 individuals per 100,00 residents can be diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or no more than 8% of residents can test positive for COVID-19. Counties would still have to attest they have testing capacity of at least 1.5 tests per 1000 people per day, and 15 trained contact tracers per 100,000 residents. Counties would also need to attest that they can protect their essential workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) and that hospitals have sufficient surge capacity. Counties must also show they can reinstate stricter rules if the metrics show this is necessary.

Local governments can reopen more businesses than the state currently allows by declaring COVID-19 is either non-existent or limited in their area, and they are prepared for a surge in the rate of infection.

The guidelines that dine-in restaurants, offices, outdoor museums, shopping centers and malls must follow when they are permitted to reopen in the county in which they are located are set forth in our recent blog.

The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Joanne Warriner.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2020. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.

Tags: COVID-19


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