The Sacramento County Public Health Officer has issued a new Public Health Order effective at 11:59 p.m., April 7, and will be in effect until 11:59 p.m., May 1, 2020.
The Public Health Order reinforces the direction for all individuals to stay home and extends the terms of the order to increase social distancing and reducing person-to-person contact to further slow transmission of COVID-19.
The new Public Health Order has further clarifications and limitations than the previous Order. Those include:
- Requiring essential businesses to implement social distancing protocols
- Restricting access to recreation facilities
- Clarifying essential activities and essential travel
- Clarifying and limiting essential business activities
- Directing all businesses and government agencies to cease non-essential operations at physical locations in the County
- Prohibiting all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals
- Continuing to exempt individuals experiencing homelessness from the order but urging them to find shelter and government agencies to provide it
“This new Public Health Order has additional clarification and directives, but the main point remains clear: people in Sacramento County must keep social distancing to the max,” said Dr. Peter Beilenson, Director of Health Services. “The single most important thing everyone can do to beat this is to stay home.”
Essential businesses must implement social distancing protocols
All essential businesses shall prepare a “Social Distancing Protocol” for their facilities. Public health provided a Social Distancing Protocol form as Appendix A to the Public Health Order. A copy of the protocol must be provided to each employee performing work at the facility and businesses must provide evidence of its implementation to any authority enforcing the Order.
Restricting access to recreation facilities
Residents may leave their home to engage in outdoor recreation activity including, walking, hiking, biking, running and other activities. However, outdoor recreation activity must be done in accordance with any adopted restrictions. The new Order now restricts outdoor recreation activity at facilities that encourage gathering and are outside of residences, such as playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, barbecue areas, tennis and pickle ball courts, rock parks, climbing walls, pools, spas, shooting and archery ranges, gyms, disc golf and basketball courts and must be closed to public access.
Clarifying essential activities and essential travel
The Order further clarifies additional essential activities, including attending a funeral with no more than 10 individuals present and to move residences, but only if it is not possible to defer an already planned move, if the move is necessitated by safety, sanitation or habitability reason, or if the move is necessary to preserve access to shelter.
The Order further clarifies essential travel and has added the following:
- Travel to manage after-death arrangements and burial
- Travel to arrange for shelter or avoid homelessness
- Travel to avoid domestic violence or child abuse
- Travel for parental custody arrangements
Clarifying and limiting essential business activities
The Order added the following to essential business activities:
- Establishments that sell multiple categories of products provided that they sell essential products identified in 12. G. ii. of the Order, such as liquor stores that also sell food
- Service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases and home sales) including but not limited to real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries and title companies, provided that the services carried out comply with Social Distancing Requirements to the extent possible
- Funeral home providers, mortuaries, cemeteries and crematoriums
- Children of owners, employees, volunteers and contractors who do not own, work or volunteer for or contract with essential businesses or essential government functions may not attend childcare facilities.
All businesses and government agencies to cease non-essential operations at physical locations in the County
All businesses with a facility in the County, except essential businesses, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County except Minimum Basic Operations. All businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of owners, employees, volunteers, or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home).
All essential businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open, but those businesses must maximize the number of employees who work from home. Essential Businesses may only assign those employees who cannot perform their job duties from home to work outside the home. Essential businesses that include non-essential components at their facilities must, to the extent feasible, scale down their operations to the Essential Business components only.
Prohibiting all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals
The previous Order allowed for private gatherings of not more than six nonrelatives in a home or place of residence, provided participants practice Social Distancing requirements. The new Order prohibits all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals.
Exempting individuals experiencing homelessness from the Order but urging them to find shelter and government agencies to provide it
Government agencies and other entities operating shelters and other facilities that house, provide meals or other necessities of life for people experiencing homelessness must take appropriate steps to comply with Social Distancing requirements.
Individuals experiencing homelessness who are unsheltered and living in encampments should abide by 12 foot by 12 foot distancing for the placement of tents, and government agencies should provide restroom and hand-washing facilities for individuals in such encampments based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidance Responding to COVID-19 Among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness.
For more information about the new Public Health Order, residents and businesses can call Public Health at (916) 875-4756 and Press 4.
For more information, visit Sacramento County’s COVID-19 webpage.