Posted: May 26, 2020 | News
On Saturday, May 23rd, Orange County's plan to accelerate local businesses into Stage Two was approved, permitting additional businesses to reopen with adaptations:
- Dine-in restaurants
- Retail shopping with social distancing and curbside pickup
- Offices (when telework is not possible)
- Outdoor museums
- Personal services (limited to car washes, pet groomers, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening)
The County of Orange Press Release can be found here.
The California Department of Public Health requires that all facilities follow these measures before reopening:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan.
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them.
- Implement individual control measures and screenings.
- Implement disinfecting protocols for keeping workstations sanitized.
- Implement physical distancing guidelines for employee and public safety.
As more Orange County businesses reopen, business owners should look to the California state guidance that is most relevant to their businesses. The State offers industry-specific guidance for 20 different industries, including industry-specific checklists which can be found here. Business owners must read the guidance, prepare a plan, and put it into action. Each business must post the applicable industry-specific checklist at its workplace according to the "Orders and Strong Recommendations of the County of Orange Health Officer," which can be found here.
The Orange County Health Officer Orders also require:
1. Self-Isolation of Those With COVID-19. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or who are likely to have COVID-19 (as described in the Order), must isolate at least three days (72 hours) after their fever has resolved without fever-reducing medications, respiratory symptoms have improved, and at least 10 days have elapsed since their symptoms first appeared. People who have had a positive COVID-19 PCR laboratory test without symptoms must isolate themselves for 10 days from the date when the specimen for the positive laboratory test was obtained. Unless the above criteria are met, the individual may not leave the place of isolation except to receive necessary medical care.
2. Self-Quarantine of Those Exposed to COVID-19. Orange County residents who know they've been in close contact (as defined below) with a person diagnosed with, or likely to have COVID-19, shall quarantine themselves in their home or another residence until 14 days from the last date they were in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with, or likely to have COVID-19. They may not leave their place of quarantine except to receive necessary medical care or obtain such other goods or services necessary for their basic subsistence. Close contact refers to any person who has been within six feet of an infectious COVID-19 person for 15 minutes or more. A person who is diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 is considered infectious from 48 hours before his or her symptoms first appeared until the person is no longer required to be isolated. The self-quarantine does not apply the healthcare professionals or law enforcement.
3. Compliance with Posting Requirements. All businesses that are permitted to reopen in Orange County as part of Stage 2 of California's Resilience Roadmap shall comply with posting requirements. Most of the State's industry-specific requirements can be found here. Dine-in restaurants can find the State's applicable requirements here. Posting shall be visible at the entrance of the business and specifically include an attestation by the business owner and/or operator that the business has: (a) performed a detailed risk assessment and implemented a site-specific protection plan; (b) trained employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them; (c) implemented individual control measures and screenings; (d) implemented disinfecting protocols; and (e) implemented physical distancing guidelines.
4. Cloth Face-Coverings. All Orange County residents and visitors must wear a cloth face-covering when in a public place, visiting a retail, commercial or other place of business, or at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or living in the same living unit. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of two or anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistances; persons with a medical or mental condition, or development disability that prevents wearing a cloth face-covering.
The County of Orange will continue to publish updates http://www.ocgov.com and the Orange County Health Care Agency will provide updates https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/. The employment attorneys at Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP are here to assist with additional questions faced by employers who have been affected by COVID-19.
Colleen M. McCarthy, Esq. is a Partner and chairs the Firm’s Employment Practices Group. She has dedicated her practice to representing and protecting employers, with a particular emphasis on risk mitigation through preventative counseling and sound practical advice. For 15 years, Ms. McCarthy has counseled employers about the complicated employment laws that impact their businesses to ensure that they are in compliance, and to reduce the chance of costly litigation. Ms. McCarthy may be reached by phone at (949) 608-6900 or email email@example.com