Health Orders Remain in Effect
On Monday, May 4, health authorities in the nine-county region that includes Alameda loosened restrictions on construction as well as some outdoor activities and businesses. They announced that the state of California was planning to allow some retailers to reopen with curbside pickup and physical distancing. The state was also allowing any manufacturing and supply chains for those businesses to open. These orders do not permit curbside pickup for all non-essential, brick-and-mortar businesses.
California is continuing to allow restaurants to operate because authorities consider restaurants that “prepare or serve food only for take-out or delivery” essential businesses.
The Bay Area Nine-County order allowed for the following businesses to open:
- Construction projects that follow the Construction Project Safety Protocols authorities have outlined.
- Real estate transactions with restrictions on open houses and tours
- Childcare, camps, as well as educational and recreational programs that provide care for children of those who are allowed to work outside their homes
- Outdoor businesses like nurseries, landscaping and agriculture that normally operated outdoors prior to the shelter in place orders
- Outdoor recreational facilities, such as skate parks and athletic fields. Golf courses are permitted under local orders but remain prohibited under state orders.
On Thursday, May 7, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued orders that spelled out the state of California’s expectations for more nonessential businesses to begin to reopen in a limited capacity. This does not mean that the state is allowing all businesses to open. When Newsom’s office does allow all non-essential businesses to reopen, a stricter decision at a local level to keep some of these businesses shuttered would take precedence.
Authorities are requiring “all persons entering any business” wear face coverings.
On Tuesday, May 12, as the Alameda Sun was going to press Newsom allowed offices in the state that can’t telework to reopen with health safety modifications. He was also allowing shopping malls and outlets to offer curbside pickup.
Newsom reminded Californians that “it’s still up to local governments to determine whether they’re ready to move further into the next step.” Health authorities in the nine-county Bay Area region stated that they could amend any health order issued by the state into a stricter one that would not significantly increase illness and death or overwhelm healthcare delivery systems. This would include the order to reopen businesses.
“This global pandemic of COVID-19 is still in its early stages,” stated Alameda County Health Care Services Agency authorities in a press release. “The virus spreads easily. If we move too fast to ease restrictions, the potential of exponential spread could have grave impacts to health and wellness of our residents as well as the economy.”