Two weeks after leading California and the country with the first shelter-in-place orders in response to the coronavirus, the San Francisco Bay Area once again stepped forward to help manage the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 31, 2020, six counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara – and the City of Berkeley issued new Public Health Orders that limit the activities categorized as Essential Business and also impose work practice and notification requirements on Essential Businesses.
Each order acknowledges that the local jurisdiction is imposing "more stringent restrictions ... and additional restrictions ... not covered by the State Shelter Order." Each order also puts the public, businesses and the state on notice that 1) "the most restrictive provision controls" where a conflict exists between the local order and the state order, and 2) the more restrictive local provision applies until and unless the State Public Health Officer expressly finds that a local provision "constitutes a menace to public health" in accordance with California Health and Safety Code Section 131080. Under Section 131080, the State Public Health Officer "shall control and regulate" the activities of local health authorities "when in its judgment the public health is menaced."
A couple of key provisions that distinguish the March 31, 2020, Bay Area Orders from the State Order include further restrictions in the Construction category for Essential Business and the requirement that Essential Businesses to have prepared and posted a "Social Distancing Protocol" in accordance with the Order by April 3, 2020, as well as provided a copy to each employee working at the facility.
Only the following types of construction are now considered essential under the new Bay Area Orders:
Information for coronavirus response and related shelter orders from individual California counties are available on the California COVID-19 Response website. The March 31, 2020, Bay Area Orders can be found below:
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