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March 19, 2020 6:45 PM

LA County Health Officer Issues 'Safer at Home' Order

Order further limits gatherings and orders malls, shopping centers, children's playgrounds, and non-essential retail businesses to close in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Order covers entire County of LA; effective 3/19/2020, 11:59PM.

On Thursday, March 19, the Health Officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Health issued an order to further restrict and limit the gatherings and to require the closure of malls, shopping centers, children’s playgrounds, and non-essential retail business identified in the order. The order replaces the previous order issued March 16 to control and prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is applicable Countywide. This "Safer at Home" Order will be in effect from 11:59 PM March 19 through April 19, 2020.

The order prohibits all indoor public and private gatherings and all outdoor public and private events within a confined space, where at least 10 people are expected to be in attendance at the same time. For events or gatherings of 2-9 people, the event organizer or venue operator must guarantee enforcement of social distancing, provide access to handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer, and post signage restricting members of the public from entry to the venue if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever and cough.

The Order also includes new requirements for all indoor or outdoor malls and shopping centers comprised of seven or more stores and/or businesses. Those shopping centers and malls, including all non-essential businesses located in the mall or shopping center, must be closed. Essential Businesses, as identified in the order, may remain open but must be accessible from outside the mall or shopping center, and indoor access must be blocked. All indoor or outdoor playgrounds, except for those located within a childcare center, and all other non-essential retail businesses must also close.

The Order definition for Essential Businesses, includes, but is not limited to:
• Grocery and convenience stores, pet supply stores, farmers markets, and produce stands that provide food, water, pet food and supplies, and other household and personal care products;
• Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
• Food, shelter and social service businesses serving economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
• Media services;
• Gas stations, and auto supply, repair, and sales facilities;
• Banks, credit unions, and related financial institutions;
• Hardware stores, nurseries; building supplies;
• Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers that provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other Essential Businesses;
• Post offices and mailing and shipping services;
• All levels of educational institutions facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions;
• Laundromats, dry cleaners, laundry service providers, personal grooming services;
• Restaurants and food facilities preparing food for delivery, drive thru or carry out;
• Office or computer products needed by people working from home;
• Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
• Businesses that ship, truck, provide logistical support or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences or essential businesses;
• Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers necessary for activities of daily living and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
• Businesses that provide parts and service for Essential Infrastructure;
• Home-based care for seniors, adults, disabled persons, or children;
• Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, disables person, and children;
• Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
• Military/Defense Contractors;
• Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees to work as permitted by this Order. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions: (1) Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable" means the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day); (2) Children shall not change from one group to another; (3) If more than one group of children is cared for at once facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other; (4) Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.
• Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.

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