aerial view of a beach in California

Orange County, California: What’s Open and Where Can You Go?

During his daily CoronaVirus update this Tuesday, California Governer Gavin Newsom loosened quarantine restrictions on dine-in businesses with the following guidelines

“Dine-in restaurants, brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, and wineries that provide sit-down meals should follow the restaurant guidance below and should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.”

These guidelines go on to specify that establishments should follow a set of strict cleaning protocols, adhere to social distancing, and display the rules to customers. 

“Display a set of clearly visible rules for customers and restaurant personnel at the restaurant entrance(s) that are to be a condition of entry. The rules could include instructions to use hand sanitizer, maintain physical distance from other customers, avoid unnecessary touching of restaurant surfaces, contact information for the local health department, and changes to restaurant services. Whenever possible, the rules should be available digitally, include pictograms, and included on/with menus.”

Office buildings have also been approved for reopening so long as employees are screened for entry and maintain social distance in common areas. 

On Friday, retail and manufacturing businesses that followed public health guidelines were given the approval to resume their usual proceedings. Such businesses include bookstores, clothing stores, florists, music stores, toy stores, and sporting goods stores, wherein the risk for possible viral transmission is significantly low. However, the Friday announcement did not approve locations such as offices, schools, shopping malls, or dine-in restaurants. 

Many dine-in restaurants have transitioned to curbside pick-ups in order to stay afloat, but this mandated closure has dealt a toll on these businesses financially. 

To clarify, the public health guidelines necessary for reopening these businesses consist of social distancing (standing 6ft apart) and accomodating employees with necessary Personal Protective Equipment. According to Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services, this also entails carrying proper sanitation materials for workers who conduct deliveries and operate in warehouses. 

Newsom explained on May 11th that Phase 3, the process of opening such businesses as salons, gyms, and theaters, would be imminent following the completion of Phase 2.

“Phase 3 is not a year away. It’s not 6 months away. It’s not even three months away. It may not even be more than a month away,” Newsom said, as reported by abc7. “We just want to make sure we have a protocol in place to secure customer safety, employee safety and allow the businesses to thrive in a way that is sustainable.”