Prepping for Summer Gatherings

Download pdf

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

KEEPING INFORMED

In August 2020, the State of California released the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (“Blueprint”) to permit the gradual reopening of certain businesses and activities. As part of the Blueprint, every county is assigned to a tier each week based on its positivity and case rates. Since August 2020, the Blueprint has governed what businesses and activities can reopen and what restrictions must be followed in order to reopen.

However, in April of this year, Governor Newsom announced expanded gathering and private event guidelines and that California is looking to move beyond the Blueprint. On June 15, 2021, tentatively, it is anticipated that all industries across California will be permitted to return to usual operations with common-sense risk reduction measures such as masking, increased cleaning and vaccinations. Local counties and cities may choose to impose additional or more restrictive requirements.

This announcement certainly appears to be the light at the end of the tunnel that we’ve all been waiting for. However, if this last year has taught us anything it is just how quickly things can change. Something that is permitted one day can be prohibited the next without any warning. Therefore, while it might seem impossible to keep up to date with the ever-changing restrictions and guidelines, it is imperative for associations to do so. Associations must take steps to fight “pandemic fatigue” and remain vigilant and informed regarding government guidelines and mandates pertaining to reopening and gathering during COVID-19.

Boards and association managers should routinely check state and any local restrictions and guidance, even as California moves beyond the Blueprint. Boards should rely on association experts, such as management and legal counsel, to advise regarding what activities are and are not permitted and how to reopen permitted common area facilities or hold permissible gatherings in compliance with government guidelines and mandates.

POTENTIAL LIABILITY AND INSURANCE

While everyone is eager to get back to a sense of normalcy, failing to follow guidelines issued by government authorities or take common-sense precautions could make it very challenging to demonstrate an association acted reasonably in its duty to exercise care in governing the common areas under its control and could expose the association to liability. If following guidelines in a meaningful manner is not feasible for an association (including following cleaning protocols, ventilation requirements, and capacity restrictions), then the reasonable action may be to leave common area facilities closed until such measures can be complied with.

One potential source of liability community associations could face are claims by residents or guests who contract COVID-19 and allege that the community association failed to exercise reasonable care in guarding against, or warning of, the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Such a claim would likely be based on the fact that community associations have a duty to exercise due care for the safety of residents and guests in those areas under the association’s control (Frances T. v. Village Green Owners Ass’n. (1986) 42 Cal.3d 490). A person making such a claim may ultimately have a difficult time proving they caught COVID-19 at the association’s facilities and not, for example, the grocery store they recently visited. Nevertheless, any such claims brought against a community association should immediately be tendered to the association’s insurance companies under the general liability, directors & officers, and any umbrella policies.

Unfortunately, not many, if any, community association insurance policies provide coverage for claims related to sickness or bodily injury caused by COVID-19. However, even if a community association’s policies contain these exclusions, the insurance company may have a duty to provide a defense for the association against any lawsuit filed, while reserving the right to not pay any uncovered claims. Boards should review their association’s insurance policies with the association’s insurance expert to understand levels of coverage, any exclusions, and what is considered a covered claim in the association’s specific policies.

NEXT STEPS AND CLEAR COMMUNICATION WITH RESIDENTS

Before reopening any common area facility or amenity, associations should consider consulting with its facility experts (janitorial, engineering, plumbing) to prepare facilities that have been shut down or inactive for prolonged periods for reopening. Boards should also discuss whether amending operating rules for the use of these areas is needed to ensure compliance with the various government restrictions and guidance. Consider whether a reservation system is necessary to manage capacity limits or ensure proper social distancing is maintained at reopened facilities or permitted gatherings. Discuss with association legal counsel whether residents can be asked to sign a waiver to use common area facilities permitted to reopen or if vaccine or testing verification can be requested to attend association gatherings or private events. Remember, failing to have and follow proper protocols could expose the association to liability.

Residents are understandably eager to use the common area facilities and socialize with the community at association events again. Frustrations are likely at an all-time high. That’s why clear communication with residents is key in these uncertain times. Associations should aim to provide residents with updates regarding the status of common area facilities and events and issue clear rules and expectations for holding or attending those activities when they are permitted to return. Staying up to date on the state’s guidance and mandates and how those impact association activities and facilities will allow boards and management to develop timely and informed plans and protocols that can easily be communicated to the community.

Everyone is looking forward to getting back to a time where clubhouses, social gatherings and community events are permitted free of restrictions, and California seems to be taking a step in that direction. However, it is reasonable to anticipate that this may merely be a small step on a much longer road back to “normal.” Associations and residents should expect certain restrictions and common-sense measures to continue to be required at common area facilities and association gatherings and private events for the foreseeable future in what might be our “new normal.”

 

This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 Issue of The Law Journal by by the California Association of Community Managers (CACM).

CDPH Advises Vaccinated Individuals to Wear Face Covering Indoors

On July 28, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued updated face covering guidance in light of the most recent CDC recommendations.

It is now recommended that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in indoor public settings throughout California. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks in indoor public settings.

What remains to be seen is if individual counties will convert the State’s mask recommendation into mandates. Currently, Los Angeles County requires masks in all indoor settings within the county and San Diego County issued its own recommendation that all individuals resume wearing masks indoors in public settings. Other counties may soon follow with specific guidance or mandates concerning wearing masks within those counties. Associations should continue to monitor whether their specific county has issued updated guidance concerning face masks or other COVID-19 related guidance.

If your association has questions concerning use of face masks within the community in light of the State’s updated guidance, please contact your association’s legal counsel.

*Above map reflects current transmission risk by county as of today, July 28, 2021. Source: CDC.

New Face Covering Guidelines Go Into Effect on June 15, 2021

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

On June 9, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued updated Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings for the general public.

Until June 15, the following face covering guidance remains in effect:

  • For fully vaccinated persons, face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  • For unvaccinated persons, face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, including when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  • In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status, unless an individual is exempt from wearing a face covering.

In the workplace, employers subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), must ensure that all workers are provided and properly wear face coverings as required by the ETS.

On June 15, the following face covering guidance will go into effect:

Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in the following settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation).
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare and other youth settings.
  • Note: This may change as updated K-12 schools guidance is forthcoming, pending updates for K-12 operational guidance from the CDC.
  • Healthcare settings (including long term care facilities).
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers.
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers.

Additionally, masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).
In settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to:

  • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
  • Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • Require all patrons to wear masks.

Please note, no person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business. In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard, and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.
Exemptions to masks requirements:
The following specific settings are exempt from face covering requirements:

  • Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household,
  • Persons who are working alone in a closed office or room,
  • Persons who are obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service,
  • Workers who wear respiratory protection, or
  • Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

California is Planning to Reopen on June 15, 2021

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

It is the announcement we have all been waiting for. On June 15, California will move Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Meaning, most community association activities and facilities will be permitted to return to usual, pre-pandemic operations under the State’s guidance and the State’s purple, red, orange and yellow tiers will be eliminated.

Beginning June 15, California will no longer impose capacity limitations, physical distancing requirements or vaccine verification/negative testing in indoor and outdoor settings, with an exception for “mega events.” Mega events are events that bring together large crowds of greater than 5,000 (indoors) and 10,000 (outdoors) attendees. Vaccine verification/negative testing will continue to be required for indoor mega events and recommended for outdoor mega events.

As far as face coverings, now and beyond June 15, all individuals and businesses must continue to follow the California Department of Public Health face covering guidance. It is anticipated that California will update its face covering guidance to generally align with the CDC’s guidance regarding face coverings on or around June 15. Therefore, it is important to check the State’s face covering guidance for updates.

It is also important to note that counties and cities are allowed to impose COVID-19 requirements that are more restrictive than the State’s guidelines. Therefore, community association boards should confirm whether there are any requirements or orders issued by the county or city related to common area reopening’s before making decisions regarding how to proceed.

While very limited measures will remain, community associations may be able to see life getting back to a pre-pandemic normal beginning June 15.

Conducting Board Meetings in a Post-Pandemic World

By Rhonda R. Adato, Esq.

Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency in California as a result of the threat of COVID-19 on March 4, 2020. Much has happened since then, but we thankfully seem to be approaching the end of the pandemic. California officials reported one hundred thirty confirmed cases in California per 100k of COVID-19 on May 24, 2021, down from a peak of twenty-eight thousand, five hundred fifty confirmed cases in California per 100k on January 9, 2021 (https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/).  The State also reported that as of May 26, 2021, 49.7% of California’s population has been fully vaccinated, with over six million available doses on hand (https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccination-progress-data/).

Public health restrictions are loosening as a result of these heartening statistics. The State announced that it will lift capacity and distancing restrictions for most businesses and activities on June 15, 2021 (https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/).

As California reopens, community associations are left to navigate the transition once again. This brings to mind one question in particular: are community associations required to resume in-person board meetings? Or can they continue to meet remotely?

Many associations transitioned to remote board meetings during the pandemic, for good reason. Federal, State and local public health authorities either prohibited or strongly recommended against gatherings. Community associations were understandably concerned about the potential liability associated with someone contracting COVID-19 at a board meeting. Remote meetings, supported by a number of different platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and more, also offered a number of conveniences. Participants were able to log in from the safety of their own homes. Disruptive members could be muted or removed. Just as many people discovered the benefits of working from home during the pandemic, many associations similarly discovered the benefits of remote board meetings, and would like to keep to that routine.

The Open Meeting Act (“Act”) does not address this specific issue, mainly because the Act was not drafted with the pandemic in mind. The Act contemplates in-person meetings. For example, Civil Code section 4925(a) states “[a]ny member may attend board meetings, except when the board adjourns to” or meets solely in executive session. While the Act authorizes teleconference meetings, it still requires an association to provide a physical location where a member can observe the proceedings. Specifically, Civil Code section 4090(b) states that any notice of an open, teleconference board meeting must “identify at least one physical location so that members of the association may attend, and at least one director or a person designated by the board shall be present at that location. Participation by directors in a teleconference meeting constitutes presence at that meeting as long as all directors participating are able to hear one another, as well as members of the association speaking on matters before the board.”

For the time being, associations should aim to comply with current public health regulations regarding gatherings. Until June 15, 2021, the State’s tier system is still in place, which prescribes guidance regarding gatherings depending on the COVID-19 statistics within specific counties. Local jurisdictions may also impose stricter regulations with respect to gatherings.

However, once the State reopens on June 15, 2021, and the pandemic continues to (hopefully) abate, it will likely become more difficult for associations to justify noncompliance with the Act. Associations may continue to meet remotely, over teleconference, but will likely need to designate a physical location per Civil Code section 4090. Associations should make sure to comply with any applicable COVID-19 restrictions when either hosting an in-person board meeting or offering members a physical location to observe a board meeting per Civil Code section 4090.

As we grapple with these questions, a solution might thankfully be coming down the pike. California State Senator Dave Min recently introduced Senate Bill 391, which, if chaptered, would add section 5450 to the Civil Code. Proposed Section 5450(b) would allow a board meeting to be conducted entirely by teleconference, without any physical location for the attendance of any director or member, as long as certain conditions are satisfied. Section 5450 would apply in the event of a state of emergency proclaimed by the State Governor under Government Code section 8625. This would allow associations to avoid the strictures of Civil Code section 4090 as long as a state of emergency is declared in California. This would, in turn, give community associations a little more time to transition to life after the pandemic.

Of course, it would be useful if the legislature passed legislation authorizing associations to conduct entirely remote board meetings at any time, whether or not a state of emergency exists. That would be one step forward in ushering the community association world into the digital age. One can only dream!

Please contact us or your community association counsel for any specific advice on this topic.

California Mask Mandate Remains in Place until June 15th

The State recently announced that its existing mask guidance would remain in place until, at least, June 15.  Under the State’s order, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must continue to wear face coverings when in all indoor settings outside of their home unless exempt from wearing face coverings in accordance with the guidance. Vaccinated individuals also continue to be required to wear face coverings outdoors when in a crowd.

The CDC recently announced that individuals who are vaccinated can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Therefore, community associations must continue to comply with the State’s existing mask guidance consistent with both the State and CDC guidance.

Southern California Tier Assignments as of May 18, 2021

 

As of May 18, 2021, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties:

  • San Diego County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Riverside County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • San Bernardino County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Los Angeles County: Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)
  • Orange County: Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)
  • Imperial County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Kern County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
In accordance with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, tier status goes into effect the Wednesday following each weekly tier assignment announcement on Tuesdays, unless otherwise directed by the State.

 

As a reminder, the tiers are:

  • Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • Tier 2 – Substantial (red)
  • Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)
See below and refer to the State’s website for more information on the status of activities open in each county.
For information regarding the tier assigned to your county visit the California COVID-19 Blueprint for A Safer-Economy webpage.

 

***

 

The State guidelines on the various sectors are as follows:

 

VENTILATION FOR INDOOR OPERATIONS

All businesses permitted to operate indoors based the State’s tiers must follow the California Department of Public Health’s interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality. 

POOLS

Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Indoor saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.

GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):
In all Tiers: Personal training between a total of one person and one trainer at a time per premises is allowed. Associations must follow the applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Limited Services when providing one-on-one personal fitness training.

LIBRARIES

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange) & Minimal (yellow):

MOVIE THEATERS

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

In all Tiers:

RESTAURANTS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
  • Restaurants may open indoor with modifications. Indoor capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Dine-In Restaurants.
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries (where meals are not served) outdoor only with reservations, seating, 90-minute time limit and limited hours of operation.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

HAIR SALONS

In all Tiers:

PRIVATE EVENTS & MEETINGS

 Widespread (purple):

Substantial (red):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 50 people, or 200 if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 100 people.
  • Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Private Venues and Events.

Moderate (orange):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 100 people, or 300 if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 150 people.
  • Associations must follow applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Private Venues and Events.

Minimal (yellow):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 200 people, or 400 if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 200 people.
  • Associations must follow applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Private Venues and Events.

 

PRIVATE GATHERINGS

 Widespread (purple):

Substantial (red):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 25 people
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).  Attendance limited to 25% capacity and up to 3 households or 10 people.
  • Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Guidance for Gatherings.

Moderate (orange):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 50 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).  Attendance limited to 25% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Associations must follow applicable provisions of the State’s Guidance for Gatherings.

Minimal (yellow):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 100 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).  Attendance limited to 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Associations must follow applicable provisions of the State’s Guidance for Gatherings.

Association Functions… Private Event or Private Gathering? That is the Question!

Requirements for Private Events
Testing and Vaccine Verification
Attendance Limits for Private Events and Private Gatherings

 

On April 15, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued an updated plan for Californians to gather outside their households. Such functions fall into one of two categories: 1) Private Events or 2) Private Gatherings.

This is exciting news but requires associations to familiarize themselves with whether a specific function constitutes a private event or a private gathering, as each requires compliance with a different set of rules and requirements.

      • Private Events: A private event is defined as meetings, receptions and conferences. Private events must have a defined guest list and the ability to assign seating for guests. Testing and vaccine verification requirements are required for all indoor private events and may be used to increase attendance limits for outdoor private events.
      • Private Gathering: A private gathering is defined as social situation that brings together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place. According to the State, private gatherings are social, informal gatherings with no defined guest list. There are no testing or vaccine verification requirements for private gatherings.

Based on the definitions and characteristics provided by the State for private events and private gatherings, it appears reasonable to construe association organized or sanctioned functions as private events. This means, for most association functions, your association will be required to comply with the guidance and requirements for Private Events. This includes any board meeting, association committee or club meeting, member meeting, town hall meeting, or events organized or sponsored by the association. A private gathering would encompass situations in which residents or other members of the community choose to informally gathering in areas around the community.

Requirements for Private Events

Private events must follow the Private Venues and Events guidance which requires:

    • A defined guest list
    • Assigned seating
    • Use of face coverings unless actively eating and/or drinking
    • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet between people from different households unless people are fully vaccinated
    • Testing and vaccination verification for indoor private events and outdoor private events with increased attendance
    • Cleaning and disinfecting protocols including the disinfecting of any microphones or equipment used
    • No intermingling of multiple private events
    • COVID-19 testing program for weekly optional testing for employees working at a private event
    • Live entertainment is permitted at private events but must follow all relevant guidance for Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances Guidance or Indoor Seated Live Events and Performances.

In order to accomplish these requirements attendees will need to be “checked-in” at any private event. For many association meetings the defined guest list is going to be the membership list, or the committee/club roster. In addition, associations might consider implementing a reservation system for meetings to ensure attendance limits are maintained.  At any private event the association must also have assigned seating. One way this may be imposed is by numbering seats prior to the meeting or event and assigning each attendee a number when they sign in corresponding to their assigned seat. For any indoor private event, and those outdoor private events using increased capacities, the association must verify each attendee is fully vaccinated or has tested negative for COVID-19. Acceptable forms of proof of vaccine and negative tests is discussed further below.

Associations must also follow the California Department of Public Health’s interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality for all indoor operations.

Testing and Vaccine Verification

A person is considered fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or at least 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (i.e., Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen). Acceptable proof of full vaccination is a vaccination card (which includes the name of the person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR a photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device OR documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider.

      • A person may also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Testing must be conducted with 72 hours before the start of an event, if the person received a PCR test. Antigen test (or rapid tests) are also acceptable if conducted within 24 hours of the start of an event. Results must be available prior to entry into the event. Acceptable proof of a negative COVID-19 test may be a printed document (from the test provider or laboratory) OR an email or text message displayed on a phone or electronic device from the test provider or laboratory. The information provided should include name of person tested, type of test performed, and date of negative test result (again, for PCR, date of negative result must be within prior 72 hours; for antigen, date of negative result must be within prior 24 hours).

The testing option allows persons who are not able to receive a vaccine or who choose not to do so to attend events by providing valid proof of a timely negative COVID-19 test, as set forth above.

Attendance Limits for Private Events and Private Gatherings

For the foreseeable future, attendance limits for private events and private gatherings will continue to be governed by a county’s assigned tier in the California COVID-19 Blueprint for A Safer-Economy.

PRIVATE EVENTS:
Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor: Maximum of 25 people, but if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination, attendance goes up to 100 people.
  • Indoor: Not permitted.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor: Maximum of 50 people, or 200 if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 100 people.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor: Maximum of 100 people, or 300 if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 150 people.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor: Maximum of 200 people, or 400 if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all attendees are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 200 people.
PRIVATE GATHERINGS:
Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor: Maximum of 3 households.
  • Indoor: Not permitted.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor: Maximum 25 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).  Attendance limited to 25% capacity and up to 3 households or 10 people.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor: Maximum 50 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).  Attendance limited to 25% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor: Maximum 100 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).  Attendance limited to 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer.

Epsten, APC Coronavirus Update – April 6, 2021

San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties
Move to Less Restrictive Orange Tier

As of April 6, 2021, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties:

  • San Diego County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – Effective April 7th
  • Riverside County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – Effective April 7th
  • San Bernardino County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – Effective April 7th
  • Los Angeles County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – No Change
  • Orange County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – No Change
  • Imperial County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – Effective April 7th
  • Kern County: Tier 2, Substantial (red) – No Change
As most of us recall, every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its positivity rate, adjusted case rate, and health equity metric. Counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving to a less restrictive tier. Counties must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks to move to a less restrictive tier. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Read more about tier assignment rules.
In accordance with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, tier status goes into effect the Wednesday following each weekly tier assignment announcement on Tuesdays, unless otherwise directed by the State.

 

As a reminder, the tiers are:

  • Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • Tier 2 – Substantial (red)
  • Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)
Permitted services and activities may resume with required modifications according to your county’s assigned tier and subject to any additional restrictions required by local jurisdictions.
See below and refer to the State’s website for more information on the status of activities open in each county.
For information regarding the tier assigned to your county visit the California COVID-19 Blueprint for A Safer-Economy webpage.
***

The State guidelines on the various sectors are as follows:

VENTILATION FOR INDOOR OPERATIONS

All businesses permitted to operate indoors based the State’s tiers must follow the California Department of Public Health’s interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality. 

POOLS

Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Indoor saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.

GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):
In all Tiers: Personal training between a total of one person and one trainer at a time per premises is allowed. Associations must follow the applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Limited Services when providing one-on-one personal fitness training.

LIBRARIES

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange) & Minimal (yellow):

MOVIE THEATERS

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

In all Tiers:

RESTAURANTS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
  • Restaurants may open indoor with modifications. Indoor capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Dine-In Restaurants.
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries (where meals are not served) outdoor only with reservations, seating, 90-minute time limit and limited hours of operation.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

HAIR SALONS

In all Tiers:

OUTDOOR LIVE SEATED EVENTS & PERFORMANCES

All outdoor live events and performances must comply with the State’s Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances Guidance. A permissible outdoor venue for live audience performances must either be a permanent and fixed facility, focused around a stage round, field court, or other central area designed primarily for viewing entertainment or athletics by an audience OR a defined and demarcated outdoor area.
If your association has a permissible outdoor venue, please consult with your association’s legal counsel regarding the various restrictions and capacity limitations based on your county’s tier assignment.

Beginning April 15th – More Indoor & Outdoor Gatherings and Private Events Will be Allowed with Restrictions

(MORE INFORMATION TO COME)

On April 2, the California Department of Public Health announced updates that will loosen COVID-19 restrictions on both outdoor and indoor gatherings and private events and meetings such as receptions and conferences. The updates will take effect beginning April 15 and will depend on each county’s respective tier assignment.

The State has not yet released detailed guidance on what modifications are required in order to hold permissible gatherings or private events. It is anticipated that such guidance will be released prior to April 15. Associations will be required to comply with all applicable guidance issued by the State and any local authorities before permitting or conducting any gatherings and private events in accordance with its county’s tier level.

Until such guidance is released, associations should review the State’s Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration and Air Quality in Indoor Environments to begin preparing for reopening facilities. All businesses and activities permitted to operate indoors must follow this guidance. Associations should also consider consulting with its other experts (janitorial, engineering, plumbing) in anticipation of the possibility of reopening facilities that have been shut down and inactive for prolonged periods.

GATHERINGS
social, informal gatherings with no defined guest list
or testing or vaccination verification requirements

Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor: Maximum of 3 households.
  • Indoor: Not permitted.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor: Maximum 25 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).
  • Capacity limited to 25% and up to 3 households or 10 people.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor: Maximum 50 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).
  • Capacity limited to 25% or 25 people, whichever is fewer.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor: Maximum 100 people.
  • Indoor: Strongly discouraged, but allowed with modifications (no food/drink except when following the standards in guidance).
  • Capacity limited to 50% or 50 people, whichever is fewer.

PRIVATE EVENTS
meetings/receptions/conferences

 

Mandatory in all tiers: defined guest list, seating chart/assigned seating, testing and vaccination verification can increase capacity limits, no intermingling of multiple private events.

Widespread (purple):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 25 people, but if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination, capacity goes up to 100 people.
  • Indoor: Not permitted.

Substantial (red):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 50 people, or 200 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 100 people.

Moderate (orange):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 100 people, or 300 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 150 people.

Minimal (yellow):

  • Outdoor: Maximum of 200 people, or 400 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination.
  • Indoor: Permitted if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination and no more than 200 people.

Epsten, APC Coronavirus Update – March 31, 2021

Los Angeles, Orange & Kern Counties

Move to Less Restrictive Tiers

As of March 30, 2021, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties:

  • San Diego County: Tier 2, Substantial (red) – No Change
  • Riverside County: Tier 2, Substantial (red) – No Change
  • San Bernardino County: Tier 2, Substantial (red) – No Change
  • Los Angeles County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – Effective March 31
  • Orange County: Tier 3 – Moderate (orange) – Effective March 31
  • Imperial County: Tier 2, Substantial (red) – No Change
  • Kern County: Tier 2, Substantial (red) – Effective March 31
As most of us recall, every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its positivity rate, adjusted case rate, and health equity metric. Counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving to a less restrictive tier. Counties must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks to move to a less restrictive tier. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Read more about tier assignment rules.
In accordance with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, tier status goes into effect the Wednesday following each weekly tier assignment announcement on Tuesdays, unless otherwise directed by the State.

 

As a reminder, the tiers are:

  • Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • Tier 2 – Substantial (red)
  • Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)
Permitted services and activities may resume with required modifications according to your county’s assigned tier and subject to any additional restrictions required by local jurisdictions.
See below and refer to the State’s website for more information on the status of activities open in each county.
For information regarding the tier assigned to your county visit the California COVID-19 Blueprint for A Safer-Economy webpage.
***

The State guidelines on the various sectors are as follows:

VENTILATION FOR INDOOR OPERATIONS

All businesses permitted to operate indoors based the State’s tiers must follow the California Department of Public Health’s interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality. 

POOLS

Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Indoor saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.

GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):
In all Tiers: Personal training between a total of one person and one trainer at a time per premises is allowed. Associations must follow the applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Limited Services when providing one-on-one personal fitness training.

LIBRARIES

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange) & Minimal (yellow):

MOVIE THEATERS

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

In all Tiers:

RESTAURANTS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
  • Restaurants may open indoor with modifications. Indoor capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Dine-In Restaurants.
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries (where meals are not served) outdoor only with reservations, seating, 90-minute time limit and limited hours of operation.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

HAIR SALONS

In all Tiers:

PRIVATE GATHERINGS

Widespread (purple): Outdoors only
Substantial (red)Moderate (orange) & Minimal (yellow): Indoor permitted, but strongly discouraged.
In all Tiers:
All private gatherings must comply with the State’s Private Gatherings Guidance.
Such private gatherings must meet the following conditions:
  • Attendees must be from no more than 3 separate households, including hosts and guests.
  • Host should collect names of all attendees and contact information.
  • Duration should be 2 hours or less.
  • Wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently.
  • Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Do not attend if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (seniors, those with certain medical conditions).

OUTDOOR LIVE SEATED EVENTS & PERFORMANCES

All outdoor live events and performances must comply with the State’s Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances Guidance. A permissible outdoor venue for live audience performances must either be a permanent and fixed facility, focused around a stage round, field court, or other central area designed primarily for viewing entertainment or athletics by an audience OR a defined and demarcated outdoor area.
If your association has a permissible outdoor venue, please consult with your association’s legal counsel regarding the various restrictions and capacity limitations based on your county’s tier assignment.