Updated Guidance on All Tier Restrictions Issued by State

Today, we are providing you with another update which truly highlights the fluid nature of living during this coronavirus pandemic, as well as the ever-changing guidelines established by public health officials in an effort to keep the public safe.

Some of the information provided to our Riverside County contacts in the email update earlier this week has already become outdated based on changes made late Tuesday afternoon by the State’s Department of Public Health.

As a reminder, the tiers are:

  • Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • Tier 2 – Substantial (red)
  • Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)

The tier your county has currently been assigned will determine what reopening restrictions are imposed on various businesses and activities. Please be aware that no matter the tier, all applicable industry guidance issued by the State, your local county and city officials, and the CDC must continue to be followed.

As of October 20, 2020, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties*:

  • San Diego County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)
  • Riverside County: Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • San Bernardino County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Los Angeles County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Orange County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)

Riverside County has been reassigned from the red tier to the purple tier and affected businesses must change operations by Friday, October 23. For information regarding the tier assigned to your county visit the California COVID-19 Safer-Economy webpage.

The State has updated its guidelines on the various sectors as follows:

POOLS

Widespread (purple):
  • 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.
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 & FITNESS CENTERS

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

LIBRARIES

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

OUTDOOT RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

In all Tiers:

RESTAURANTS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
  • Restaurants may open indoor with modifications. 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.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

HAIR SALONS

In all Tiers:

OUTDOOR GATHERINGS

In all Tiers:
Some outdoor private gatherings are permitted. Read more details in the State’s Private Gatherings Guidance. Such 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).

Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19

Riverside County Purple Tier Restrictions

As you may be aware the State’s Department of Public Health assesses indicators weekly (including each county’s rate of new cases and positivity) on Mondays and releases updated tier assignments on Tuesdays for each of its counties, as part of its “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

As of October 20, 2020, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties*:

  • San Diego County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)
  • Riverside County: Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • San Bernardino County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Los Angeles County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Orange County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)

Riverside County has been reassigned from the red tier to the purple tier and affected businesses must change operations by Friday, October 23.

  • How does this reassignment to the purple tier affect community associations located in Riverside County with respect to amenities that must now be closed?
  • What can remain open?

Riverside County
Community Associations are subject to the following guidance while in the purple-tier:

GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS

RESTAURANTS

  • Restaurants may serve patrons outdoors only.
  • If associations have reopened indoor dining within restaurants with limited occupancy, they must now be closed. Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Restaurants providing outdoor dining, takeout, drive-through and delivery.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.

LIBRARIES

HAIR SALONS

OUTDOOR POOLS

  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open. Outdoor spas/hot tubs must remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools/Aquatic Venues” found in State’s Industry Guidance for Fitness Facilities.

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

*There are four (4) tiers which include Widespread (the most restrictive), Substantial, Moderate and Minimal (the least restrictive). For information regarding the tier assigned to your county please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

San Diego County Increases Compliance Efforts

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

San Diego County recently increased its Health Order Compliance team and launched a 24/7 call center for the community to submit complaints of businesses and organizations not complying with the Health Order. According to the County, the compliance team’s primary focus is “egregious violations” and businesses not permitted to be open (e.g., bars, indoor gyms, etc.). However, if a complaint regarding your association is submitted a member of the compliance team may contact the association.

According to the County, the compliance team will first contact the association to discuss the complaint and learn about your association’s operations to determine if there is a violation of the health order. If necessary, the compliance team may conduct a site visit. The County states the main purpose of the compliance team is to bring awareness and seek voluntary compliance, but notes it will have the authority to determine whether additional enforcement measures are necessary such as fines ($1,000 per instance) and/or cease and desist notices or closures, etc. Local cities may also have additional enforcement efforts in place.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

Association Employee is Diagnosed with COVID-19… Now What?

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

If your association has employees, it may have certain responsibilities if one of them is suspected of having or diagnosed with COVID-19.

The State of California’s COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening provides guidance on what to do if there is a case of COVID-19 in the workplace and actions employers may consider when reporting cases to local health departments and communicating with employees and vendors.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing also published guidance to assist employers and employees with frequently asked questions about how to address employees diagnosed with COVID-19 while upholding an employee’s rights. The State’s FAQ can be found here.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued a FAQ for businesses when suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 occur in the workplace.

Your local county or city may have also issued further guidance that your association should be familiar with. San Diego, for instance, in accordance with paragraph 16 of the San Diego County public health order, requires that employers notify the County Department of Public Health when an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 and cooperate to identify and provide contact information for any person exposed by the employee at the workplace. San Diego County also recently instructed that employees are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing before being permitted to go back to work, as found here.

If an association employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact your legal counsel to discuss appropriate next steps.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

California Has Issued Updated Fitness Facility Guidelines

Yesterday, July 1, 2020, the State issued revised guidelines for gyms and fitness facilities. These revised guidelines can be found here.

One of the changes in the revised guidelines is that gym users must wear face coverings at all times while inside indoor fitness facilities. However, if people are exercising outdoors, then face coverings are optional so long as a distance of at least six feet from non-household members can be maintained.

Additionally, face coverings must be worn while at pool areas if maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from non-household members is not feasible, but never while in the pool.

Certain individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering pursuant to California Department of Public Health Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.

 

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

San Diego Small Claims Court Re-Opening

By Jillian M. Wright, Esq. & Dominique M. Morrow

The San Diego courts are reopening however, associations should expect delays, especially in Small Claims Court.

We are informed there are currently no Small Claims Court hearings going forward at this time. The Small Claims Court is tentatively looking into rescheduling the hearings that were set for March (when the court closed), beginning in August and then keep scheduling out from there. As an example, hearings originally set in April 2020 would now be for September 2020 and so on.

Associations can still submit brand new small claims filings but they will be set far out (possibly not until the end of this year) as they will have to be scheduled behind all the rescheduled hearings.

In addition, there are currently no walk-ins at the Small Claims Court business offices so in order to file a small claims complaint associations will have to mail the following items in, to the Clerk of the Small Claims Court:

  • the original signed complaint,
  • a copy of the complaint,
  • a self-addressed envelope, and
  • filing fees.

Our firm is assisting clients with any inquiries they may have regarding the preparation or filing of small claims complaints.

 

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

City of Chula Vista Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol for Businesses

All businesses (including Community Associations) operating in Chula Vista must prepare, distribute, and post a Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol.

The Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol must be prepared online, distributed to all employees, posted at all entrances to the business, and implemented by the business. A Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol must be prepared on the city website and supersedes Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocols required by the County of San Diego.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

Got Emergency Rules? Read this if you want to keep them!

By Gordon A. Walters, Esq.

As we approach the three month mark since Governor Newsom issued the Stay at Home order on March 19, 2020, please remember that any emergency rules that were enacted are only effective for a maximum of 120 days, and may not be readopted under the emergency rules procedures.

If your association adopted emergency rules shortly after the Stay at Home order was issued and you wish to keep those rules in place, you should begin the process of notifying members and scheduling a meeting to adopt the rules.

The Civil Code requires a minimum of 28 days’ notice to members, so you likely will need to begin this process quickly to meet the deadlines.

Our article, Emergency Rules – Discretionary or Not Discretionary? That is the Question from our April 3, 2020 newsletter contains additional information. Should you need further information or assistance with this process, our attorneys are able to assist you upon request.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

COVID-19 Waivers

By Dea C. Franck, Esq.

If your community association is interested in either:

1. Utilizing liability waivers for the users of open (and soon to be reopened) common area facilities to sign, or
2. Posting assumption of risk notices at common area facilities,

…please be aware that there are pros and cons to both options.

We are happy to consult with you regarding both options and on the best way to accomplish this in your particular association. Just let us know.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

June 12th Sector Reopenings

By Dea C. Franck, Esq. & Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

Starting no sooner than June 12, 2020, and only upon the approval of your county‘s health officer, certain specific amenities in your community may be allowed to reopen. As of the date of this newsletter Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles and Kern Counties have approved additional reopening.

The State has issued guidelines to reopen fitness facilities (including pools) and outdoor recreational facilities. Community associations should only reopen those amenities specified in the State’s industry guidelines and should follow the applicable State guidelines, CDC guidelines, and any requirements/guidelines issued by your county and city.

  • CDC guidelines can be found here.
  • State guidelines can be found here.
  • San Diego County reopening guidelines can be found here.
  • Riverside County reopening guidelines can be found here and then scroll down to Toolkits and click on the box marked “Business.”
  • San Bernardino County reopening guidelines can be found here.
  • Orange County announced that it will reopen various sectors starting June 12, 2020, but as of the date of this newsletter no updated guidelines from Orange County have been posted. We anticipate that such guidelines will be posted here.
  • Los Angeles County announced that it will reopen various sectors starting June 12, 2020, but as of the date of this newsletter no updated guidelines from Los Angeles County have been posted. We anticipate that such guidelines will be posted here.
  • Kern County reopening guidelines can be found here.

This is a rapidly evolving topic, so boards and community managers should review these various governmental guidelines and talk to your association’s experts regarding implementation of these guidelines, e.g. HVAC professionals, janitorial/cleaning professionals, pool maintenance professionals, and legal counsel.

Additionally, please be aware that stagnant or standing water in a plumbing system may carry a risk of Legionnaires’ disease. Because common area amenities have been shut down, associations need to ensure that the water systems for these facilities are safe to use. You should review the CDC guidelines on this issue and follow the recommendations therein. Those CDC guidelines and training can be found here and here.

Reminder: The guidelines and other regulations change frequently. Be sure to keep up to date by checking the state and county websites on a regular basis and monitoring press alerts for new announcements.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus