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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Outdoor: Maximum of 3 households.
- Indoor: Not permitted.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.