COVID-19 Lockdown in California
While confirmed cases began increasing a few months ago, the global pandemic due to COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, has been seeing a surge in the US. The number of confirmed cases and fatalities continue to rise in the US and, specifically, in California. Scientists and government officials have stated that social distancing (among other actions like hand washing) is necessary to ‘flatten the curve’ of the virus. Social distancing requires staying at home as much as possible and limiting contact with other people, and measures have needed to be implemented to ensure this. On March 19, 2020 California Governor Newsom announced a state-wide executive order putting in place restrictions.
Why are the restrictions important?
According to the order, it is legally required for certain businesses and activities to remain open while others are required to close. It is very important that businesses follow the directions of the executive order. The “stay-at-home” order has legal ramifications, as those who fail to adhere to it can face a misdemeanor. Furthermore, by closing all non-essential businesses and activities, the state is aiming to decrease the spread of the virus and prevent the overwhelming of medical resources and hospitals.
What are the restrictions?
The executive order makes it clear that non-essential businesses must close. Non-essential includes bars and nightclubs, public gatherings, entertainment venues and facilities, and dine-in restaurants. Essential services that will remain operational include government services, law enforcement, hospitals and essential medical facilities, banks, pharmacies, gas stations, grocery stores, laundry services, and take-out restaurants. For more information on whether your business is considered an essential service, consult the executive order. If you have any questions about the legal ramifications or have difficulty understanding the order, speak with one of our experienced corporate attorneys.