On July 1, 2020, Governor Newsom ordered tougher restrictions for 19 counties across the state that are seeing an increased spread of coronavirus, including Los Angeles County. This is part of his “dimmer switch” approach to reopening, which recognizes that reopening California’s economy is not as simple as flipping back on a light switch. Under this new order, bars must close all operations, even if they are operating outdoors. In addition, the following industries must close their indoor operations: Restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers (e.g. bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades), zoos and museums, and cardrooms. Outdoor operations at these places may remain open. These restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks.

In response, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has also issued a revised order ("Health Order") click here to align with the Governor's order and address the substantial increases in new daily reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and testing positivity rate. The Health Order similarly orders the closure of bars, breweries, tasting rooms, crafting distilleries, wineries, cardrooms, satellite wagering facilities, and racetrack onsite wagering facilities for at least 21 days and until further notice. The Health Order also closes indoor, in-person onsite dining at all restaurants, indoor mall or shopping center indoor food court dining and seating areas, and indoor portions of museums, zoos and aquariums, for at least 21 days and until further notice. Outdoor areas of these spaces may remain open, and restaurants may offer food for delivery, drive-thru, carry out and outdoor table dining.

The Health Order also provides an expanded reporting requirement for employers whose employees contract COVID-19 and mandates that employers implement certain protocols, as follows:

  • In the event that an owner, manager, or operator of any business knows of three (3) or more cases of COVID-19 among their employees within a span of 14 days the employer must report this outbreak to the Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993 or (213) 240-7821; and

  • In the event that an owner, manager, or operator of any business is informed that one or more employees of the business has tested positive for, or has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (case), the employer must have a protocol to require the case(s) to isolate themselves at home and require the immediate self-quarantine of all employees that had a workplace exposure to the case(s).

Finally, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a separate order requiring the temporary closure of all public beaches, piers, beach bicycle paths and beach access points in the County of Los Angeles between July 3 and July 6, 2020, and prohibited all firework shows and events.

We will continue to keep you updated on any major COVID-19 related developments that impact the workplace. If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at 818-508-3700 or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.

Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Stephanie B. Kantor
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP