Local Governments Modify Reopening Protocols in Response to Increases in COVID-19 Cases
As we noted in our July 13, 2020 alert, Governor Newsom has taken steps to reverse some of the reopening rules across the state, focusing on indoor activities. Now local governments, in particular those in Southern California, are modifying local reopening guidance in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases across the state. We have also received word of stepped-up enforcement by local regulators. Due to these changes and increased enforcement activity, every dealer should continue to evaluate their written protocols or adopt them for the first time, if not already completed.
New Pasadena Reopening Protocol
On July 23, the City of Pasadena issued its own reopening protocol that includes additional and stricter requirements than the statewide reopening protocols. The City had allowed dealerships to reopen if they followed the state reopening protocols for the last two months. Now dealers will need to evaluate these changes, including most importantly that test drives not be accompanied by a dealership employee.
LA County Defines “Workplace Cluster” and Requires Reporting
Last week LA County issued a change to its reopening protocols to require that dealerships report “workplace clusters” to the county health department. It defined a workplace cluster to be 3 or more employees who test positive for COVID-19 in a 14-day period. The state had previously included guidance in its reopening protocols requiring reporting of “workplace outbreaks,” but that term was undefined in the guidance. LA County has now taken the additional step of detailing how this requirement should be carried out.
Dealerships that have compliant statewide and LA county prevention policies, such as those created with the Scali Rasmussen team, do not need to make changes to their policies. Any dealership that does not have compliant policies in place should start that process now.
Dealers have seen an uptick in visits from health officials over the last couple weeks, likely due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. As cases are likely to continue to increase, this is a reminder to dealers to make sure that they have compliant prevention plans in place. If you do not know what you need to do, contact the attorneys at Scali Rasmussen today.