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Over the last 24 hours, state and local governments have issued new guidance for residents and businesses to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19 in the state. Below is an overview of the most recent guidance and its likely impact on dealership operations. Where there is a conflict, we recommend that dealers adhere to the strictest guidance that applies to their area. Therefore, where the state guidance is more restrictive, dealers should follow the state guidance; where the applicable local guidance is more restrictive, the local standard should be adopted.
Governor’s regional Stay Home order
Governor Newsom announced the Regional Stay Home Order today. Under this Order, additional restrictions will go into effect within 48 hours in regions with less than 15% hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity. These restrictions prohibit private gatherings of any size, close some businesses, limit retail capacity to 20%, and require 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.
When the Order is triggered in a region, it will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period.
Regions are defined as follows:
Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
The Order goes into effect at noon on Saturday, December 5. The state anticipates that all regions except for the Bay Area will trigger the Regional Stay Home Order restrictions within the next several days. The Bay Area is anticipated to meet the trigger later in December.
Dealerships across the state should prepare now to limit capacity in sales facilities to 20%. The Order requires that capacity be strictly metered. Dealerships should interpret this to mean that a person on staff be tasked with monitoring and enforcing the capacity limit within the sales facility at all times.
In addition, if they have not done so already, dealers should cancel all upcoming holiday parties and public events. We also recommend that all dealers take this time to review their written prevention plans to ensure they meet the state’s guidance for COVID prevention, including the new Cal/OSHA guidance discussed in our alert yesterday. Many of our clients have reported visits from health department officials in recent weeks, and we anticipate that this will only increase, both for random and complaint-driven inspections.
Updated LA County reopening protocols for car dealerships
LA County issued an update to its Reopening Protocols for Dealerships. In addition to the change made over the weekend classifying dealerships as essential and limiting capacity to 35%, the order requires that employees working in cubicles, even if partitioned, wear face masks. In addition, the order requires employees to maintain a six-foot distance while eating and drinking, encourages outdoor dining where possible, and encourages eating at cubicles and workstations as opposed to in breakrooms.
City of LA issues targeted Safer at Home order
The City of Los Angeles issued a Targeted Safer at Home Order requiring some businesses and facilities to temporarily close if operations cannot be conducted remotely. It also bans all public and private gatherings, except outdoor faith-based services and protests. Automotive retail and services may continue under the order so long as they comply with the County’s Reopening Protocols, discussed above.
City of Pasadena temporary limited Stay at Home order
The City of Pasadena issued a Temporary Limited Stay at Home Order that mirrors other local orders. However, the order also requires that employees working outdoors wear face coverings at all time. Dealerships that operate in the City of Pasadena should adopt this change to their written prevention plan on a temporary basis.
Santa Clara County updated mandatory directives
The County of Santa Clara issued new Mandatory Directives limiting capacity in indoor facilities to 10%. Notably this order appears to apply equally to retail and other indoor public facilities, such as vehicle service. In addition, the Directives require that people who travel 150 miles from the county quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the county.