County of Orange Moves to Red Tier, Re-Opens More of Orange CountyToday, the County of Orange moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier as a part of the Governor Newsom’s Blue Print for a Safer Economy. This allows certain business sectors to re-open immediately and businesses to expand their operations with certain restrictions. Additionally, County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau has issued related new Orders and Strong Recommendations, which also include seasonal flu vaccination for certain county residents and visitors. Access the document in its entirely here.
Restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters and museums will be allowed to maintain up to 25% occupancy or 100 people — whichever is less. Gyms may operate with 10% occupancy. Hair salons, barbershops and nail salons may operate indoors with normal capacity. Retail businesses are to be restricted to 50% occupancy. Wineries may operate outdoors only. Bars, breweries, brewpubs, and distilleries where no food is provided must stay closed.
All indoor businesses must still abide by social distancing and face-covering mandates, as well as having a detailed safe reopening plan on file with the county.
Click here for industry guidance
On Monday, August 31, legislation took effect that protects many Californians who are unable to pay their rent or mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View Protection Guidelines for Tenants
View Protection Guidelines Landlords
View Protection Guidelines Homeowners
Governor Newsom today announced the launch of the “Housing is Key” campaign aimed at connecting renters and landlords experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19 with helpful information and resources. The campaign will be run by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) and kicks off with a new website and social media ads targeting vulnerable communities.
California has a new blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. Orange County is currently widespread which is the highest risk level.
Click here to view the status of activities and business sectors.
At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary.
County numbers are to be assessed weekly, with the first numbers coming out on September 8.
Follow the Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening to help plan and prepare for reopening your business.
The Laguna Beach City Council voted to extend The Promenade on Forest through January 31, 2021. The Promenade on Forest: Shopping, Dining, Art, and You! is an outdoor dining, display and art performance area that creates a safe and exciting pedestrian-only experience on Forest Avenue from Coast Highway to Glenneyre Street in Downtown Laguna Beach. The Promenade design supports local businesses by expanding outdoor dining areas and merchandise display areas on Lower Forest Avenue.
Key Features of The Promenade on Forest:
In partnership with 3D Event Designer, the County of Orange is launching the Back2Business Initiative: Outdoor Edition, to help local small businesses impacted by COVID-19 safely reopen by meeting local, state and federal social distancing guidelines.
The Back2Business Initiative: Outdoor Edition will provide up to 800 Orange County small businesses with access to free floor plan software to quickly create, configure, or update their indoor and now outdoor space(s). This software allows businesses, such as restaurants and retail shops, to view their current layouts and adjust their floor plans to meet the latest social distancing requirements.
Back2Business Initiative: Outdoor Edition is free and available to eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis now through December 30, 2020, or when the maximum number of slots are filled, whichever comes first. Eligible businesses interested in participating can sign up and access the software at https://bit.ly/ocfloorplans.
To be eligible, businesses must be in Orange County and have 500 employees or less.
The following technology requirements must be met to successfully use the software:
• Have a reliable Internet connection
• Have access to any Mac, PC, tablet, or phone device (creating a floor plan is easiest on a Mac or PC)
• Have access to Google Chrome or any browser other than Internet Explorer
For more information on the Back2Business Initiative, visit https://bit.ly/ocfloorplans or call the Economic and Business Recovery Call Center at (714) 480-6500.
As part of the SafeDineOC Restaurant Program, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has allocated $10 million in Federal CARES Act funding to support local restaurants that are safely reopening.
Restaurants are eligible for up to $1,000 in reimbursements for CARES Act-qualified purchases, such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), site reconfiguration, employee training, cleaning supplies, etc.
The application period for the grant program begins August 6, 2020 and ends in 60 days, or whenever funding is fully allocated, whichever occurs first.
If there are multiple, separate site restaurants under one owner, each restaurant location is entitled to a $1,000 grant. Restaurants must submit a separate application for each location.
Receipts for CARES Act-qualified purchases are required for final reimbursement grant payment. Receipts for purchases made March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 are acceptable.
Approved restaurants participating in the SafeDineOC program must post their attestation in plain sight for their customers and will also have their name featured on the SafeDiningOC website.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you need assistance with the online application or have questions, please contact us at SafeDineOC@ocbc.org.
Schools will not be allowed to open for in-person instruction if the schools reside in a county that has been on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list for the prior 14 days. Orange County is one of those affected.
For more info click here and read the California Department of Health’s New guidelines.
In an effort to keep the public informed on all issues related to reopening process and COVID-19, the County recently launched Together OC. The site is designed to provide residents and businesses with a one-stop-shop for all COVID-19 related matters.
In addition, the site will be updated frequently and provide the latest information on business sector re-openings, county health orders, unemployment benefits, frequently asked questions, and much more. For more information, please visit Together OC.
Last week, the Board of Supervisors approved $10 Million in CARES Act funding received by the County to be allocated for the COVID-Safe Restaurant Program. To that end, Orange County restaurants that prioritize customer safety and worker protections will soon be eligible for a $1,000 grant from the County to help with costs incurred from implementing the State’s guidance for reopening.
This grant program will help our restaurants that are being impacted by COVID-19 and also serve as an incentive to comply with state and local health guidelines.
Restaurants in Orange County with no uncorrected major violations from their last routine health inspection will be eligible for the County grant.
Stay tuned in the coming week for more details on the application and eligibility process!
Read the full press release
We will release more information as it becomes available.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his plan for learning and safe schools ahead of the 2020–2021 school year, as the California Department of Public Health issued a framework for when and how schools should reopen for in-person instruction.
The Governor’s plan centers on five key areas:
Schools located in counties that are on the Monitoring List must not physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days.
In the updated guidance, all staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear a mask or face covering. Students in 2nd grade and below are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
The Legislature and Governor Newsom enacted a budget that provided $5.3 billion in additional funding to support learning, and set requirements to ensure schools provide rigorous and grade-appropriate instruction.
Industry Guidance for Schools
On July 20, guidance was released for services that can be provided outdoors, like hair, nail, and massage services, in counties that have been on the monitoring list for 3 consecutive days.
Shops that offer tattoos, piercings and electrolysis may not be operated outdoors and must close.
View Industry Updates for Hair Salon & Barbershop
View Industry Updates for Personal Care Services