COVID Update: All of Southern California Under Restrictive Stay-at-Home Order

As many of you are aware, all of Southern California is now under the State of California’s new “Regional Stay-at-Home Order” which took effect on December 7, 2020 at Midnight.  This new Order will be in effect through Christmas and at least until December 28, 2020.  It will only be lifted when Southern California’s ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%.  A recent court finding that the County of Los Angeles’ stay at home order is invalid makes no change to this State Order.

Since all of Southern California was already under the State’s most restrictive Purple Tier, the biggest change for our residential communities is that all indoor and outdoor playgrounds must close.  Other outdoor recreational facilities are allowed to remain open “only for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise.”  Unless expressly permitted, private gatherings of any size with members of other households are prohibited.

The following is a summary of the State’s COVID guidelines and restrictions currently in effect that we thought would be most relevant to you.   This applies to Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and a few other counties.

Playgrounds: All indoor and outdoor playgrounds and tot lots must close at this time.

Pools: In all of the Counties listed above, all indoor swimming pools must remain closed.  In all of the Counties listed above (except Los Angeles County), outdoor swimming pools may operate in accordance with the guidelines contained in the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Fitness Facilities” which includes specific “additional considerations” for operating “communal restrooms, shower facilities, swimming pools and aquatic venues.”

As we informed you last week, Los Angeles County is even stricter.  Under its “Protocols for Reopening of Swimming Pools,” all outdoor and indoor swimming pools that serve members from more than one household must close.  The only exceptions are: (1) outdoor pools that offer regulated lap swimming (one swimmer per lane), and (2) indoor and outdoor pools only for providing drowning prevention classes with certified instructors.  In other words, HOA Pools in LA County may not operate for recreational) swimming or family use.

Hot Tubs:  In all the Counties listed above, all indoor hot tubs must close.  Outdoor hot tubs may open as long as they are used only by a single household group at a time, or where six feet of social distancing can be maintained and in compliance with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Fitness Facilities.”  If your Board finds that it is not possible to consistently maintain social distancing, the hot tub should be closed. Again, Los Angeles County is even stricter as it requires all community hot tubs to remain closed.

Gyms: In all applicable Counties, outdoor gym operations may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other sun shelter so long as no more than one side is closed, allowing sufficient outdoor air movement, and in compliance with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Fitness Facilities.”  No indoor fitness facilities are allowed.

In LA County, such exterior fitness facilities may open at 50% maximum outdoor capacity.  The operator of the facility must also implement and post the County’s required “Public Health Protocol for Gyms and Fitness Establishments.”

Clubhouses, Restaurants and Bars: All types of indoor and outdoor dining are now prohibited in all of Southern California.  If your community offers any type of take-out dining service, you must comply with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Restaurants” protocol. Restaurants may still offer take-out meals.

Onsite Management: The State continues to deem association managers as essential, which means that offices may remain open provided they comply with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Office Workspaces.”  However, remote work is encouraged.  In LA County, office-based businesses must limit indoor capacity to 25% of maximum occupancy, and employees working in cubicles must wear face coverings.

Please let us know if you have any questions.  My email is

Community Legal Advisors Inc.

Michael J. Alti, Esq.