COVID Update: All Southern California Counties Now in Red Tier (Sample Newsletter Included for Your Use)

We are happy to share some more good news on the COVID front.  As of today (Tuesday, March 16), San Diego and Riverside Counties have both joined Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties in shifting from the State’s most restrictive “Purple Tier” to its “Red Tier.”  This means that all Southern California is now within the Red Tier.  This newsletter summarizes what this means to your communities.  Please note that, except for the news about San Diego and Riverside Counties, today’s newsletter is otherwise the same as the one we sent yesterday. 

Gyms:  Under the Red Tier, indoor gyms and fitness facilities may finally open, but must operate at a limited 10% capacity.  To adhere to the capacity limit, communities with gyms should consider implementing a reservation system (recommended, but not required).  Additionally, all workers and patrons must wear face masks (except while swimming).  In addition, all must follow the State’s “COVID 19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Fitness Facilities,” complete a “COVID-19 General Checklist for Fitness Facilities,” and meet any local guidelines.  LA County has additional protocols on gym facilities available here.

Pools: All outdoor swimming pools may open if operated in accordance with 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.” All indoor swimming pools must remain closed, with the sole exception of drowning prevention classes with certified instructors that may be conducted indoors (this is the same restriction as with the Purple Tier).  LA County has additional swimming protocols here.

Hot Tubs and Saunas:  Outdoor hot tubs may continue to operate 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.  Be sure to follow the Industry Guidance for pools, referenced above.  Any indoor hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas remain closed (except at private residences).

Playgrounds: Outdoor playgrounds can open with modifications. Be sure to follow the State’s guidance on “Outdoor Playgrounds and other Outdoor Recreational Facilities.” LA County unsurprisingly has additional protocols on outdoor playgrounds available here.

Clubhouses, Restaurants and Bars: Under the Red Tier, restaurants may now operate indoors.  However, capacity is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.  Wineries may operate outdoors only with modifications. In addition, you must follow the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Restaurants” or “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Wineries and Tasting Rooms” along with all local guidelines.  Bars (serving no food) still remain closed.  If your community offers take-out dining, such must also meet the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Restaurants.”

Onsite Management: The State continues to encourage “remote work” for non-essential workers. As we all know, association managers are essential and therefore offices remain open. Comply with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Office Workspaces” and make all required postings.  Board meetings should be held electronically via video conference.

Other News.  In other news, the Red Tier also means that movie theatres may finally open (25% capacity), and high schools and colleges are permitted to reopen for in-person instruction. 

Please let us know if you have any questions. We’ve attached a sample newsletter to give you ideas on how to navigate and communicate these requirements (to be modified as they apply to your community.)

Community Legal Advisors Inc.

Michael J. Alti, Esq.







I want to begin by thanking you all for your patience and understanding. During the last year we have experienced unprecedented challenges, and we are hopeful as Orange County’s metrics continue to improve and we move toward normal operations.


We have been overjoyed to see so many members using the pools, basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, outdoor fitness area, pickleball courts, and attending classes during the last few months. As many of you are aware, Orange County moved on the State Coronavirus tier system from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. This means our Fitness Center can resume indoor operations at 10% of capacity. We plan to open Thursday, March 18th, with a limit of 5 members per time slot. The reservations will be 60 minutes in length, with 5 minutes in between. All users must disinfect the equipment before and after each use. The Fitness Center will be cleaned each morning, and periodically through the day. All users must have a towel. It will not be cleaned between each time slot, so please use your towel and the disinfect wipes and spray provided to clean the equipment. 


The Outdoor Exercise Area will remain open by reservation as well to accommodate more members. Capacity will remain at 6 for this amenity. This area will have exercise bikes, ellipticals, a treadmill, a weight bench, some dumbbells, and a jump rope. Equipment could be moved to the gym based on resident input. A towel is required for entry, and users must use the disinfect wipes and spray provided to clean the equipment. 


Reservations are required for entry for any open amenity to comply with mandated capacity limits while minimizing the wait during peak hours, and walk-ins are not allowed at this time. Please remember that if you are late, your reservation still ends at the time shown to allow for the next group of attendees. The restrictions in place for all activities are detailed in the links shown toward the bottom of this message.






The Spa will open Monday, March 22. Reservations are required, and will be available online no more than 72 hours prior. Reservations will open up through the day, so check back. They are for 30-minutes, with 5-minute breaks in between. Capacity will be limited to 4 members per time slot and will be adjusted as the State changes tiers.





Residents will need to wear a mask at all times in the Clubhouse lobby, restrooms, and within 6′ of others. We want to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect other members and our staff as many have not yet received vaccines.