COVID Update: San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties Join LA and OC in Less Restrictive Orange Tier

Effective April 7, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are joining Los Angeles and Orange Counties in shifting to the State’s less restrictive “Orange Tier,” from the Red Tier.   This newsletter summarizes what this means to your communities. 

New Developments.  But first, we’d like to inform you of some other new developments. 

Gatherings. Beginning April 15, the State will be loosening its COVID restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings and private events, and should be releasing some new guidance about events before then.  We will inform you when we know more. 

Full Reopening.  Further, Governor Newsom announced that the State plans to fully reopen its economy and drop its color-coded tier system on June 15, as long as two conditions are met: (1) if the vaccine supply is sufficient for all those 16 years and older who wish to be vaccinated and (2) if hospitalization rates are stable and low.

Gyms:  Under the Orange Tier, indoor gyms and fitness facilities may open, but must operate at a limited 25% capacity (an improvement from the 10% capacity under the Red Tier).  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, you 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 some additional protocols on fitness facilities available here.

Pools: 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.”   Face masks must be worn, except while swimming.

Indoor pools may also now open as long as physical distancing is maintained, and as long as the State’s Guidance is met.

LA County has some additional protocols on swimming pools available 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 must 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 also has additional protocols on outdoor playgrounds available here.

Clubhouses, Restaurants and Bars: Under the Orange Tier, restaurants may continue to operate indoors, with capacity limited to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less.  This is an improvement from the Red Tier, where capacity was limited to 25% or 100 people.  In addition, you must follow the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Restaurants”.

Wineries may now operate indoors, with capacity limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less, and must adhere to the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Wineries and Tasting Rooms” along with all local guidelines.  Bars (serving no food) are finally allowed to open, but may operate outdoors only and in accordance with the Guidance available here

If your community offers take-out dining, they must also comply with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Restaurants.”

Unsurprisingly, LA County has additional protocols for restaurants, wineries and bars.

Onsite Management: As we all know, association managers are essential and their offices have been allowed to remain open, and may continue to do so. Comply with the State’s “COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Office Workspaces” and make all required postings.  Board meetings should continue to be held electronically via video conference. 

Meanwhile, the State loosened its restrictions on non-essential office workspaces which may now operate indoors, but is still encouraging remote work.  Offices that are deemed “non-essential” in LA County may reopen at 50% occupancy and must following LA County’s special protocols, although telework is strongly encouraged.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Community Legal Advisors Inc.

Michael J. Alti, Esq.