Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Orders

  • Health Orders and Protocol

    The City of Long Beach has issued health orders restricting activities of the community as a means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. The orders are in alignment with other public health agencies in the region, including LA County Public Health and the City of Los Angeles, as well as the State of California.

    Safer at Home Order and Referenced Documents

    5/5/2021 - Safer at Home Order for Control of COVID-19 (Spanish) (Khmer) (Tagalog

    Diagnostic Testing

    Isolation and Quarantine Public Health Orders

  • What to do if you are sick or have been exposed to the virus

    Order to Self-Quarantine

    • Quarantine is used by public health professionals to separate potentially exposed individuals from the public, in the case that they become symptomatic and contagious to others. Quarantined people are asked to limit their contact with others and may be excluded from work or school. Should they begin exhibiting symptoms, they may be required to isolate.
    • Anyone who has had close contact with someone who has or is likely to have COVID-19 while the person was infectious (during the time when they had symptoms or 48 hours before the person's symptoms began) is required to self-quarantine in a residence for a minimum of 10 days, and monitor closely for symptoms for 14 days after last exposure to the infectious person. Quarantined people should isolate themselves immediately if they begin experiencing symptoms.
    • Close Contact to someone who has or is likely to have COVID-19 is defined as a person who meets any of the following conditions:
      • Lives with or frequents the household where someone with or likely to have COVID-19 resides
      • Is an intimate partner of someone with or likely to have COVID-19
      • Is a caregiver for someone with or likely to have COVID-19
      • Has had any contact with someone with or likely to have COVID-19 while they were symptomatic, including anyone who:
        • Was within 6 feet of someone with or likely to have COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes OR
        • Had unprotected direct contact to secretions or excretions (sneeze or cough) of someone with or likely to have COVID-19
    • Everyone who meets the above conditions must adhere to the requirements outlined in the Home Quarantine Guidance for Close Contacts to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Spanish) (Khmer) (Tagalog).

    Order to Self-Isolate

    • Isolation means separating a person that is sick in order to prevent them from spreading the virus to others. People may be asked to self-isolate at home while they are being tested, while they recover, or they may be isolated in a healthcare setting if they need medical support to recover.
    • Anyone with or likely to have COVID-19 is required to self-isolate for at least ten (10) days after symptoms first appeared, and at least 1 day (24 hours) after fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms have improved. If you never had symptoms, then you must self isolate for 10 days from the date of your positive test.
    • Anyone required to isolate may not leave their place of isolation or enter any other public or private place, except to receive necessary medical care. Furthermore, anyone in self-isolation is required to notify any close contacts of their potential exposure so they may self-quarantine.
    • For the purpose of the Isolation Order, someone with or likely to have COVID-19 is defined as a person who has:
      • A positive lab test for COVID-19;
      • Signs and symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of being in close contact with a person who had or was believed to have had COVID-19; OR
      • Been informed by a physician that they are likely to have COVID-19
    • Any person who meets the above conditions must adhere to the requirements outlined in the Home Isolation Instructions for People with Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) Infection (Spanish) (Khmer) (Tagalog).
  • Overview of Safer at Home

    The Safer At Home Order went into effect March 19, 2020. The State of California passed Public Health Orders that supersede Long Beach’s local orders on March 29, 2020. Both orders remain in effect until further notice.

    These orders have been issued to protect the public while we are slowly and safely reopening the economy from getting sick or dying from COVID-19, and to prevent overwhelming our healthcare system so there are enough resources to care for those who get sick from COVID-19 and those with other emergency medical needs during this pandemic.

    What are the basic rules of Safer at Home?

    1. Those who live in Long Beach should stay at home as much as possible. Those who do not live in the City must comply with all other components of the current health order while they are in the City. 
    2. You cannot gather with anyone besides those you live with, though there are a few exceptions explained below.
    3. Individuals at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions should stay at home as much as possible. Employers should offer telework or other accommodations to persons 65 or older and people with underlying health conditions whenever possible.
    4. Any person leaving their home for Permitted Activities defined below must practice Physical Distancing measures:
      • Keep at least a six-foot distance from those you don’t live with, even when you are wearing a Face Covering
      • Opt for outdoor activities instead of indoor activities, whenever possible
      • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, as frequently as possible
      • Cover your coughs or sneezes (use your sleeve, elbow, or a tissue, not your hands)
      • Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
      • Avoid shaking hands and other close physical greetings with those outside your home
      • Stay home if you or someone you live with is sick or exhibiting symptoms
      • Wear a Face Covering

    Are there any exceptions?

    The following are “Permitted Activities”: 

    • Working for or accessing businesses or services that are permitted to operate 
    • Traveling to engage in permitted activities
    • Engaging in activities or performing tasks essential to health and safety of yourself, your family or your household members (including pets)
    • Obtaining necessary services or supplies 
    • Exercising or recreating outdoors including walking, cycling, hiking, running, tennis, or golf
    • Engaging in legally mandated governmental purposes, such as accessing court, social or administrative services, or complying with an order of law enforcement
    • Attending outdoor, in-person religious services or cultural ceremonies
    • Participating in a vehicle-based parade
    • In-person political protests are permitted outdoors only and provided that physical distancing of 6 feet between groups of people from different households is maintained and Face Coverings are worn at all times. 
    • Anyone experiencing homelessness is exempt, however is strongly urged to obtain shelter and abide by Physical Distancing measures.

    When do I have to wear a face covering?

    You must wear a Face Covering whenever you leave your home, whether indoors or outdoors, if

    • You will or may be in contact with anyone you don’t live with
    • You are walking near or passing by anyone you don’t live with 
    • You are patronizing a business

    What if I can’t wear a face covering?

    Some people do not have to wear a face covering, though they should consider alternatives that may accomplish similar goals:

    • Anyone under 2 years of age
    • Anyone with a medical or mental health condition or disability that would prevent them from wearing a Face Covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a Face Covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
    • Anyone who is hearing impaired, or is communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
    • Anyone for whom wearing a Face Covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
    • Anyone traveling alone or only with those they live with.
    • Anyone exercising or practicing outdoor recreation alone or with people they live with. Outdoor exercise or recreation include swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running.
    • Anyone obtaining a service involving the nose or face, though you should only remove your Face Covering for the duration necessary for the service to be performed. 
    • Anyone seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverages, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from persons who are not seated at the same table.
    • Anyone working at the workplace or performing work offsite, in any room or enclosed area where physical distance of 6 ft or greater can be maintained. This exemption shall not apply to workers in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time. 

    What is an acceptable face covering?

    • Face Coverings can be made of cloth, fabric, or other soft, permeable material without holes, that fully covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. 
    • The Face Covering should be comfortable, so that the wearer can breathe through the nose and does not have to adjust it frequently, so as to avoid touching the face. 
    • Wash reusable Face Coverings frequently and have extra ones available so that you always have a clean one available for use. 
    • Any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling allows droplets to be released from the mask, putting others nearby at risk. As a result, these masks are not a Face Covering under this Order and must not be used to comply with this Order’s requirements. 
    • Examples of acceptable Face Coverings include a scarf or bandana; a neck gaiter; a homemade covering made from a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or towel, held on with rubber bands; or a non-medical grade mask.
  • Enforcement

    Is this order mandatory? What happens if I don’t comply?

    • Yes. It is a misdemeanor crime for any business to fail to comply with a local Health Officer’s Order.
    • This may be punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
    • If voluntary compliance cannot be obtained, a citation or fine may be issued to the business staff/representative.
    • Administrative penalties and fines may also be issued to business representatives who fail to comply.
    • The Water Department may shut off water service to non-essential businesses operating in violation of the Order.
    • Businesses may be closed for the duration of the Order if they fail to comply, for example if they fail to implement physical distancing.
    • Community members wishing to report violations of this order should contact the non-emergency line at the City’s Communications Center at (562) 435-6711.
    • Press Release: Police Increase Health Order Enforcement Methods to Gain Further Compliance (4/10/2020)
  • Medical Care and Family Members

    Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?

    • If you are healthy, yes. You are permitted to provide care or to help with getting supplies for loved ones. If you are sick, arrange for someone else to do this.
    • Protect those you're caring for and yourself by following physical distancing guidelines: Wash your hands before and after visiting, maintain at least 6 feet of distance whenever possible, and cough or sneeze into a tissue.

    Who counts as a family member?

    • A family member includes anyone you live with, anyone who is a legal relative of yours, or anyone you treat as a family member.

    Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

    • Generally no. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the Order prohibits non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities. If you need more information, please contact the facility directly by phone. This is difficult, but necessary in order to protect hospital staff and other patients.

    Can I visit a health care provider?

    • If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center. 
    • DO NOT go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you have deemed that you have an actual emergency. 
    • For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any health care provider, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research facilities, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care providers, mental health providers, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries with a medicinal cannabis license, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers and suppliers. Health care providers do not include exercise gyms and similar facilities. 

     Can I still seek non-essential medical care and doctor’s appointments?

    • To the extent possible, all health care visits that are not cancelled or rescheduled should be done remotely. 
  • Accessing food and other necessities

    View available assistance 

    Can I go to the store (grocery store, market, corner store, food bank, etc.) to buy food and other things?

    • Yes, you can go to the store to buy food, drinks and goods for yourself, for those in your home, and for anyone else that needs help. This also includes medical supplies at a pharmacy and supplies at a hardware store.  When out of your house, always maintain six feet of distance from other people. 

    Can grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food retailers remain open?

    • Yes. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, water retailers, produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public. When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain at least six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.

    If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?

    • Yes.

    Can I go to a restaurant, cafe, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other food service location?

    • Yes, but only to pick up food or drinks or if the restaurant offers outdoor dining. You cannot dine-in or eat or drink indoors at the facility. Patrons are not permitted to dine or congregate in restaurants, bars, and similar establishments. Bars that are not permited to serve food are not permitted to operate.
    • You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.

    How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?

    • Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises but must instead be delivered or taken away for consumption.

    Can I still get deliveries from online stores?

    • Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.  Just keep six feet between you and the person delivering the item. 

    Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?

    • Yes. You can shop for anything that is related to health care, office supplies, hardware supplies, and at businesses listed as essential in the Order. You should minimize unnecessary trips.

    Should I stock up on food and other necessities like toilet paper? What about medicines?

    • No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open and are frequently restocking. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.

    Can I go to the bank?

    • Yes, but avoid unnecessary trips. 

    Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?

    • Yes, but avoid unnecessary trips.
  • Children

    Does the Order allow me to have my children in childcare? Will my daycare be shut down?

    • Childcare facilities may only operate if they comply with the conditions of this Order as they related to childcare. Among these conditions, children must be cared for in groups of 12 or fewer, groups of children may not mix with each other, and providers may not circulate between groups. 

    How will I entertain my kids? Can we go to the playground or arrange playdates?

    • Do your best to entertain your children with games, reading, puzzles, and TV/videos at home. Engage them in educational online tools. However, you should not take them to the playground or arrange playdates. It is essential that we stop the spread of the virus by not having in-person social interactions.  
  • Pets

     Can I go outside to walk my dog/pet?

    • Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from other pets and owners.

    Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?

    • Yes. Please call first to determine if there are any restrictions in place.
  • Travel and Vacation

    Can I use ride share, on demand service, or a taxi? What about public transportation (bus, subway, train)?

    • Ride share, on demand services, and taxies should only be used for essential travel. You should avoid being in a vehicle with many other people. In circumstances under which such transportation is needed, you must wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after rides.
    • Public transportation should be used only when necessary for activities of daily living and other purposes permitted by the order. Public transit will continue to operate in Long Beach. When using public transit, maintain at least six feet of distance from others and wear a face covering. 

    I am currently on vacation outside the City--Does the Order allow me to return home?

    • Yes. You should maintain physical distancing on your way home, and then you will be subject to the limitations in this Order. If you prefer to stay indoors at your current location, you are encouraged to follow this Order while outside the City of Long Beach in order to protect yourself and others. 

    I’m visiting and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short-term rental. What should I do? Can I go home?

    • If you have a car and can return home via travel, you may do so if you are following physical distancing protocols. If you have a flight or other travel, you should check first with the carrier to see if they are still operating and what protocols they recommend. You are strongly encouraged to shelter in place when you arrive at your destination to avoid infecting anyone else in your home community.
    • If you need to stay longer, coordinate with your accommodations as best you can.
  • Other

    What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?

    • Do your best to maintain a least six feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible, keep the duration short - less than 10 minutes. Wear a mask or face covering while visiting any business.

    Can I go outside to exercise?

    • Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from others who are not from your household.

    Can I go to the gym or health club?

    • Only gyms or health clubs with outdoor operations are permitted to be open. Indoor activities at gyms and fitness facilities are not allowed.

    What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home? How will I access those sorts of services?

    • Call your plumber or building manager. This Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, exterminators and building managers to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit hardware stores, which are allowed to stay open under this Order.