Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach today issued an amendment to the existing “Safer at Home” Order, in an effort to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on delivery of critical healthcare services to those in need. The amendment provides additional and clarifying information regarding physical distancing requirements and mandates essential businesses to prepare, post and implement a Social Distancing Protocol at all operating facilities.
“We are at a critical moment in this public health emergency and we will do everything possible to protect the public and essential workers like grocery store and food workers,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “It’s time to step up protective measures and ensure that we keep hospitals ready and available to care for those who need the most help.”
Effective now through May 15, 2020, essential businesses are required to implement and post Social Distancing Protocols at their facilities maintaining operations to ensure employees receive the necessary supplies, tools and equipment to protect the employees and the public they serve. All essential businesses must post their social distancing protocols by April 15, 2020.
To help ensure the health and safety of employees and patrons, social distancing protocols for essential businesses must include the following, as applicable to the operation:
- Limiting the number of people who can enter the facility at one time to ensure that a minimum of six-foot distance can be maintained between people easily.
- Marking six-foot increments in line queues to establish where individuals should stand to ensure adequate distancing.
- Providing hand sanitizer or disinfectant qualified for use against COVID-19 at entrances and other appropriate areas.
- Providing contactless payment systems or providing for disinfecting at all payment portals after each use.
- Providing physical space, such as a partition or plexiglass, between employees and customers.
- Regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
- Requiring that employees and contracted workers whose duties require close contact with other employees and/or the public wear face coverings. “Close contact” means being within six feet of another person for 10 minutes or more.
- Requiring that members of the public who enter an essential business wear a face covering during their time in the facility. An essential business may refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering required by this subsection.
- Requiring and permitting employees to wash hands every 30 minutes, or as needed if gloves are provided. If handwashing is not possible, hand sanitizer must be made available to the employee and time to sanitize hands.
- Maintaining sanitary and stocked restrooms for employees.
- Displaying facility signage informing all employees and customers to: avoid entering the facility if they are experiencing symptoms of illness; maintain a distance of at least six feet between all individuals; and not engage in unnecessary physical contact.
- Making every effort to enable employees to telecommute, teleconference, and otherwise maintain separation of at least six feet. Businesses must maximize the number of employees who work from home.
In addition to implementing these protocols, retail food, drug stores, hospitality and food delivery employers are required to adhere to the following additional guidelines:
- Face coverings and gloves (and/or frequent handwashing) are required to interact with customers, food preparation, and food delivery.
- Ensuring sufficient staffing to properly clean and maintain facilities and shopping carts between use.
- Providing adequate security or staffing for crowd control.
- Establishing operating hours to better serve vulnerable populations and to ensure adequate time to re-stock stores.
Any and all City regulations governing the sale of alcoholic beverages are modified to allow the following:
- Restaurants and bars that prepare and serve food for off-site consumption can continue to sell alcoholic beverages together with food for delivery and take-out for deliveries. Retailers may sell alcohol between hours from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily.
- The portion of wineries, breweries, and tap rooms that provide tastings to the public must close, but pickup and/or delivery is allowed.
The Order further identifies other non-essential businesses and properties that are to remain closed through May 15, 2020 including:
- All public swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, splash pads, saunas, and steam rooms.
- Sidewalk vending of retail goods and services.
The Order now allows for the following:
- Any person or business required to cease in-person operations may work from home and travel to their business for the purpose of minimum basic operations, which means:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain and protect the value of the business's inventory and facilities; ensure security, safety, and sanitation; process payroll and employee benefits.
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate owners, employees, and contractors of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, and to ensure that the business can deliver its service remotely.
- Restaurants and bars that serve food may sell market products (e.g. produce, pantry goods, meat, and eggs) so long as they offer these products for pickup or delivery only. Restaurants must obtain market products for the customer. Due to social distancing requirements, restaurants may not convert indoor or outdoor seating areas into a market.
- Businesses that ship, truck, transport, or provide logistical support to deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences, Essential Businesses, Healthcare Operations, and Essential Infrastructure are permitted. This exemption does not allow for businesses to engaging in sales to the general public from retail storefronts.
- On-line purchase of automobiles is permitted so long as they are delivered to a residence or Essential Business and the showroom remains closed to the public.
- Residential and commercial real estate showings are allowed provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in-person visits are not allowed when the occupant is still residing in the residence) and following Social Distancing Protocols.
- The City will now begin issuing administrative citations and levy civil fines and penalties against businesses operating in violation of the Order.
- The Water Department, in consultation with the City Attorney, may shut off water service to non-essential businesses operating in violation of the Order, as appropriate.
- Any entity subject to the Health Order may be closed for the duration of the Order for failing to comply with the Order, including for failure to implement a Social Distancing Protocol.
Face coverings are required by members of the public (1) any time a member of the public enters an essential business and (2) when a person is in close contact with others, excluding contact with members of a single household. “Close contact” means being within six feet of another person for 10 minutes or more.
Face coverings should not be used as a substitute for other evidence-based measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings should be used in addition to, but not in place of, other evidence-based measures such as: social distancing; frequent hand washing practices; avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and avoiding being around sick people.
To learn how to properly wear, clean, and make your own face covering, see the Center for Disease Control’s guidance on face coverings at: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
This action was put in place by the City Health Officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, and in accordance with the Emergency Powers granted to the City Manager through the Proclamation of Local Emergency.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to read the Safer at Home in its entirety to fully understand the requirements.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit: longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.