“How open for business is each state?” MultiState.us asked in a comparison of states’ reopening plans. “A handful of states never issued stay-at-home orders at all, while all states mandated at least some business closings on a sliding scale of strictness during the pandemic.” California earned a measly 53 points out of 100 possible. Only Washington, Oregon and Hawaii fared worse.
It is evident that California really isn’t open for business – yet. Business owners are confused about the existing restrictions. Some of the “guidelines” come from OSHA, some come from the California Department of Public Health, and others come from county public health officials.
The Globe received several emails from business owners in the state unclear on what is allowed, and what restrictions are still in place. “The way I read this employees still need to wear masks—for now,” one business owner said. The owner included the “guidelines” from Santa Barbara County – confusing at best, and utterly ridiculous:
Effective tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 15 at 12:01 AM) California will no longer be under the COVID-19 statewide Blueprint Tier system, and many of its associated restrictions on business or other activities.
What does this mean for your business or organization?
In general, COVID-19 restrictions on capacity, physical distancing, and/or types of operations allowed will no longer apply.
- Restaurants, swimming pools and body art facilities may return to full capacity
- Physical distancing restrictions for customers, guests or the general public no longer apply, although they still apply for employees.
- Self-service food and beverage areas such as salad bars, salsa bars, beverage fountains, bulk bins and buffets may reopen.
- Frequent cleaning or sanitizing of high-contact surfaces is recommended, but will no longer be required.
The California Department of Public Health has issued new masking guidance which starts June 15th. All people in California must follow this guidance, which can be found at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx
- Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must continue to wear masks in certain indoor settings, such as healthcare, indoors in K-12 schools, correctional and detention facilities, shelters (such as homeless, emergency and cooling shelters) and public transit.
- Masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses
- Employers must continue to follow additional guidance from Cal/OSHA at this time. In general, employers must:
- Ensure physical distancing between employees whenever possible
- Ensure employees wear face coverings over the nose and mouth when indoors and when outdoors, and when employees are within 6 feet of another worker.
- Exceptions include: when an employee is alone in a room, when eating or drinking, when using a respirator or other respiratory protection, when an employee cannot use a face covering due to a medical or mental condition; if hearing impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person; or when specific work tasks cannot be performed with a face covering. Other measures to protect against COVID-19 infection must be implemented when face coverings cannot be used.
More detailed information can be found at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/Guidance-by-Industry.html.
State and local governments have deliberately made this confusing. And they don’t address “the unvaccinated” who had coronavirus and now have the antibodies. They keep avoiding that discussion.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state will allow fully vaccinated workers go maskless after Thursday, June 17, pending a vote from OSHA, the state’s workplace safety board. Why not Tuesday June 15th, when he allowed the state to reopen?
This the Methodology MultiState.us used to evaluate states on reopening:
- Are residents under a stay-at-home order?
- Is the state under a mandatory curfew?
- Are there restrictions on private or public gatherings?
- Are non-essential offices (not customer-facing) allowed to open?
- Are non-essential retail open?
- Are personal care services open to customers?
- Are physical fitness businesses open to customers?
- Are restaurants open beyond pickup and delivery?
- Are bars open beyond pickup and delivery?
- Are venues that service large crowds open?
- Local Preemption and Statewide vs. Regional Approaches.
Each of these eleven factors is given a rating (red, orange, yellow, green) based on how open the state is for each factor. These ratings are then run through a weighted formula to produce a score from 0 to 100.