Placer Health Officer issues new order through May 1 to slow the spread of COVID-19

*Update: Read the amended order (April 16).

Published April 10, 2020

Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson has issued a new order that clarifies, strengthens, and extends the terms of the previous directive to reduce person-to-person contact and increase physical distancing in order to further slow transmission of COVID-19. The new order will be in effect through May 1.

“While the prior directive has been effective, further action is necessary,” Sisson said. “The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise. New evidence that people can spread the virus up to three days before developing symptoms is concerning. Right now, our best tool to slow the spread of the virus is to continue to stay home.”

The new stay-at-home order will supersede the previous directive and go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 10. It complements the indefinite statewide stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on March 19.  Where a conflict exists between this order and any state public health order related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most restrictive provision applies.

Like the previous directive, the new order requires people to stay at home except for doing essential activities. Non-essential businesses will remain closed. The new order adds some clarifying language around essential business and activities including:

  • Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only.
  • Clarity on essential components of businesses such as automotive dealerships, realtors and other service providers are detailed in the order.
  • Essential businesses may only assign an employee to work outside the home if the employee cannot perform their job duties from home.
  • Essential businesses are expanded to include service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, etc.); funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and rideshare services that specifically enable essential activities.
  • Essential businesses must develop a physical distancing protocol by the end of day April 13, for which a template is provided.
  • Use of recreational areas with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering is prohibited. This includes playgrounds, dog parks, picnic areas, and similar recreational areas. These areas must be closed to public use.
  • Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls is prohibited. These facilities must be closed for recreational use.
  • Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment must be limited to people in the same household.
  • Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people attending.
  • Moving residences is permitted, but only if it is not possible to defer an already planned move, the move is necessary for health and safety reasons, or the move is necessary to remain housed or retain employment.
  • The definition of essential travel is clarified to include travel for parental custody arrangements, travel to avoid domestic violence or child abuse/neglect, travel to manage after-death arrangements and burial as well as other situations.

Click here for the full order, and here for the physical distancing protocol template for businesses.  

Placer County Public Health and Environmental Health have been working with local businesses and community members to provide education and encourage compliance with the previous directive and the state order. If residents have concerns about businesses or activities that are not adequately incorporating physical distancing in adherence with the new order, please email [email protected] with “Community Concern” in the subject line, and provide the name and contact information of an activity organizer/owner. Public Health will evaluate and prioritize response based on risk level.

“I urge residents and businesses to comply with both the letter and the spirit of this order. People need to stay home as much as possible and businesses should critically assess whether they are truly essential,” Sisson said.

Placer County Public Health continues to publish current information about the pandemic on the COVID-19 website, www.placer.ca.gov/coronavirus. In collaboration with the Placer County Office of Education, a new webpage collecting resources around food, housing, unemployment and other key community resources during the COVID-19 pandemic is available at www.placer.ca.gov/coronavirus/resources.