Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)*
OVERVIEW OF SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER
*The answers to these questions are based on the Shelter-in-Place Order effective July 3, 2020 at 12 noon.
Is this mandatory or is it just guidance?
The Shelter-in-Place Order is mandatory. All individuals (and businesses) must follow County and State Health Officer orders which are issued under the authority of California law. As a condition of re-opening, current orders require, among other things, local businesses’ compliance with state and local industry-specific guidance and submission of self-certification forms. State statute explicitly provides that Health Officer orders may be enforced by the local sheriff or other peace officers of the County. Violation of the orders may subject a person or business to criminal or civil penalties, as well as other legal consequences. In particular, any businesses that violate the Health Officer's orders risk committing negligence per se and expose themselves to civil liability for all damages created by any viral transmission that occur at their places of business.
The ability for the County to open up safely depends on the responsible conduct of all of our local businesses, whose engagement and cooperation will help the County make the case for expanding more quickly to future phases of re-opening as permitted by the State. Even a single business can stall the County from further re-opening and possibly cause the County to revert backwards to more restrictive shelter-in-place orders.
We urge all residents to closely follow the restrictions in both the County and State Health Orders.
Download the Order to Shelter-in-Place for complete details.
For Shelter-In-Place Business questions, visit our heading below 'General FAQs.'
What does it mean to “shelter-in-place”?
The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary. The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the designated exceptions listed in the order. Everyone shall stay home to slow the spread of the virus. You should limit your movements to essential outings. Allowable reasons to leave your home are to get food, to fill a prescription, to see a doctor, to go to work if your work is permitted in the order, to take your child(ren) to and from childcare that is authorized under the order, to help people you care for get the things they need to live, be healthy and stay safe, and to engage in outdoor recreation.
The County’s Public Health Order requires people to stay home except for essential needs and other permitted activities, some of which include:
- Shopping at essential businesses and other retail establishments.
- Caring for a relative or friend.
- Getting necessary health care.
- Going to work at an essential, lower-risk, or outdoor business job.
- Engaging in outdoor recreation.
It is important to note that vulnerable populations must still stay home except for essential needs (older adults, individuals with serious chronic medical conditions, and individuals with compromised immune systems).
Why are we doing this?
This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community. This is a mandatory order.
The Mendocino County Public Health Officer has observed quickly mounting cases, serious illnesses across the region and cases of COVID-19 in our County.
Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in the upcoming days or weeks. Every hour counts. We need and appreciate the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in Mendocino County to act immediately.
While this news may feel alarming, it is a necessary step to prevent a worsening situation. The patterns of the virus around the world, and in our own state, tell us that moving right now to maximize social distancing and restrict people gathering is the best way to fight the virus and save lives.
We know that there will be a lot of questions and concerns at the beginning of this new regimen. This is a major change being undertaken to protect public health. Please be patient and kind to one another. Together, we will get through this, and our community’s health will be protected.
How long will we stay home?
The Health Officer’s order will remain in effect until July 3, 2020. The Governor’s order is in effect until further notice.
The Health Officer will be closely monitoring the situation including directives from the Governor and State Public Health Officer every day in order to determine what adjustments make sense.
What is the difference between “sheltering in place” and “social distancing”?
Sheltering in place is the extension of the social distancing. There are some differences. Sheltering in place means:
- Stay home (stay unexposed).
- Only go out for essential services and other permitted activities.
- Stay 6 feet or more away from others.
- Limit most gatherings.
Social distancing will continue to apply when you are out shopping or walking or going to the doctor. These include washing hands, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting surfaces, not going out if sick, and staying at least six feet away from others.
Is Mendocino County open for all tourism? Can I travel within the county for tourism?
As a variance county, Mendocino County is permitted to now open certain business such as Lodging and Campgrounds for tourism and individual travel. The current State orders still require all people in California “to avoid traveling long distances for vacations or pleasure as much as possible. This is to slow the spread of the coronavirus.” Whether an individual can travel from their home county or state to engage in tourism, depends on their home's restrictions. However, once here, everyone within Mendocino County is urged (but not required) to limit their travel as to the new Stage 3 industries (including lodging and camping), to within 50 miles of their residence (or from their hotel room), as measured in a straight line on a map.
Visiting friends and family.
For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.
Care for elderly parents or friends or those who have disabilities.
Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines:
- Keep at least 6 feet of distance when possible.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue.
- Wash hands before and after, or use hand sanitizer.
If you are in a vulnerable population, contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support. They are permitted to pick up any of your needs.
Who issued the Order?
This order was issued by the Public Health Officer of Mendocino County. Public Health Officers have the authority under state law to issue orders to protect the health and welfare of everyone in their respective jurisdictions.
Can the Order be changed?
Yes. However, it can and will likely be updated as conditions warrant.
We will also be sure to work with the media to share important updates and information.
Why is this Order in place?
This order was issued by Public Health Officer of Mendocino County. Public Health Officers have the authority under state law to issue orders to protect the health and welfare of everyone in their respective jurisdictions.
This order is in place to address the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Mendocino County. There is substantial community transmission of the virus in Northern California, which is easily spread between people.
Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this order it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals would be overwhelmed. We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill. Our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they got sick there would be fewer people to provide health care and first response services. For those reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to prevent and slow the spread of the virus. Doing so will “flatten the curve” to slow the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed. If this succeeds, there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.
We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community. The best way to do that is to “socially isolate” yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.
This order is issued based on evidence of increasing occurrence of COVID-19 throughout the region and the County, scientific evidence, and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID-19 specifically, and evidence that the age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of our County places them at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in the region, there is a public health emergency throughout the County. Making the problem worse, some individuals who contract the COVID-19 virus have no symptoms or have mild symptoms, which means they may not be aware that they carry the virus. Because even people without symptoms can transmit the disease, and because evidence shows the disease is easily spread, gatherings can result in preventable transmission of the virus. The scientific evidence shows that at this stage of the emergency, it is essential to slow virus transmission as much as possible to protect the most vulnerable and to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. One proven way to slow the transmission is to limit interactions among people to the greatest extent practicable. By reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, this order helps preserve critical and limited healthcare capacity in the County.
What if I am diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to someone who was?
If you have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, you will need to be isolated to protect those around you.
If you were exposed to someone who was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, you should quarantine for the recommended time in order to not expose others in case you happen to have the virus yourself.
Please see the COVID-19 Isolation Instructions for more information.
What Can I do? What is open?
In accordance with the State and County orders, these services will remain open:
- Many County government services, police stations, fire stations, jails, courts, garbage/sanitation, transportation, utilities (water, power and gas). Use online or mobile services whenever possible;
- Healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, medical and mental health clinics, doctor offices, pharmacies, health care supply stores, and other health care facilities; Veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals;
- Educational institutions,—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, such as providing meals;
- Daycare for Childcare Units;
- Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, etc., and other essential groceries such as household cleaning and personal care products and stores that sell pet supplies;
- This includes stores that sell groceries and ALSO other non-grocery products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of our homes/residences. However, clothing may not be sold in any manner which would allow the customer to handle or try on before a purchase is made;
- Self-service food items by shared utensils (e.g., tongs, ladles, shared condiment dispensers) are prohibited;
- Restaurants and other prepared food facilities, for delivery, carry out or curb-side pick-up, and limited dine-in services, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences as long as all COVID-19 precautionary measures are implemented;
- Retail establishment, with curbside pick-up and delivery strongly encouraged;
- Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
- Taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
- Agriculture and food cultivation, including but not limited to, food and beverage cultivation, farming, ranching, fishing, forestry, livestock and legal cannabis and other medicines (and businesses that supply agriculture, food and beverage cultivation, processing and distribution);
- Licensed retail facilities/dispensaries, with curbside pick-up and delivery strongly encouraged;
- Banks and related financial institutions, such as check-cashing and money order services;
- Service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time who are 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);
- Garbage and sanitation services and collection;
- Hardware, home improvement stores, home appliance stores, nurseries, and plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining safety and sanitation;
- Laundromats and laundry service providers;
- Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate (i.e., office supplies, internet and telecommunication service providers);
- Home-based care for seniors, adults, disabled persons or children (however, skilled nursing facilities are not open to visitors at this time);
- Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
- Professional services, such as legal, notary or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with non-elective legally mandated activities;
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this order to work as permitted, subject to certain conditions discussed below. Child care for essential workers may also include babysitters that come to the essential worker’s home;
- Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis;
- Manufacturing businesses;
- Construction businesses;
- Certain “Limited Services,” such as pet grooming, dog walking, car washes, appliance repair, residential and janitorial cleaning and plumbing;
- Offices in all sectors, not only critical infrastructure, and where telework is not possible;
- Some recreational facilities such as parks, golf courses, equine and other animal-related facilities, dog parks and other facilities for outdoor recreation;
- Outdoor museums and galleries, and botanical gardens.
- Salons, barber shops, personal care services (waxing, skin care services, nails, tattoos, etc.) and massage therapy
- Places of Worship
- Funeral service providers
- Therapeutic services (massage therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture)
- Transient lodging (hotels, motels, vacation rentals, etc.)
- Tasting rooms (wineries, breweries, distilleries)
- Gyms and fitness facilities
- Movie theaters
- Family entertainment centers (bowling alleys, miniature golf, arcades)
- Museums, galleries, zoos and aquariums
- Campgrounds and RV parks
- Any industry for which State Guidance has been issued and is not specifically prohibited by the Shelter in Place Order.
You can go to the store to buy food for yourself, for those in your home, and for anyone else that needs help. This also includes medical supplies at a pharmacy and essential home maintenance supplies at a hardware or home improvement store.
You can also travel to pick up free food for children from schools throughout Mendocino County.
Help retailers maintain a 6-foot minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.
Minimize unnecessary trips.
Are online stores and delivery still available?
- Mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.
- You can place more orders from online stores.
What can't I do?
The following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time:
- Indoor playgrounds such as bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag
- Live theater
- Saunas and steam rooms
- Concert venues
- Theme parks
- Higher education (in person), except where supporting essential workforce activities, including but not limited to providing housing solutions, COVID-19 response, and training and instruction for the essential workforce.
- Recreational team sports
Where does this apply?
This is in effect across Mendocino County.
Are parks open?
Individual parks may be opened by the operator if social distancing protocols are put in place. Playground equipment at parks is not open.
Is this mandatory or is it just guidance?
It is mandatory. This order is a legal order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order. The intent is prevention of the spread of this deadly illness and protection of human life.
It is critical for everyone to follow the order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors, and the whole community.
All persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order.
What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?
This is a legally enforceable order issued under California law. It is a crime to violate this order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.
What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?
You can still get your health needs addressed. Contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services. Some services, especially elective procedures, may be postponed or canceled.
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 are having an actual emergency.
Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?
Yes. However, you are urged to stay within 50 miles of your residence (measured in a straight line on a map). Unless the family and/or friends are members of your Stable Bubble, social distancing is required. Additionally, gatherings are still prohibited by the State.
Can I still get deliveries from online stores? Can I order from online stores?
Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.
Yes, you can place more orders from online stores. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are essential businesses that may continue to operate.
Can I use ride share or on-demand services or a taxi?
Yes, but only for essential travel.
Do your best to take social distancing precautions: cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands before and after rides, etc.
Can I use public transport?
Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. When using public transport, you must wear facial coverings and maintain at least 6 feet of distance - two to three steps away - including if you are on the bus or on trains.
Can I get my prescriptions or other health care needs? Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled?
Yes. Drug stores and other medical supply stores are allowed to operate. When possible, you should have the drug store deliver your prescription medicine to your home.
Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and medication?
No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open.
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 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?
Yes. Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or into a tissue, and then washing your hands. If you have early signs of a cold, please stay away from your older loved ones.
Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
Most facilities are limiting and/or discouraging visitors. If you need to know more, please contact the facility you want to visit by phone before you leave your home.
This is difficult, but it is necessary in order to protect hospital staff and other patients as some people infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms.
What should I do if I’m sick and need to go to the hospital or a medical provider? How can I protect others?
Unless it is an emergency, if possible, walk or drive yourself to the healthcare. If someone else in your home can safely drop you off, that is another good option. You want to try to avoid exposing others to any germs you have, especially if you are seriously ill. If you need to go to the hospital or a medical provider, call ahead so they can prepare for your arrival. If you need to call 911, tell the 911 operator the exact symptoms you are experiencing so the ambulance provider can prepare to treat you safely.
You should wear a facial covering if you have to go to the doctor or if you have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like a surgical mask or N-95 mask, you can wear that to prevent exposing others. Just do the best you can.
What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?
Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support. They are permitted to pick up any of your needs.
What medical and other health related activities are allowed?
People may obtain services at any hospital, clinic, dentist, pharmacy, pharmaceutical or biotechnology/medical device companies, other healthcare facility, healthcare supplier, home healthcare service, behavioral health provider, and any related healthcare service. Check with your provider for any limitations on in-person visits. Additionally, telehealth is encouraged to the extent possible.
What if I’m in a line and there are not six feet between me and others?
You should still try to maintain at least six feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. Be sure when you are in line that you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into your elbow with clothing on.
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?
Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?
Yes, however, you should minimize unnecessary trips and people are encouraged to take advantage of curbside pickup when available.
Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?
Can I go to the bank?
Yes, you can go to the bank. You should minimize unnecessary trips.
What are the social distancing guidelines I still need to follow?
The best way to reduce your risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid groups (stay at least six feet away from others).
- Reduce the time you are around others outside the home, even when at least six feet away.
- Regularly clean high-traffic surfaces.
- If you are sick, stay home unless you need to seek medical care in which case you should call ahead.
- Wear a facial covering.
When practicing social distancing, how far should I stay away from others if I must be away from my home?
At least 6 feet, which is appropriately two to three steps away, including if you are using public transportation. This is why it is important to only take public transportation for essential activities – you want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing.
Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?
Bars and movie theaters can open pursuant to specific requirements of the Order. Other entertainment venues such as live theaters and concert halls/arenas must remain closed.
Can I go to a restaurant, café, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other food service location?
Yes. Restaurants may be open for limited dining. Such establishments should continue to encourage takeout and delivery services whenever possible.
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-price 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 go to the gym or health club?
Yes. Gyms are permitted to open.
Can I walk my dog/pet?
Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least 6 feet from other pets and owners and you are urged to be within 50 miles from residence (measured in a straight line on a map).
Can I got to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?
Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least 6 feet from other pets and owners.
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, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit a hardware store, which are allowed to stay open under this order.
Can I travel across the State or Country at this time to return a visitor to his or her home?
Travel for the purpose of allowing a non-resident to return to their residence is permitted.
Is recreational driving permitted under the Shelter in Place Order?
Yes. However you are urged to stay within 50 miles (measured in a straight line on a map) from your residence.
Can I continue to follow custody court orders with the Shelter in Place Order?
Leaving your home in order to comply with a court order, including court ordered custody arrangements, is permitted.
Can AA and NA meetings continue?
Yes. AA and NA meetings are essential to health and are therefore permitted to continue under this order. Individuals are encouraged to use online AA meetings to the greatest extent possible. If online meetings are not available or individuals feel that an in-person meeting is essential to their health and well-being, they may attend in person. In-person meetings should comply with social distancing requirements.
Can people leave home to volunteer at food banks or other services providing food?
Yes. Food banks and food pantries are essential businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals. People may leave their homes to work or volunteer at these facilities. As with all permitted travel, however, individuals should comply with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent possible.
Can lifeguard training occur during the Shelter-in-Place Order?
Yes. Lifeguards are essential for public safety and training is permitted. However, to the extent possible they must employ all necessary emergency protective measures to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are crabbing, fishing, and hunting permissible?
Crabbing, fishing, and hunting are permitted for the purpose of obtaining food, and only in those areas which remain open and where such activities are permitted. Additionally, when engaging in recreational fishing, hunting, and crabbing individuals are urged to stay within 50 miles (measured in a straight line on a map) from their residence.
Are charter boats allowed to operate under the Shelter-in-Place Order?
Charter boats may operate only if they comply with all requirements for outdoor business. Additionally charter boats may only allow as many guest onboard as the boat can properly accommodate with at least 6 feet of social distancing between members of different households, living units, and Stable Bubbles. The operator must ensure proper sanitation and hygiene, including frequent disinfection of high touch surfaces, life vests and equipment and comply with all additional requirement provided in the Shelter in Place Order.
Are boat launch ramps required to close?
No. Boat ramps may be open if the operator establishes and posts a recreational safety protocol.
May I move residences if my lease is ending, or if my landlord is allowing me to renew my lease, but I do not want to renew my lease?
Yes. Moving residences is permitted under the Shelter in Place order.
Is surfing permitted under the Shelter-in-Place Order?
Surfing is permitted under the same circumstances as other outdoor exercise. It is urged that such activities are initiated within a 50 miles’ (measured in a straight line on a map) distance from one’s home, and the surfing location must also be one at which outdoor recreation is permitted under the order.
What is the farthest distance that I can drive from my place of residence to recreate?
You are urged to drive no more than 50 miles (measured in a straight line on a map) from your residence to recreate.
Are fitness classes allowed to take place such as through local gyms or recreational programs?
Yes, indoor and outdoor group training classes and exercise classes may only be offered if all individuals participating comply with the facial covering order, and the class size is limited to ensure a minimum of six feet of physical distancing between patrons and there is no person-to-person contact, except as allowed between members of the same household, living unit, or Stable Bubble. The Health Officer specifically encourages local gyms and recreational programs follow the requirements for pool-based therapy or exercise, namely limiting all training and exercise classes to up to 12 individuals at one time. Such gyms and programs must also follow the State COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Fitness Facilities, https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf. Additionally, because engaging in aerobic exercise causes people to more forcefully expel airborne particles, facial coverings must worn at all times, even when maintaining 6 feet of distance.
Are pool based classes for adults, such as water aerobics permitted?
Yes, however facilities providing these classes must follow the rules provided for gyms and fitness centers, including strict adherence to the “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” referenced in the Industry Guidance: Fitness Facilities (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf). Additionally these classes must follow the requirements for public and Shared Pools provided in the Shelter in Place Order, including limited class size to 12 individuals and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between all individuals.
May I practice yoga outdoors alone or in a group?
A person may practice yoga outdoors by oneself, or in a group if social distancing is maintained, and shared equipment is used only by members of the same household, living unit, or Stable Bubble. A person may only practice yoga without social distancing with other members of one’s own household, living unit, or Stable Bubble.
Is social distancing required while swimming in rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water?
Yes, social distancing should be maintained to the extent possible while swimming except for the members of your household, living unit, or Stable Bubble.
Can children’s sports teams resume practice?
Children’s sports teams can practice as part of a Children’s Extracurricular Activity Unit, which would be limited to a total of 12 individuals, including coaches. However, teams may not play other teams, and a child may be a member of only one Children’s Extracurricular Activity Unit during a 4-week time period.
Are spectators permitted at children’s sporting events?
Spectators at sporting events of all kinds are not permitted at this time.
Are dance, martial arts and other similar classes permitted for children?
Yes. These types of class are permitted for Children’s Extracurricular Units, i.e., following the requirements in the order as to stable groups of 12 individuals (typically 10 children and 1-2 adults) over a four (4) week time period. Facilities providing these classes must also follow the rules provided for gyms and fitness centers, including following the COVID-19 Industry Guidance (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf). Additionally, because engaging in aerobic exercise causes people to more forcefully expel airborne particles, facial coverings must worn at all times, even when maintaining 6 feet of distance.
Can pools in living communities (condos, mobile home parks, apartments) open?
Yes. These pools may open but only with strict adherence to the “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” referenced in the Industry Guidance: Fitness Facilities (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf) and as to Outdoor Recreation (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-campgrounds.pdf), along with the additional requirements for Shared Pools provided in the Shelter in Place Order.
Can a musician or group of musicians play at a farmers’ market?
This type of activity is not be permitted at this time because it would encourage people to gather.
Are singing or similar activities at an event such as a church service permitted?
Yes. However, because signing and similar activities are known to project droplets that may transmit COVID-19, farther than 6 feet, the venue should take measures to ensure that any additional risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to singing or any similar activity, is mitigated. Such measures may include the use of a plexiglass screen between singers in the same venue, proper ventilation (open windows, not fans), distancing greater than six feet, the use of facial coverings, singing at a lower volume than a normal speaking voice, singing outside, and ensuring singers are not positioned face-to-face. Additionally the venue should strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets.
Are outdoor church services permitted at a Place of Worship if social distancing is maintained?
Yes, subject to the same rules as all other church services, including but not limited to the event being limited to no more than 100 individuals or 25% percent of the capacity of the Place of Worship, whichever is less. A Place of Worship may also hold an outdoor religious service or cultural ceremony on its grounds at a capacity greater than 25 % of the building’s capacity, provided that the grounds can accommodate sufficient social distancing, hygiene and disinfection pursuant to State Guidance (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf), there are sufficient parking and restroom amenities to accommodate the increased capacity, and the total number of individuals attending the services does not exceed 100.
Are funerals allowed under the same rules a church services?
Yes, funeral are permitted subject to the same rules as church services. For the purposes of the Shelter in Place Order, mortuaries, cemeteries, funeral homes and similar facilities are considered Places of Worship, regardless of any religious affiliation or lack thereof. Funerals are specifically permitted because of high death rate associated with COVID-19.
Are churches allowed to have drive-in church services, where no one is exiting their vehicles and people are using their radios to listen to the service?
Yes. See Guidelines for Drive-In and Drive-Through Events.
Do livestreamed church services have to be on the grounds of a Place of Worship?
Live stream church services that require the gathering of only the members of one’s household, living unit or Stable Bubble can be held at a location other than the grounds of a Place of Worship.
In an outdoor drive-in church service where cars are 8-10 feet apart, can people have their windows down while they sing in their cars without facial coverings?
Is childcare permitted during a religious service, at the same facility where the religious service is held?
No. Any childcare would need to be provided at a separate facility with separate amenities such as parking lots and restrooms. Additionally, State guidance does not allow children’s group activities at places of worship such as Sunday school or Hebrew School.
Can I hold a drive-in graduation?
Yes. See Guidelines for Drive-in and Drive-through Events.
Are outdoor events such as an organized picnic, with social distancing between families allowed?
No. Such an event would be considered a gathering and would not be allowed under the State’s orders.
May wedding venues (other than Places of Worship) open for in person weddings?
No. Wedding ceremonies may only occur at Places of Worship in accordance with the State Guidance https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship.pdf and local Orders specific to Places of Worship, including, but not limited to the capacity restrictions and required social distancing outlined in the same. "Places of Worship" does not include any venue whose sole religious or cultural function consists of renting the venue to others for discrete events (e.g., commercial wedding venues, event centers, conference centers, etc.). Wedding parties and receptions are not permitted at any venues at this time.
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 conditions of this order as they relate to child care, including those child care providers which are licensed by the State of California, Community Care Licensing Division, and should comply with the COVID-19 Updated Guidance: Child Care Programs and Providers (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-childcare.pdf), unless operating as a Day Camp and to that extent should follow the Guidance for the same (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-daycamps.pdf). Additionally, to the extent possible children should be cared for in age-appropriate groups of 12 or fewer (typically 10 children and 1-2 adults), groups of children may not mix with each other, and providers may not circulate between groups. Please review the order for further details.
Are nannies permitted to be used? What about other in-home child care?
Yes. Nannies are permitted.
I am currently on vacation outside the County—Does the Order allow me to return home?
Yes. You should maintain social distancing on your way home, and then you will be subject to the limitations in this order. If you prefer to shelter in place at your current location, you are encouraged to follow this order while outside Mendocino County in order to protect yourself and others.
Can I leave Mendocino County to go on a planned vacation?
While recreational travel is not prohibited, people traveling for recreational purposes are urged to limit travel to 50 miles (measured in a straight line on map) from one’s place of residence. You are still encouraged to shelter in your place of residence. Traveling runs the risk of spreading the virus to other areas and exposing new populations.
What do I do about my kids? I have to work.
This order allows you to take steps necessary to take your children to authorized childcare. Otherwise, you should address childcare needs as you are able, given the constraints of the situation.
Can I leave home to exercise?
Yes. Gyms and similar facilities are permitted to open. Additionally outdoor recreation facilities can be open. It is urged that any outdoor activity or exercise be initiated from within 50 miles (measured in a straight line on a map) of one’s residence. When leaving your residence to exercise you should take steps to avoid close contact with other people and wear a facial covering when required.
Are children (of any age) required to maintain social distance when recreating?
Yes. Unless the children are recreating with members of their own household, living unit, or Stable Bubble which includes Household Support Unit, Childcare Unit, or Children’s Extracurricular Activity Unit, children must practice social distancing while recreating.
What sports can I play?
You can engage in certain activities outdoors, but you should not play sports indoors or play team sports, unless done with members of your own household, living unit, or Stable Bubble.
Sports or activities that include the use of shared equipment may only be engaged in at private residences, by members of the same household or living unit, or Stable Bubble and in a multi-family shared living space, and if equipment is disinfected between uses.
Sports that are permitted include but are not limited to (as long as you maintain at least six feet from anyone else and don’t share equipment except as described above):
- Yoga on your own (no sharing blocks or mats)
- Running alone or with others with distance
- Riding your bike (alone/with distance)
- Walking (alone/with distance)
- Swimming in the ocean or in your own pool/hot tub
- Animal-related recreation
- Disc golf
- Kayaking and canoeing
- Horseback riding
- Sports activities with members of your household, living unit, or Stable Bubble
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.
What do I do about my loved ones who need care from me?
You are permitted to provide care or to help with getting supplies for loved ones. But don’t provide care or pick up supplies if you are sick and someone else can do it. If you are sick, please self-isolate or take other steps to prevent exposing anyone else to your illness.
Why is the County Public Health Officer issuing an order that may affect businesses in my community?
At this stage of the emergency, it is essential to slow virus transmission as much as possible to protect the most vulnerable and to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed.
The Public Health Officer has been closely monitoring the rapidly accelerating situation with COVID-19 in our Northern California region and it is clear that if we do not take very strong and aggressive action to slow down the spread of the disease, there will be substantial harm to members of our community.
Additionally, our hospitals and particularly our intensive care units could be overwhelmed with patients. We are taking this action to save the lives of the many higher-risk people in our community who are particularly susceptible to severe illness or death from COVID-19. This order also protects everyone’s ability to seek emergency health care when needed.
The intent of this order is to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the extent possible by ensuring that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence, while also enabling essential services to continue.
Is the self-certification intended to impose additional liability on my business?
No. Although the self-certification process requires an acknowledgement that a violation of the health order may create liability, it is not the intent of the self-certification process to impose any liability other than what would already exists. The purpose of this acknowledgment is to further alert business owners to some of the possible consequences associated with violating the health order.
What if my business is not considered an Essential Business, Outdoor Business, Lower Risk Business or Permissible Higher Risk Business? Does this Order require that I shut down my business facility?
Businesses that are required to close may still continue to perform minimum basic operations, provided that employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible when carrying out:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, perform cleaning or other essential functions while wearing personal protective equipment (as appropriate), or for related functions.
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business to continue to work remotely from their residences.
- Those operations necessary for venues, such as concert halls, auditoriums, and playhouses, to enable a recorded and/or live-streamed event to be shared virtually with the public with the following limitations:
- Events at a single venue must involve not more than 6 individuals present for the live event, which must be the same 6 individuals for a 4-week period, for reoccurring events. All others must participate remotely, such as in separate vehicles or from their residences.
- Social Distancing Requirements should be maintained to the extent possible, including maintaining at least six feet of social distancing from other individuals (physical distancing not required for members of the same household), frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible, or using hand sanitizer that is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as effective in combatting COVID-19, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.
- The venue should take measures to ensure that any additional risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to singing or any similar activity, is mitigated. Such measures may include the use of a plexiglass screen between singers in the same venue, proper ventilation, distancing greater than six feet, and ensuring singers are not positioned face-to-face.
What are the employment functions that are permissible under this Order?
Only businesses designated by the State Public Health Officer as Essential Workforce at (https://covid19.ca.gov/essential-workforce/) and those businesses allowed to reopen statewide pursuant to the State Resilience Roadmap and for Variance Counties, subject to State COVID-19 Industry Guidances (See https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance; https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/), are permitted to operate, subject to the additional requirements outlined in the Health Officer’s Order.. The employees of these businesses may continue to work outside of their residences so that the businesses may continue to offer their goods and services. Employees of other businesses may report to work only to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations,” which are the operations necessary to the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, perform cleaning or other essential functions while wearing personal protective equipment as appropriate, or for related functions.
Additionally, government employees who are designated as essential by their government employer may continue to work outside their residences. Any employees who work outside their residences should maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person whenever possible.
What do I do about my job which requires me to go to work?
Only businesses designated by the State Public Health Officer as Essential Workforce at (https://covid19.ca.gov/essential-workforce/) and those businesses allowed to reopen statewide pursuant to the State Resilience Roadmap and for Variance Counties, subject to State COVID-19 Industry Guidances (See https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance; https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/), are permitted to operate, subject to the additional requirements outlined in this Order.If your work is not one of these types of businesses, you are not permitted to go to work and your employer is not permitted to require you to attend except for Minimum Basic Operations (discussed above). You may work from home if your work permits.
What does it mean that an employer may not allow an employee who is sick to work? Does this mean only an employee sick with COVID-19 or symptoms associated with COVID-19?
The Shelter-in-Place order prohibits an employer from allowing an employee who is known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 or who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, to come to work. An employer is not required to send an employee home who is experiencing another medical condition such as seasonal allergies. For further information for employers on this subject, we recommend that you review the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be found at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
Can employees who work at a business allowed to operate under the Shelter in Place Order walk, run, or bike during their break/lunch?
Yes. Employees working at a business allowed to operate under the Shelter in Place Order may walk, run, or bike during their break/lunch.
What if I work for a school or a childcare facility?
Please review this order for more details about requirements and restrictions and see the next question and answer.
Does this Order require that schools shut down?
K-12 schools must follow the applicable (currently interim) State Guidelines for Schools and School-Based Programs (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf) The State through this recently released guidance has made clear that the guidelines and considerations do not reflect the full scope of issues that school communities will need to address, which range from day-to-day site-based logistics to the social and emotional well-being of students and staff. Further state guidance is forthcoming, including on school-based sports and extracurricular activities.
Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?
If they provide essential services as described in this order, then yes, they can and should continue providing those services. This would include non-profits operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and many other critical services. However, these non-profits must use every precaution to prevent the spread of infection and follow social distancing as much as possible. Non-profits also may hold events as permitted under Minimum Basic Operations, or sell goods, with curbside pick-up and delivery strongly encouraged.
Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order to travel to/from a job outside Mendocino County? Does this Order allow me to leave the County?
This Order allows all travel for urgent matters and to perform permissible work and activities. All travel must comply with the Social Distancing Requirements in Section 11 of the Order. Travel for recreation or tourism is urged to stay within fifty (50) miles of one’s residence (or from one’s hotel room) as measured in a straight line on a map, and to stay within one county to limit the transmission of the virus.
Can grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other food retailers remain open?
Yes. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and 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 a 6-foot minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line, and wearing facial coverings in all enclosed spaces.
Liquor stores that also sell food qualify as essential. We want people to have access to food wherever possible.
Can big box stores that sell groceries and essentials stay open?
I work for an essential infrastructure organization—can I leave home to go to work?
Yes. “Essential Infrastructure” includes, but is not limited to, water, sewer, gas, electrical, roads and highways, public transportation, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).
I work in healthcare operations—can I leave home to go to work?
Yes. “Healthcare Operations” includes hospitals, clinics, dentists, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
Can I keep working from home?
Yes, as long as your employer permits it.
What if I want to go to work and I’m not sick?
Unless your work provides an essential function, is a lower risk business, outdoor business, or permissible higher risk business you cannot go to work. You may have the virus and not know it, or you might get it and risk infecting those you live with.
Should hotels, motels, and other transient lodgings remain open or closed?
Hotels, motels, and other transient lodgings are permitted to open, but only under the requirements provided in the Shelter in Place Order.
Does the Shelter-in-Place order permit a stream bed restoration project when it relates to an agriculture operation which must be completed during specific times to meet mandates of the State Water Quality Board?
Yes. As long as the project is required for agriculture or is done by a business deemed to be an Outdoor Business, the project would be allowed. If any part of the project requires new construction, that activity would be permitted if allowed under the State orders.
Am I permitted to keep my Healthcare Operations Business open to provide non-urgent/non-emergency services?
The Shelter-in-Place order does not require Healthcare Operations to limit the services provided.
Can I travel, either within the County or from outside the County, to conduct repairs and maintenance that cannot be delayed, on a second home or vacation or other rental.
Yes. You may travel within Mendocino County or into Mendocino County to make repairs on a residence that is not your primary residence if the repairs are necessary to ensure that the residence is safe, sanitary, or habitable to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed. Similarly, you may travel to perform maintenance such as landscaping, or tree trimming but only to the extent necessary to maintain the habitability or sanitation, or the safety of residents, or the public (such as fire safety or tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition), to the extent such activities cannot reasonably be delayed. However, in conducting these activities, you must take all reasonable steps to limit travel and time spent away from your primary residence.
Can a business that is allowed to operate under the Shelter in Place Order, and is moving into Mendocino County, start construction on an existing vacant commercial building in preparation for opening an essential business at that location, or start construction of a new commercial building that will be part of Essential Infrastructure or an Essential Business?
Yes, as long as the construction is of the type permitted by the State.
Are acupuncturists and chiropractors permitted to provide services?
Acupuncturists and chiropractors are considered Permissible Higher Risk Business are permitted to provide services. However, both the service provider and patient must wearing a facial covering and the service provider, clinic, and/or business ensures only one client is served per room at a time and establishes frequent disinfection, including between each client. To the extent such therapy involves treatment of the head, face, or mouth, additional protective measures are required, which may include installing a plexiglass or other physical barrier, or ensuring the provider also wear a face shield (in addition to a facial covering). Additionally, these business should follow all applicable health and safety protocols found at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/.
Are massage therapists permitted to provide services?
Yes. However, both therapist and patient must wear a facial covering, only one massage may occur at a time and disinfection between massages is required. To the extent such therapy involves treatment of the head, face, or mouth, additional protective measures are required, which may include installing a plexiglass or other physical barrier, or ensuring the provider also wear a face shield (in addition to a facial covering). Additionally, massage therapists should follow all applicable health and safety protocols found at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/
Can a person provide clothing alteration services?
Yes. This type of service would be considered a limited service and should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable.
May a business sell self-serve beverage items such as fountain sodas and coffee?
No. Beverages should be dispensed by employees.
What kind of events can be held at a conference center that holds educational and training sessions, board of directors meetings and other types of events?
The types of events that can be held a conference center are those events which would be otherwise permitted by the order, including, required training or meeting for government agencies, Healthcare Operations, and other businesses allowed to operate under the Shelter in Place order, that cannot be held remotely. However, the number of attendees at such events should be limited to allow for 6 feet of space between each person, materials and equipment should not be shared among attendees, and facial coverings should be worn at all times.
Can a driving school operate?
Yes. This type of service would be considered a limited service and should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable. Additionally, facial coverings must be worn as all times and all surfaces must be disinfected between students.
Can a music teacher hold one-on-one music lessons?
Yes. This type of service would be considered a limited service and should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable. Instruction involving the use of wind instruments should be done with greater than 6 feet of distance between each person, and facial coverings should be worn at all times except while playing a wind instrument. Additionally, wind instruments cannot be shared and all other instruments must be disinfected if shared between more than one individual.
Are businesses that people use to send money internationally considered essential? Many of these are often located within other businesses.
Businesses used to send money internationally are essential businesses.
How long do businesses have to provide copies of the Social Distancing and Hygiene Protocol to employees and how should the Protocol be distributed?
Employees should be provided with copies of the Social Distancing and Hygiene Protocol as soon as is practicable, taking into consideration varying work schedules. The protocol can be distributed in any manner that ensures that each employee receives a copy and is given sufficient time to review the protocol; for example, the protocol could be included with employees’ paychecks and posted on the wall in a break room or similar location.
Is a pet grooming business allowed to operate?
Yes. These businesses should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable.
When should employees who are sent home ill or sent home because they are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 be permitted to come back to work?
Employees who have been sent home sick with symptoms associated with COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should not return to work until they have been evaluated by their medical provider and cleared to return to work. If they have been ordered into isolation or quarantine, they may not return to work until they are released from isolation or quarantine. Further information on this process can be found at the following link: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/home/showdocument?id=33708
Employees who are at high risk from severe illness from COVID-19 should work from home, to the extent possible. They are not, however, required to be sent home if teleworking is not feasible.
If I have a meeting that I need to hold either for my essential business or as part of minimum basic operations, and not everyone can participate remotely, how should I hold the meeting?
Businesses should, to the extent possible, hold meetings virtually. This includes holding a meeting with as many participants as possible participating remotely.
If I work in Mendocino County and live in another county, or live in Mendocino County and work in another county, which County's shelter-in-place order should I follow to determine if my work is permitted?
Whether a particular type of work is permitted is determined by the County in which the work occurs.
How can I deliver existing inventory to businesses and residences?
The delivery of existing inventory can be done by any lawful means, including, but not limited to, mail, delivery service, or by employees.
When conducting a real estate viewing or filming a virtual viewing do I have to make the residents leave the property while I do a virtual tour or can they practice social distancing such as going outside while the virtual viewing is being conducted, but staying on the property?
When conducting a viewing or filming a virtual viewing for a real estate transaction, if the property is occupied, the current residents are not required to leave the property but must stay outside of the building during the viewing.
Can I continue to operate an equine facility where members bring their horses and use the facility to work and train the animals?
Yes. However, the facility must establish and post a Social Distancing and Hygiene Protocol, including the cleaning of shared equipment between uses and frequent cleaning of high touch points such as gates and other equipment as a condition of operation.
Can a defense investigator interview witnesses in person?
Yes. If a remote interview is not practicable. However, social distancing measures including keeping six feet of distance, wearing a facial covering, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer prior to entering, and after leaving the person's home should be employed.
Am I allowed to operate my house cleaning business and/or hire someone to clean my house?
Yes. Residential and janitorial cleaning services are permitted under the State and local orders.
Can real estate offices be open to the public?
Yes, but telework should be utilized to the maximum extent possible.
Can people horseback ride with other individuals?
People can only horseback ride with other individuals if social distancing is maintained and shared equipment is used only by members of the same household or living unit, or Stable Bubble. If the other individuals are part of the same household, living unit, or Stable Bubble, no social distancing is required and shared equipment may be used.
Can a person travel to Mendocino County to set up a business that is not currently in operation but is a business that is permitted to operate under the current orders?
Yes. As long as the business is one which is authorized to open pursuant to the State and local orders, one can travel to Mendocino County to open a new business.
Are recycling and household hazardous waste facilities essential businesses?
Yes. Recycling and household hazardous waste facilities are essential businesses.
Can I teach an in-person class, such as an art class outside for adults?
Yes. This type of service would be considered a limited service and should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable. Additionally, facial coverings must be worn as all times and all surfaces must be disinfected between students. Indoor in-person art classes for adults are not yet permitted by the State at this time.
Can out-of-town travelers, such as vacationers, use dialysis clinics in Mendocino County?
Individuals staying in Mendocino County for reasons permissible under this order may use local dialysis services. Additionally, the Shelter in Place order does not require a dialysis provider to refuse necessary services to any individual on the basis that the person is in Mendocino County in violation of the Shelter in Place order.
Are dog training classes permissible under the Shelter-in-Place Order?
Outdoor dog training businesses may operate as and should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable. Additionally, facial coverings must be worn as all times and surfaces must be disinfected between classes.
Is pet boarding permitted under the Shelter-In-Place order?
Pet boarding is permitted.
What types of activities are permitted as part of home-based care for pet? Is grooming allowed?
All types of home-based pet care is permitted, including essential grooming, if included in home-based care. However, home-based care does not include mobile grooming services for purely aesthetic services.
Can a therapist such as a marriage and family therapist see clients in person under the Shelter-in-Place order?
If remote therapy is not possible, therapists can see clients in person with proper social distancing, including facial coverings, and sterilizing between clients.
Services for disabled adults.
Services for disabled adults are permitted. However, social distancing should be maintained, and facial coverings worn, to the extent possible. Additionally, any group activities should be done in stable groups of no more than 6 individuals.
What guidance can I follow if there is no industry specific guidance for my business?
If there is no industry specific guidance applicable to your business you must self-certify, https://www.mendocinocountybusiness.org/, and look to regulation governing all business, including the requirements for a Social Distancing and Hygiene Policy and general guidance provided by the State, https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#top.
Can salons operate tanning beds?
Yes. Tanning services are permitted and should follow the relevant COVID-19 Industry Guidance located at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services.pd, to the extent applicable.
Can racetracks/speedways operate?
Yes, but with limitations. Racetracks and speedways, must, prior to opening, establish social distancing and health/safety protocols that must be posted at the site, including prohibitions, on access and use established by the Health Officer, government, or any other entity that manages such an area to reduce crowding and risk of transmission of COVID-19. Additionally spectators are not permitted and the facility must have sufficient restrooms to allow for adequate social distancing.
Are swap meets permitted under the Shelter in Place Order?
Swap meets are permitted only if the person holding the sale complies with all rules required for retail establishments, including self-certification prior to the sale.
Are yard/garage/estate sales permitted?
Yard/garage/estate sales are permitted only if the person holding the sale complies with all rules required for retail establishments, including self-certification prior to the sale.
Can a retail establishment put sales racks up outside in front of the business?
Yes, as long as this can be done in compliance with all requirements for retail establishments provided in the State Guidance for retail, https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf.
Are businesses required to use the signage posted on the County website, or just have signage with similar language?
Businesses are required to post their Social Distancing & Hygiene Protocol and must also post additional County signage regarding required social distancing and use of facial coverings (in both English and Spanish), which is attached as Appendix A-2 to the order, and can be found on the business resource page for the County (https://www.mendocinocounty.org/business/business-resource-for-covid-19). A business can supplement with its own signage with substantially similar information.
Is a sole proprietorship with no employees required to complete the self-certification process?
Yes, all businesses open under the Shelter in Place Order must complete the self-certification process.
FACIAL COVERING FAQs
The Use of Cloth Face Coverings Helps to Slow the Spread of COVID-19.
CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in any public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
In line with the CDC and California Department of Public Health recommendations on face coverings, Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan recommends that everyone who leaves their home for an essential activity wears a face covering, such as a mask, scarf, bandana, or similar garment. Most importantly, everyone should continue to remain home except for when conducting essential activities, and practice social distancing of 6 feet when outside of their homes, in addition to frequent hand washing.
Why Does the CDC Recommend Wearing Face Coverings?
The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and to prevent people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
What Can I Fashion a Cloth Face Covering From?
The CDC recommends cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost.
Can I Put a Cloth Face Covering on a Child?
The CDC recommends cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
How do I Clean/Sterilize my Cloth Face Covering?
The CDC states that all face coverings should be washed regularly depending on the frequency of use. A regular washing machine is suitable for the proper washing of a face covering.
How do I Safely Remove a Used Cloth Face Covering?
The CDC states that individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing it.
Where Can I Find Directions to Make a Cloth Face Covering?
If you would like to follow the CDC recommended instructions for making a cloth face covering please go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering (cloth face coverings should):
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Be secured with ties or ear loops.
- Include multiple layers of fabric.
- Allow for breathing without restriction.
- Allow for being laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
For Work Groups of no more than 6 individuals that are allowed to operate without facial coverings, pursuant to their employer’s adoption of a protocol (section 18 of the County’s Order requiring members of the public to wear Facial Coverings), how much public contact triggers the face covering requirement?
Any contact with the public triggers the requirement to wear facial coverings. The exception to the facial covering requirement is intended for workplaces where employees do not interact with members of the public while at work. Infrequent contact with individuals outside of the Work Group is permitted, however, employees may not be without a facial covering if contact is so frequent that it would be impractical to don a facial covering each time someone from outside the Work Group is present.
If there are glass/plastic partitions between employees and the public, are facial coverings required?
Workers enclosed in a work area so that they are completely separated from airborne exposure from the public or coworkers, for example in a plexiglass enclosure, are not required to wear a facial covering while working in that enclosure, even if they do interact with the public while in that enclosure. A mere plexiglass screen is not sufficient.
Do people need to wear facial coverings while they are sitting in cubicles?
Yes. Unless the cubicle is designed such that its walls extend fully to the ceiling and floor, and its opening does not face the opening of any other cubicle, or unless employees are Work Groups where members of the public are not present and contact with individuals from outside the Work Group is infrequent. However, facial coverings are required any time a member of the public is present.
Would a full face shield be an acceptable face covering?
Yes, A face shield, i.e., a piece of rigid, clear plastic attached to a headband which covers the entire face extending from the forehead to below the chin is an acceptable alternative.
Do individuals need to wear facial coverings before they enter and while inside an indoor facility or other enclosed open space other than their residence, even if they are able to social distance?
Yes. Facial coverings are a supplement to social distancing rather than a replacement. Facial coverings are required indoors, unless an exception applies.
Are facial coverings required in high traffic outdoor spaces such as parking lots or sidewalks?
Yes, persons are required to wear facial coverings in high traffic outdoor areas when they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance from other persons at all times.
Are delivery workers, including for food delivery, required to wear facial coverings?
Delivery workers must wear facial coverings when coming within 6 feet of another individual, when inside any building, or when in a vehicle with another person who is not a member of the same household, living unit, or Stable Bubble.
What can I do when someone comes into my business without a facial covering?
The Mendocino County Health Officer's Order requires every business to inform its visitors that they are required to wear facial coverings. Businesses are permitted to refuse service or entry to any person who fails to wear a facial covering. The only exception is that if some other law specifically requires service to a customer without as mask. To the best of the County's knowledge, no Federal or State agency has opined that any business is required to serve a customer without a mask, but businesses are encouraged to review the latest COVID-19 information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at:
Additionally, California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing has COVID-19 related guidance available at:
Syracuse University has also published a discussion of how COVID-19 issues relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act at:
The statements and opinions published by these entities are their own, and do not constitute legal advice from the County of Mendocino
Are employees preparing and service food and beverages required to wear facial coverings at all times?
Yes. The Mendocino County Health Officer's Order requires any employee engaged in the preparing, handling, or serving of food to wear a facial covering, such as a cloth mask or plastic face shield, for the entire time that they are engaged in that activity. Employers whose employees are unable to wear one or more type of facial covering due to medical reasons should consult guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or consult a private attorney to determine what other methods might be available for them to accommodate the employee.