News & Press: COVID-19 Updates

California and San Diego County Take the First Steps Toward Reopening

Friday, May 8, 2020   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Emily Mullin
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By Darcey M. Groden, San Diego SHRM Legislative & Communications Committee Member and Regina A. Petty, Fisher & Phillips Attorneys

California and San Diego County Take the First Steps Toward Reopening 

Starting May 8, 2020, California is entering Early Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap by gradually reopening specified lower risk workplaces.  In tandem with California’s Resilience Roadmap, the County of San Diego’s Board of Supervisors adopted the Reopen San Diego Business Safety Framework and the local Public Health Office issued an updated Public Health Order which go into effect the same day.  While this update will not provide a complete list of all updates to the Public Health Order since Jennifer Suberlak posted her initial summary on April 3, 2020, this will provide guidance for businesses which are re-opening.


Who Can Reopen?

In Early Stage 2, California is permitting lower-risk workplaces to open with the modification that they provide curb-side pickup and delivery only.  The businesses that may reopen include bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores and florists.  Supply chains supporting these businesses in the manufacturing and logistics sectors may also open.

It is anticipated that, later in Stage 2, the following stores will reopen: destination retail (including shopping malls and swap meets), select personal services (limited to car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening), office-based businesses (with telework remaining strongly encouraged), dine-in restaurants (with amenities like bars or gaming areas remaining closed), schools and childcare facilities, and outdoor museums and open gallery spaces.

Higher risk businesses are not in Stage 2 reopening and will remain closed.  These include personal services (such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, and fitness studios), hospitality services (such as bars and lounges), entertainment venues (such as movie theaters, gaming facilities, and professional sports), indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos, libraries, communities centers (including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas), religious services and cultural ceremonies, nightclubs, concert venues, festivals, theme parks, and hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism.


I am a Stage 2 Low Risk Retail Business and Want to Reopen.  What Do I Need to Do to Satisfy the State and County Guidelines?

Before reopening, the State requires that all facilities do the following:

  • Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan.
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and to stay at home if they have them.
  • Implement individual control measures and screenings.
  • Implement disinfecting protocols.
  • Implement physical distancing requirements.

San Diego County’s updated Public Health Order and the Reopen San Diego Business Safety Framework are a direct response to these five criteria.  The Reopen San Diego Business Safety Framework requires the implementation of guidelines for employee safety, customer safety, sanitation, physical distancing, and general business practices.  Permissible retail and related businesses that chose to reopen must complete the Safe Reopening Plan and post it at their business entrances.

When completing the Safe Reopening Plan, businesses must review the Resilience Roadmap and Framework to ensure that they are complying with all mandates and obligations.  Employers must refer to their industry’s guidance and checklists as established by the Resilience Roadmap.  Furthermore, while not specifically addressed in the Safe Reopening Plan form, employers should consider incorporating the Framework criteria that non-essential travel be minimized and that adherence to CDC guidelines regarding quarantine following travel be implemented.


What is in the Safe Reopening Plan?  What Do I Need to Do to Qualify to Reopen?

Mandatory Signage and Education

  • Distribute copies of the Safe Reopening Plan to all employees.
  • Post a copy of the Safe Reopening Plan at each public entrance.
  • Post signs at each public entrance of the facility instructing employees and customers to avoid entering the facility if they have a cough or fever, wear facial coverings, maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another, and not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact.
  • Identify and provide contact information for a Health and Safety Coordinator whom any authorities, employees and the public may contact for questions or comments about the Safe Reopening Plan.

Measures to Protect Employee Health

  • Maximize telework opportunities.
  • Instruct employees not to come into work if sick.
  • Take employee temperatures upon reporting to work.  If 100 degrees or more, employees must not be allowed in the workplace.  If a thermometer is not available, employees must be screened for symptoms including a cough; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; or two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
  • Require employees to wear facial coverings if within six feet of others.
  • Separate all desks or individual work stations by at least six feet.
  • Disinfect break rooms, bathrooms, and other common areas on a regular schedule established by the employer as part of the Safe Reopening Plan.
  • Provide employees with Personal Protective Equipment at a level appropriate to employee job duties, which must be established by the employer as part of the Safe Reopening Plan.
  • Provide soap and water to all employees in locations identified in the Safe Reopening Plan.
  • Distribute copies of the Safe Reopening Plan to all employees.
  • Identify a health and safety coordinator to ensure compliance with the Public Health Order and the Safe Reopening Plan.
  • Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding quarantine following travel.
  • Consider and identify additional measures specific to the business, to be included in the Safe Reopening Plan.

Measures to Protect Customer Safety in Retail Establishments

  • Limit the number of customers in a store at any one time once Stage 2 reopened businesses are permitted to provide more than curbside or outdoor service.
  • Require patrons/visitors to wear facial coverings.
  • Provide curbside or outdoor service where feasible even once Stage 2 reopened businesses are permitted to allow customers into stores.
  • Consider additional measures to be identified in the Safe Reopening Plan. 

Measures to Ensure Physical Distancing of at Least Six Feet

  • Post signs outside the store reminding people to stay at least six feet apart even when in line.
  • Encouraging pedestrian traffic to follow one-way paths.
  • Place tape or markings in customer line areas inside and outside stores at six-foot intervals with signs directing customers to use the markings to maintain social distance.
  • Instruct employees to stay six feet away from customers and other employees except when necessary such as to accept payment or deliver goods or service.
  • Utilize an appointment system.
  • Consider other measures to be identified in the Safe Reopening Plan.


What If My Business Does Not Implement or Follow Its Safe Reopening Plan?

The Safe Reopening Plan requirements are incorporated into the County’s Public Health Order.  Reopened businesses are responsible for ensuring that all required measures in the Safe Reopening Plan are implemented and, if those measures are not effective in maintaining proper social distancing and sanitation, they are responsible for modifying their Safe Reopening Plan to achieve those goals. 

The County can shut down businesses that fail to implement an effective Safe Reopening Plan. The County has created an online form which allows the public to report violations of a failure to wear face coverings, and which will route the complaints to the appropriate police or sheriff’s department (if a witness does not call them directly—the numbers are also posted online).  However, beyond that, violation of any portion of the Public Health Order is a misdemeanor, and employers can face fines and imprisonment.



Angel Montenegro says...
Posted Monday, May 11, 2020
We have been operating but we are not open to the public. Are we still required to conduct temperature checks/Health screening to our employees?

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