California Public Health Officials Release Guidance and Updates to State’s Blueprint for a Safe Economy

SACRAMENTO ‚ÄstThe California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today¬†released new guidance and made updates to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a central component of state‚Äôs plan to fight COVID-19.

The Blueprint is built off of scientific understanding of the virus, how it is transmitted, and the prevalence of COVID-19 in each county. While the rest of the country is seeing major increases in COVID-19 transmissions, national health experts are pointing to the state‚Äôs slow and stringent framework ‚Äď along with the public‚Äôs adherence to health guidance ‚Äď as one reason California has yet to see a similar trend. The changes announced today fall in line with the state‚Äôs approach.

“As parts of the world and much of this nation are experiencing another wave of COVID-19 cases, it‚Äôs more important than ever we take this disease seriously,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Interim State Public Health Officer. ‚ÄúOur Blueprint for a Safer Economy is driven by science to keep the risk of COVID-19 transmission low in order to help keep Californians safe while avoiding the pain that results from repeatedly opening and shutting down economic activity ‚Äď a step that many jurisdictions that are seeing increases are considering. The most important things all Californians can do to reduce COVID-19 transmission is masking, keeping physical distance and avoiding mixing when possible.‚ÄĚ

Theme Parks Guidance

This guidance applies to theme parks and amusement parks. Smaller theme parks (defined as parks with an overall capacity fewer than 15,000) may resume limited operations in Tier 3 (Moderate/Orange) with capacity limited to 25 percent or 500 people, whichever is fewer. Smaller parks operating in Tier 3 (Moderate/Orange) may only open outdoor attractions, and ticket sales must be limited to visitors residing in the same county as the park. All theme parks may resume operations in Tier 4 (Minimal/Yellow) at 25 percent capacity.

Theme parks must follow state guidance and take steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Theme parks must be prepared for inspections by public health officials and are required to address any findings and implement any recommendations. Steps theme park operators must take to reduce COVID-19 transmission include:

  • Implementing reservation ticketing systems and contacting guests 24 hours before arrival to confirm reservations and screen for symptoms.
  • Implementing a reservation or virtual queuing system for individual attractions, if possible. All in-person queuing, or waiting in line for an attraction, must occur in outdoors settings only.
  • Complying with¬†Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings. The use of face coverings is mandatory throughout the park in all settings¬†unless actively eating or drinking in designated dining areas.

Sporting Events at Outdoor Stadiums Guidance

This guidance applies to live professional sporting events at outdoor stadiums and racetracks. Outdoor operations may resume in Tier 3 (Moderate/Orange) with capacity limited to 20 percent and in Tier 4 (Yellow/Minimal) with capacity limited to 25 percent. Ticket sales must be limited to customers traveling within a 120-mile radius. This guidance applies only to professional sports and does not apply to youth or adult recreational, amateur, semi-pro, or collegiate sporting competitions. Outdoor stadium operators must take steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission including:

  • Implementing advanced ticketing systems and pre-assigned seating¬†to help maintain physical distance. Venues are not permitted to provide will-call or sell tickets on the day of the event to enable adequate planning for physical distancing within the venue.
  • Eating and drinking are permitted in assigned seats only.
  • Prohibiting tailgating and similar activities that encourage mixing of different households in parking lots and other venue areas.
  • Discouraging guests from yelling, singing, booing and other similar actions.
  • Complying with¬†Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings. The use of face coverings is mandatory throughout the stadium in all settings, unless actively eating or drinking in assigned seats.¬†All¬†non-participating athletes, coaches, and other support staff¬†must wear face coverings at all times except when eating or drinking.

Local health officers may implement more stringent rules tailored to local conditions, so employers should also confirm relevant local opening policies.

Personal Care Services

Today, the state also updated the Blueprint for a Safer Economy to allow all personal care services to operate indoors with modifications. Based on further review of the evidence and the sector risk profiles, CDPH has determined that personal services businesses have a similar risk profile to hair and nail salons with respect to the transmission of COVID-19. For all of these sectors, CDPH has determined that the risk can be sufficiently mitigated with modifications to allow those services to resume indoor operations in Tier 1. The update applies to all counties, including those in Tier 1 (Widespread/Purple). Personal care services, including esthetic, skin care, electrology, body art professionals, tattoo parlors, piercing shops, and massage therapy, must follow existing state guidance to create a lower risk environment for employees and the public.

California will continue to update the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and issue guidance based on the best available public health data and known best practices. For more information about the Blueprint and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit covid19.ca.gov.

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the 2017 October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) wildfires, the Camp Fire in 2018, the 2020 statewide fire siege, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

4 thoughts on “California Public Health Officials Release Guidance and Updates to State‚Äôs Blueprint for a Safe Economy

  • October 20, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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    I work in public safety and I have kids that want tp resume youth sports; soccer and baseball, but for some strange reason only the professional “money” sports can resume. The guidance that was issued today is progress, but please explain to me why “This guidance applies only to professional sports and does not apply to youth or adult recreational, amateur, semi-pro, or collegiate sporting competitions”

    For the record, I have posted questions before but have never received a reply.

    G

    Reply
    • October 23, 2020 at 8:06 am
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      Because Professional sports has the money and ability to test everyone with instant results before allowed into the venues; and/or they’ve created sterile bubble communities….. currently, both are cost prohibitive and logistically unfeasible for Al other sectors.

      Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 8:07 am
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    Because Professional sports has the money and ability to test everyone with instant results before allowed into the venues; and/or they’ve created sterile bubble communities….. currently, both are cost prohibitive and logistically unfeasible for Al other sectors.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm
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    Personal Care Service are allowed and in Sonoma County we can’t even have Mass in a church. Sounds so discriminatory!!!!

    Reply

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