On May 23, the State of California has approved the County of Orange’s plan to accelerate local businesses into Stage Two. The County was able to successfully demonstrate that Orange County meets the State’s required metrics as outlined in the California Resiliency Roadmap.
“The County of Orange has met the State’s latest metrics to remove its restrictions on the re-opening of more businesses,” said OC Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District. “Orange County issued guidelines for businesses to operate three weeks ago. With this attestation, it is our goal to ensure all Orange County businesses have the confidence to open as safely and as soon as possible without concerns about the state order.”
In Stage Two, the County of Orange will be allowed to have the following businesses re-open with adaptations:
- In-person dining reservations
- Retail shopping with social distancing and curbside pickup
- Offices (when telework not possible)
- Outdoor Museums
- Limited Services
Please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/ for more information related to your specific industry.
“While we understand that many businesses want to re-open quickly, we must ensure that it’s done in a safe manner,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “Having the proper guidance documentation and safety precautions are important to ensure that Orange County can continue on its path to more fully open all sectors of our economy.”
The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) encourages business owners and operators review the State’s guidance and do the following:
- Find the guidance that is most relevant to their respective industries.
- Prepare a plan after reading.
- Put the plan into action.
- Once completed, post the industry-specific checklist in their workplaces.
“We understand that many businesses are hurting at this time and greatly want to re-open with as little issues as possible,” said Supervisor Don Wagner, Third District. “However, the State is requiring training and assessments to be done prior to opening. We ask that businesses work as best as they can to meet these guidelines.”
Before businesses who meet the Stage Two criteria take the step to re-open, the HCA strongly recommends they perform the following steps:
- 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 stay home if they have them.
- Implement individual control measures and screenings.
- Implement disinfecting protocols.
- Implement physical distancing guidelines.
“We’re confident in how the Orange County business community will work to ensure the safety and welfare of their staff and customers alike,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District. “Our goal is to ensure the safe re-opening of businesses that meet the Stage Two criteria so that we can work toward re-opening more sectors of Orange County’s economy.”
The criteria that the County of Orange was able to meet to move into Stage Two included the following:
- Less than 5 percent of daily COVID-19 hospitalizations over a seven-day period or no more than 20 COVID hospitalizations on any single day in the past 14 days.
- Fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days or less than 8 percent testing positive in the past seven days.
- Have a capacity to be able to test 1.5 per every 1,000 residents and at least 15 staff per 100,000 county population trained and available for contact tracing.
- Hospital capacity for a possible surge of 35 percent of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases in addition to providing usual care for other patients.
“I am very pleased that the County has met the criteria to accelerate into the latter phase of Stage Two, thanks in no small part to the great work and diligence of the people of Orange County,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “I look forward to ensuring Orange County moves into Stage Three at the earliest possible opportunity.”