California stay-at-home order: Who can go to work and what remains open

Coronavirus

In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, state officials ordered California’s nearly 40 million residents to stay at home until further notice—with some exceptions.

The executive order, which went into effect on March 19, allows for essential services to continue running and for workers in critical sectors to go to work. (Lost work during the outbreak? Click here for steps you can take.)

While the proclamation applies throughout the state, local authorities may impose more stringent rules.

“Depending on the conditions in their area, local officials may enforce stricter public health orders. But they may not loosen the state’s order,” California’s official COVID-19 page said.

Here’s what can remain open, according to California state authorities:

  • Day care centers, but only for children whose parents or guardians work in essential sectors
  • Gas stations
  • Essential government offices, including law enforcement and agencies that provide public programs and services
  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores and restaurants that deliver or or offer take-out
  • Health care providers
    • Eye exams, teeth cleaning and other non-essential or elective procedures should be canceled or rescheduled, according state officials.
    • Those experiencing flu-like symptom are urged to call their doctor, a nurse hotline or an urgent care center. People who need to go to the hospital should call ahead so the facilities can prepare. “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,” California’s COVID-19 website says.
    • The executive order bans most unnecessary visits to patients at hospitals, except in end-of-life cases or while accompanying minors or individuals with disabilities.
  • Laundromats
  • Pharmacies and marijuana dispensaries with medical permits
  • Veterinary centers

Here’s what’s closed:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • California State Parks. While indoor facilities and campgrounds are closed, trails and other outdoors spaces remain open, officials said.
  • Convention centers
  • Theaters and drive-in theaters
  • golf courses
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios. People are allowed to go outside for a walk, exercise or take their pets for a walk as long as they maintain 6 feet away from others who aren’t part of their household.
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Restaurants that only offer dine-in services

Employees in the following essential sectors can continue going to work:

Click here for further details on each sector.

  • Chemical
  • Communications and information technology
  • Community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Defense industrial base
  • Emergency services
  • Energy
  • Financial services
  • Food and agriculture
  • Hazardous materials
  • Health care and public health
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Water and wastewater

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