Los Angeles County continues to move forward in reopening key economic and community sectors that were previously closed or operating in limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The L.A. County Department of Public Health has issued a revised Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community Order, which allows nonessential businesses in office environments to reopen, provided they implement and follow certain required protocols for office worksites. Importantly, the revised County Order still mandates that “[a]ll persons who can telework or work from home should continue to do so as much as possible during this pandemic.” Further information on the reopening requirements for office spaces can be found here.
Television and Film Production and Music Recording
Of critical importance, the revised County Order approved the reopening of film and television production and music recording, subject to the implementation of infection control protocols and several other sector-specific conditions, including:
- Everyone who can carry out work duties from home must be directed to do so
- Workplaces must provide all needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention supplies (face coverings, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc.)
- Employees and visitors must wear cloth face coverings whenever in contact with others unless production activity does not allow for covering; such instances should be of short duration and allow for as much physical distancing as possible
- For television and film production, there must be regular, periodic testing of the cast and crew to mitigate risk of the spread of COVID-19
- For music production, sessions should be booked in advance, visitor logs should be maintained and individuals admitted to a studio must be limited to essential personnel (artists, songwriters, photographers/videographers, etc.)
- Contracts, scripts, music sheets, etc. that are normally shared should be distributed digitally or printed and individually assigned to avoid sharing
- Sets, production spaces, recording studios, etc., as well as frequently touched objects and equipment, must be regularly disinfected
More detailed information on reopening requirements for film and television production and music recording can be found here.
Notably, the updated County Order calls for the continued closure of “higher-risk” recreational sites, commercial properties and activities, including public entertainment venues like movie theaters, live performance theaters, concert venues, theme/amusement parks, stadiums, arenas and casinos.
Reopening continues despite recent spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past week. The County Department of Public Health continues to monitor the spread of the virus, along with other local governments. In the event a rapid acceleration of new cases threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system, there may be a need to limit or close reopened sectors and businesses. The County has made it clear that it may retrench on reopening guidance should infection rates, hospitalizations and related factors spiral unexpectedly.
The most recent L.A. County Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community Order can be found here.
Like the County, the City has also indicated that reopening could be impacted in the event of unexpected increases in COVID-19 cases and the resultant strain on the local healthcare system.
The most recent L.A. County guidelines on steps to take if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 in the workplace can be found here.
Manatt’s team of employment and labor attorneys is able to assist employers as they navigate through these and other updates triggered by COVID-19. For regular updates on the major challenges companies are facing, please visit our COVID-19 resources page and subscribe for timely updates in your inbox here.