As COVID-19 Cases Rise, the State, Counties and Cities Impose New Restrictions

CA Health and Government COVID-19 Guidance: Week in Review

Last week, in response to rising rates of new COVID-19 infections, the state, some counties and many cities put new restrictions in place.

Los Angeles County Adds New Restrictions

On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the County hit a previously set five-day average of 4,500 new cases per day, triggering new restrictions. As discussed below, the new Safer-at-Home Health Officer Order adds several new restrictions effective Monday, November 30, 2020. The new restrictions will remain in effect until December 21, 2020, unless extended.

Public and Private Gatherings

All public and private gatherings with individuals not of the same household are prohibited, except for church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.

Commercial Establishments

The County imposed occupancy limits at various businesses, including the following:


Commercial Establishment Maximum Occupancy

Essential retail

35% maximum occupancy

Nonessential retail (includes indoor malls)

20% maximum occupancy



Personal care services

20% maximum occupancy


20% maximum occupancy

Fitness centers operating outdoors

50% maximum occupancy

Museums, galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors

50% maximum occupancy

Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors

50% maximum occupancy

In addition (as noted in last week’s update), restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries remain closed for in-person service, although pickup and delivery remain permitted. Breweries and wineries remain open for retail sales at 20% occupancy.

All individuals at these sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance from one another.

Commercial establishments remain subject to the statewide curfew for Tier 1 counties, meaning businesses must close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Music, Television and Film

Music, television and film production may continue, in compliance with the Health Officer Order, Appendix J, as last updated on August 18, 2020.

Outdoor Recreation
Most recreation activity sites remain open, but face coverings are required. In addition, the County imposed new distancing requirements:

  • Beaches, trails and parks remain open, but gatherings at these sites with members outside of a single household are prohibited.
  • Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball courts, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane, and swimmers are not subject to the mask mandate while swimming.
  • Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.


All K-12 schools and day camps remain open and subject to reopening protocols. K-12 schools and day camps with an outbreak (three cases or more over 14 days) must close for 14 days.

Institutes of Higher Education remain closed for all nonessential instruction, although on-campus activities are permitted as necessary for distance learning, “essential research projects,” education and training for essential workforce activities, and activities related to state or County COVID-19 response.

Bay Area Counties Under New Restrictions

Last week, San Francisco and San Mateo counties had significant increases in new case rates, which moved both counties back to Tier 1 of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Moving into Tier 1 makes these counties subject to the state’s mandatory 10 p.m.–5 a.m. curfew and closes several business sectors, such as indoor gyms and movie theaters.

In addition, Santa Clara county (which is also in Tier 1) issued a revised local order that adds significant restrictions on travel and business. Like in Los Angeles, the new rules take effect on Monday, November 30, 2020, and will remain in effect until December 21, 2020, unless extended. The new restrictions include:

  • Mandatory 14-day quarantine is required upon return from travel of more than 150 miles. 
  • Hotels and other lodging facilities will be open only for essential travel, isolation or quarantine.
  • Occupancy limits are enforced by a “metering system”:
    • Nonessential retail and other indoor locations—10% capacity
    • Essential retail (grocery stores, drug stores, pharmacies)—25% capacity
  • Outdoor gatherings limited to protected church services and protests—100 people
  • Outdoor recreation is permitted with social distancing.
  • Sports (professional, collegiate, high school, youth) are prohibited where contact is involved.
  • Cardrooms are closed.


pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

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