The California Department of Public Health announced Monday that retail stores statewide can now open for in-store shopping as long as they follow state guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for workers and customers.
State health officials on Monday also announced guidelines for in-person protests and events designed for political expression. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has faced protests regarding the stay-at-home order, which has been in place since March 19.
The vast majority of large gatherings remain prohibited under the state’s stay-at-home order. The guidance for protests limits attendance to 25 percent of an area’s maximum occupancy, or up to 100 attendees, according to a news release from CDPH.
The latest protest rally in Sacramento against the COVID-19 shutdowns was the largest so far. At least 2,000 demonstrators gathered Saturday to march around the Capitol grounds.
The reopening of the state’s retail industry came along with the release of new guidelines for places of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. These rules, regulations and recommendations are for places of worship to abide by once they are cleared by their counties’ health departments to resume in-person services.
For the retail industry, it must follow already existing COVID-19 California guidelines for retailers that were previously allowed for counties that were approved by the state to advance in the reopening process. But now those guidelines apply to retailers throughout the state.
With more people leaving their homes, it’s now more important than ever to maintain physical distance from others, wear masks or facial coverings and wash your hands frequently, said state Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell.
“Together, our actions have helped bend the curve and reduce infections in our state,” Angell said in the news release. “As sectors continue to open with changes that aim to lower risk, remember that COVID-19 is still present in our communities.”
Prevention practices for retailers include:
Physical distancing to the maximum extent possible.
Use of face coverings by employees, customers and clients.
Frequent hand washing and regular cleaning and disinfection.
Training employees on these and other elements of the COVID-19 prevention plan.
The state guidance for retailers also indicates that it will be critical to have in place appropriate processes to identify new cases of illness in workplaces. When those new cases are identified, it’s important to intervene quickly and work with Public Health authorities to halt the spread of the virus, according to the 11-page document issued last week.
State health officials said retail does not include personal services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops. Haircuts, manicures and other services performed in close quarters remain prohibited for the time being under the state’s phased reopening plan.
La Donna Christensen, a Roseville cosmetologist and hair stylist, offered haircuts at Saturday’s protest rally in Sacramento. She said she wanted to show her services are not hazardous.