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COVID-19: Safer at Home FAQ

Answering your questions about Los Angeles County's REVISED Safer at Home Order, which is in effect until further notice. Higher-risk businesses are still closed, but the revised Order allows lower-risk businesses and recreation spaces if they can ensure physical distancing, face coverings, regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and handwashing or hand-sanitizing. Click here to read the Revised Safer at Home Order. Click here to read the Revised Safer at Home Order for Control of COVID-19.

What is “Safer at Home”?

Safer at Home is a set of directives that help slow the spread of COVID-19.  They support the Los Angeles County’s Public Health Department Health Officer’s Orders.

What is open?
  • All Essential Businesses
  • Lower-Risk Businesses (Curbside, door side, outdoor pickup or via delivery only)
    • Retailers that are not located within an Indoor Mall or Shopping Center.
    • Manufacturing and logistics sector businesses that supply lower risk retail businesses.
  • Outdoor Recreation
    • Parks, trails, beaches, and other open spaces
  • Outdoor Facilities
    • Golf courses
    • Tennis and pickleball courts
    • Shooting and archery ranges
    • Equestrian centers
    • Model airplane areas
    • Community gardens
    • Bike paths (except at beaches)

The full list of openings is here.

What is not open?
  • Bars and nightclubs that do not serve food and the portions of wineries, breweries and taprooms that provide tastings.
  • Gyms and fitness centers.
  • Movie theaters, drive-in theaters, live performance theaters, concert halls and venues, stadiums, arenas, gaming facilities, theme parks, and festivals.
  • Bowling alleys and arcades.
  • Public piers, public beach parking lots, and bicycle paths that traverse sand.
  • Personal grooming establishments (barbers, hair salons, nail salons).
  • Massage or body art establishments.
  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds for children, except those located within a childcare center.
  • Community centers, including public pools, and pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multi-unit residence or part of a Homeowners’ Association.
  • Indoor and outdoor flea markets and swap meets.
  • Indoor museums, indoor or outdoor children museums, gallery spaces, zoos, and libraries.
  • Indoor malls and indoor shopping centers, including all stores and vendors located therein, regardless of whether they are an Essential or Lower-Risk Business. Indoor Mall or shopping center is defined as: A building with seven (7) or more sales or retail establishments with adjoining indoor space.

The full list of closed business and spaces is here.

Can I leave my home?

You should stay home as much as possible, but yes, you can leave home to visit Essential Businesses, Lower-Risk Businesses, Outdoor Recreation sites, and Outdoor Facilities. The full list of these businesses and outdoor sites is here. When outside your home, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and wear a face covering.

Are beaches and trails close?

Beaches, parks, trails, and trailheads are open for active recreation. Piers, bike paths and parking lots at beaches are closed.

How long will the L.A. County Health Officer’s COVID-19 Health Orders last?

LA County, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, will assess the activities allowed by this Order on an ongoing basis, and modify or extend this Order as appropriate.

Why is the County issuing Orders that closed so many businesses in my community?

LA County has been closely monitoring the rapidly accelerating situation with COVID-19 and it is clear that if we do not take very strong and aggressive action to slow down the spread of the disease, there will be substantial harm to members of our communities.

Are restaurants open?

Restaurants will remain open for takeout and delivery only.  Bars and clubs remain closed.

Can I still get deliveries from online stores?

Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.  If you order something for delivery, if possible, pay and tip electronically and ask for the item to be left outside your door.

Can I take public transportation (bus, subway, train)?

Yes, but only for essential travel. Try to use buses and trains when it is not as busy. Leave earlier or later for work if possible.  Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. When using public transport, wear a mask or face covering, and maintain at least 6 feet, which is appropriately two to three steps away, including if you are on the bus or trains.

Can I use ride share/on demand service or a taxi?

Yes, but only for essential travel. Being in close quarters in a vehicle that has been shared with many others should be avoided if possible. However, there may be circumstances when this mode of transportation is necessary. In that instance do your best to take social distancing precautions, being sure to wear a mask or face covering, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after rides, etc. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers, like Uber and Lyft, are providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes which are authorized by the L.A. County Health Officer’s COVID-19 Order.

Where are the COVID-19 LA County Health Officer Orders in effect?

County Health Officer Orders are in effect in all parts of Los Angeles County, except for the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena. Safer at Home is in effect across the entire state of California.

Are the L.A. County Health Officer Orders different than the orders issued by the City of Los Angeles and the state of California?

LA County, LA City, and the State are all aligned on the fact that everyone is safer at home and should only leave for essential activities.

Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?

No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.

I get anxious when I am cooped up in my house. Am I allowed to go for walks or to the park? Can I travel to a park or open space?

Yes. Spending time outside improves mood and wellbeing and is particularly beneficial to children. You can go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar passive recreational activities, but should maintain social distance (be more than 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household) to avoid the spread of virus. If there are a lot of people at the park when visiting, refrain from visiting and go home.

What does the L.A. County Health Officer’s COVID-19 Health Order say I should do if I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or am waiting for test results or actually tested positive for COVID-19?

The LA County Health Officer has issued two new separate orders:

  1. Self-quarantine for anyone exposed to an individual diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19. View Order.
  2. Self-isolation for anyone diagnosed with or showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.. View Order.

These  Orders ensure that individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and those who are told by a clinician they are presumed to be positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for  at least 3 days (72 hours) without symptoms, including being fever free without taking medicine, and 7 days since their symptoms started, whichever is longer.  Additionally, those who have been in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive must quarantine themselves for 14 days starting from the last time they had contact with the ill person.

Does “Safer at Home” allow me to have my children in childcare? Will my daycare be shut down?

Childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:

  1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable" means the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day)
  2. Children shall not change from one group to another
  3. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room.  Groups shall not mix with each other
  4. Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children
Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this order to travel to/from a vacation home outside the County?

Yes. However, you are safer at home and should only travel if it is essential.