On May Saturday, May 23, the State of California approved Orange County’s strategic plan to allow local businesses to move into Stage Two of California’s Resiliency Roadmap. As a result, certain Seal Beach businesses will be allowed to reopen with specific restrictions to ensure the safety of both employees and customers.
The Orange County Health Care Agency also released a new order with information specific to local businesses.
In Stage Two, Seal Beach will be allowed to have certain businesses re-open with adaptions to their normal business practices. These businesses are:
- In-person dining with reservations
- Retail shopping with social distancing and curbside pickup
- Offices, where telework is not possible
- Outdoor museums
- Limited services
The Orange County Health Care Agency and the City of Seal Beach encourages local businesses to review the State’s guidance specific to their industry. Once businesses review this information, they should prepare a plan and put that plan into action. Once completed, the plan and any applicable checklists should be posted in the workplaces. For more information related to specific industries, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/industry- guidance/.
Before reopening, businesses which meet the Stage Two criteria should:
1) Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan.
2) Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them.
3) Implement individual control measures and screenings.
4) Implement disinfecting protocols.
5) Implement physical distancing guidelines.
“We are extremely pleased that the State has allowed Orange County to move forward toward the next step in recovery,” said Seal Beach Mayor Schelly Sustarsic. “With this weekend being the official start of summer, we are optimistic that our businesses will thrive this season and that our residents and visitors will get to enjoy our wonderful shops and restaurants.”
Retail business guidelines
As Seal Beach retail businesses reopen under the Stage Two guidelines, certain practices should be followed to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees and customers.
- A worksite specific plan should be created that ensures employers conduct a comprehensive worksite assessment, identify contact information for the Orange County Health Care Agency, train and communicate with employees, conduct regular safety evaluations, investigate any COVID-19 illnesses and employee contacts with potentially ill persons, and adheres to the guidelines provided by the States.
- Employees should be trained on COVID-19 prevention strategies, self-screening practices, the importance of not coming to work if they experience symptoms, to seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe, the importance of frequent handwashing and social distancing, and the proper use of face coverings.
- Individual control measures and screening practices should be created. Employers should provide temperature and symptom screening for all workers at the start of their shifts and to all vendors or contractors entering the business location. Employers should encourage workers wear face coverings and all required protective equipment. Employees should stay home if they are sick. Commonly touched items should be disinfected often. Clear signage should be posted in highly-visible areas that inform customers that they must wear face coverings while inside the store and to practice physical distancing.
- Physical distancing guidelines should be followed. Businesses should create clearly-marked curbside or outside pickup points and implement measures where customers are at least six feet apart. Employers should accommodate employees who request modified assignments where they are separated from other customers if possible. Employee breaks should be staggered. Restrooms should be closed. Dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable populations should be considered.
- To read the full details of these guidelines which includes helpful links and other information for retail businesses, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance- retail.pdf.
Dine-in business guidelines
Certain Seal Beach restaurants will now be allowed to reopen under the Stage Two guidelines. Like retail businesses, specific practices should be followed to allow for the safety of employees and diners.
- Brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, and wineries should remain closed unless they are offering sit-down, dine-in meals. Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.
- Bars that do not provide sit-down meals themselves, but can contract with another vendor to do so, can serve dine-in meals provided both businesses follow the State guidance and alcohol is only sold in the same transaction as the meal.
- Dine-in restaurants are encouraged to continue to provide takeout and delivery service.
- Businesses that provide off-site sale of beer, wine, and spirits to be consumed off premises and do not offer sit-down, dine-in meals should follow the retail business guidelines and offer curbside service only.
- Dine-in restaurants should also create a workplace specific plan.
- Restaurant employees should be trained on COVID-19 prevention strategies and the encouraged to stay home if they are sick, symptomatic, or have had contact with a potentially exposed person.
- Employees should practice good hygiene including frequent hand washing and avoiding touching the face. Temperature screening should be conducted prior to the start of each employee’s shift.
- High traffic areas and commonly touched items such as customer waiting areas, break rooms, dining areas, handrails, elevator controls, credit card terminals, light switches, pens, etc., should be cleaned and disinfected often.
- Restaurants should increase fresh air circulation by opening windows or doors if possible. High-efficiency air cleaners with upgraded air filters should be installed if possible.
- Disposable menus or menus that guests can read on their own electronic devices should be created. Restaurants should discontinue pre-setting tables with napkins and cutlery. No other items should be left on the tables such as condiment bottles, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Single service items should be provided to customers.
- Employees should pre-roll utensils in napkins prior to use by customers and must wash their hands before pre-rolling napkins. Reusable items such as utensils, food ware, breadbaskets, etc. must be cleared and disinfected before and after use. Dirty linens used at dining tables such as tablecloths and napkins should be removed after each customer and removed from dining areas in sealed bags.
- Takeout containers should only be filled by customers.
- Areas where customers may congregate or touch food such as self-service areas, machines, and buffets, salsa bars, etc. should be closed.
- After-meal mints, candies, snacks, toothpicks, etc. should not be left out.
- Employees and customers should do their best to remain physically distant.
- Restaurants should provide takeout, delivery, and drive through options when possible.
- Restaurants should encourage reservations to allow for time to disinfect areas and maintain separation of customers. Dine-in restaurants should encourage customers to call their order in ahead of time to minimize the time they spend inside the business.
- To read the full details of these guidelines which includes helpful links and other information for dine-in restaurants, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine- in-restaurants.pdf.
These guidelines are not an all-inclusive list of the proactive measures that businesses should take to help stop the spread of infection. All Seal Beach businesses should refer to the State guidelines in their entirety to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable orders.
Orange County Health Care Agency Order
On Saturday, May 23, the Orange County Health Care Agency also released a new order with specific information for all areas of Orange County. As this order refers to local businesses:
- All businesses that are permitted to reopen in Orange County as part of Stage Two of the State’s Resilience Roadmap shall comply with posting requirements. Most of the State’s industry-specific requirements are listed on the website https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance. Dine-in restaurants can find the State’s applicable requirements at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf and the related checklist at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/checklist-dine-in-restaurants. Posting shall be visible at the entrance of the business and specifically include an attestation by the business owner and/or operator that the business has:
- Performed a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan;
- Trained employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them;
- Implemented individual control measures and screenings;
- Implemented disinfecting protocols; and
- Implemented physical distancing guidelines.
- Cloth Face-Covering:
—All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face-covering when (i) in a public place; (ii) visiting a retail, commercial or other place of
business; or (iii) at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or live in the same living unit.
—A cloth face-covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth; it can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face; it can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen; and a face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
—The cloth face-covering Order SHALL NOT APPLY to children under the age of 2; anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance; persons with a medical or mental health condition, or development disability that prevents wearing a cloth face-covering.
Residents are encouraged to read the Health Officer’s Order and strong recommendations in their entirety by visiting https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/article/oc-health-officers-orders-recommendations, as there is greater detail that will help provide necessary clarification.
To find out more about California’s Resiliency Roadmap and the metrics which were used to determine when Orange County could move into Stage Two, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/.
For questions about these guidelines and the County health order, the public should visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/ or call (833) 426-6411.