Beaumont Tashjian Law Blog

Monday, February 8, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE By: Tawnza Sofranko, Esq.

As of the date of this publication, the State’s “Regional Stay at Home Order” has been lifted.  This order shut down gatherings and imposed a strict curfew.  What does this mean? 

As you likely know, every county in California has been assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and case rate.  In the absence of the Regional Stay at Home Order, associations should defer to county guidelines, which may begin to relax in the coming weeks or months, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in the county.

The following summarizes the recent changes within each county which may or may not impact current association operations. For most counties, non-essential indoor operations and gatherings must remain closed or limited at this time. 

Los Angeles County.  Issued a revision to its Health Order to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding places of worship, allowing indoor worship up to 25% of indoor capacity. All restaurants, breweries and wineries are to verbally inform customers prior to seating that everyone sharing a table must be from the same household. Updated guidelines for day camps and day care for school-aged children and updated cohort size of up to 14 children and up to 2 supervising staff.

The revised Health Order also clarified that office worksites and gyms and fitness centers must require all employees to wear masks, except when in an office with door closed, or while eating and drinking during break time.

San Diego County and Santa Barbara County. Updated the Health Order to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding places of worship, allowing indoor worship up to 25% of indoor capacity.

San Bernardino County. Issued a press release that it is complying with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding places of worship, allowing indoor worship up to 25% of indoor capacity. 

Some counties, such as Orange County and Riverside County, have not yet issued revised or updated the health order since the State’s Stay at Home Order was lifted. For communities located in counties lacking an updated health order, we recommend following State guidance, including recommendations issued by the CDC.

As with the many other prior orders during this pandemic, counties may not issue guidance directly addressing community association facilities and operations.  Thus, boards and managers, in consultation with legal counsel, will have to make their best, most reasonable interpretation of their county orders and apply it to their association, as it sees fit and practicable. 

The most prudent approach in most cases is to take the orders at face value and leave indoor facilities closed at this time, unless the Board is able to open under strict guidelines/reservation protocols which would mimic a private facility (i.e., one person or family living within the same household is using the facility at a time). Of course, this decision will vary, depending on many factors, such as the language of the county order, county restrictions on group gatherings, the type of facility at issue, whether the facility is indoor versus outdoor, etc.  

In addition to the foregoing, outdoor swimming pools may re-open in some counties, however, they too are subject to the county’s restrictions on pool capacity, social distancing, etc. For example, at this time, Los Angeles County has relaxed swimming pool guidance, now allowing the Board to restrict the number of pool users to “ensure the pool users can maintain 6 feet physical distance from those they do not live with, or up to 50% pool user capacity, whichever is less.” 

Wearing a facial covering while traveling through common areas continues to be required, as this remains an order from the State level. Boards can enforce this and other requirements through the adoption of emergency rule changes and disciplinary hearings, but of course, should defer to compassion and empathy. 

As always, best practice is to consult the Association’s legal counsel before reopening facilities to ensure that all local and State orders are complied with. 



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