COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Posted on 03/26/2020

California Issues “Stay at Home” Order on March 19, 2020 San Joaquin County Issues “Stay at Home” Order on March 26, 2020

Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 (https://covid19.ca.gov/img/N-33-20.pdf) on March 19, 2020, which orders all residents living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the Federal Critical Infrastructure Sectors as outlined at: https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors. 

WHAT ACTION DID THE COUNTY TAKE?
• The Director of Emergency Services of San Joaquin County issued a Stay at Home Order on March 20, 2020, revising it on March 21 and 26, 2020 (https://www.sjgov.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=32463). 

WHEN DID THE ORDERS TAKE EFFECT?
 • The Governor’s Executive Order went into effect immediately and remains in effect until further notice. Additional information about Executive Order N-33-20 can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/
• The County’s Order went into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, and remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 7, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended. Additional information can be found at: https://www.sjgov.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=32463 

ARE THE ORDERS MANDATORY OR JUST GUIDANCE? 
• The Governor’s Executive Order, issued under the authority of California law, is mandatory. 
• The County’s Order is also mandatory and sets out detailed orders that must be followed by the residents of San Joaquin County.  
o Both orders apply to everyone within the City of Ripon. 

WILL THE ORDERS BE ENFORCED? 
• The California Office of Emergency Services has been directed to take steps necessary to ensure compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order.
 • The San Joaquin County Director of Emergency Services has requested “[p]ursuant to Government Code sections 26602 and 41601…that the Sheriff and all chiefs of police in the County ensure compliance with and enforce [the] Order.” 
• It is a crime to violate either the Governor’s Executive Order or the County’s Stay at Home Order. Violations are punishable as misdemeanors subject to fine, jail time, or both. 
• The City of Ripon will follow both the Governor’s Executive Order and the County’s Stay at Home Order. To the extent that there are conflicts between the Orders, the stricter language regarding compliance will be followed. 
At this time, local law enforcement (Ripon Police Department) will educate the public on activities that are not permitted under the Orders and will not issue citations; however, that could change based on direction from the Governor’s office and the County Director of Emergency Services if people fail to voluntarily comply with the Orders. 
• We ask that you comply with the orders and advise others to do the same. The goal is to contain the spread of the virus and protect the people of the State of California. This requires effort and sacrifice by each of us. 

WHY WAS THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED? 

• The Governor’s Executive Order is necessary to preserve public health and safety, and to ensure the healthcare delivery system can serve all, as well as prioritizing those at the highest risk and vulnerability. 

WHAT DOES SHELTER IN PLACE OR SHELTER AT HOME MEAN? 
• Shelter in place is a term used in emergency preparedness. In this situation, what it really means is to stay at home and not leave unless necessary for a designated “essential activity", which are limited to the following:
• You can leave your home for specified reasons to make sure you have the necessities of life such as getting food and medical supplies. 
• You are also allowed to go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk, exercise outside, so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people. 
• To perform work as an Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker-a list has been provided by the State Public Health Officer:
https://covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf
• To care for a family member or pet in another household.
• If you are sick, you should stay at home and, to the extent you can, isolate yourself from others you live with. 

CAN I GO TO A PARK OR ON A HIKE? 
• Residents may pass through parks while walk, biking or running.  Gathering of groups and organized activities are not allowed.  Please practice social distancing, which is to maintain at least of six feet of distance from those who are not members of the same household.
• All City park and playground equipment is now closed until further notice.  This closure includes all play structures, skate park, basketball courts, tennis courts, restrooms, bocci ball courts, etc.

CAN I LEAVE MY HOME TO SEE A DOCTOR OR FOR OTHER HEALTHCARE NEEDS? 
• Yes. The County’s Order allows residents to leave their residence to work for or to obtain services at “hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare service providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services.” 
https://www.sjgov.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=32463 

CAN I LEAVE HOME TO VISIT FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS IF THERE IS NO URGENT NEED?
 
• No, this is not considered “Essential Activity” in the County Order  For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 in our communities by staying home.

CAN I GO FOR A WALK/RUN, WALK MY DOG OR PARTICIPATE IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES? 
• Yes. So long as outside recreational activities do not involve close contact with other people and social distancing is maintained. 
• The County’s Order specifically permits residents to engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing guidelines, such as walking, hiking, biking, running or equestrian activities. 

CAN I LEAVE HOME TO GO TO MY CHURCH, SYNAGOGUE, OR MOSQUE? 
• No. For your safety as well as the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to each help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. However, places of worship can offer remote access to services, such as emails, video streaming, or teleconference. 

WHAT ARE SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES? 
• Avoid groups and maintain at least six (6) feet distance from one another, which is approximately two to three steps away.

• The best way to reduce the risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds and flu, applies to COVID-19:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds as frequently as possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands) and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds after coughing or sneezing or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces.
  • Not shaking hands.

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 your normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone. 

WHAT BUSINESSES WILL BE OPEN? 
• Grocery stores and food banks 
• Pharmacies & health care facilities
• Restaurants for take-out, delivery & drive thru
• Banks 
• Laundromats/laundry services 
• Gas stations & convenience stores 
• Essential government services 
• Public transportation & utilities 

WHAT BUSINESSES WILL BE CLOSED UNDER THE ORDERS? 
• Dine-in restaurants 
• Theaters & entertainment venues 
• Bowling alleys & arcades 
• Gyms and fitness studios 
• Bars, nightclubs, & brew pubs 
• Public events and gatherings 
• Golf Courses
• Card rooms
• Bingo Halls
• Hair and Nail Salons 

WHAT ARE “ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES”? 
• The following link defines “essential businesses” and will provide guidance: https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors 

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