California Eases Into ‘Expanded Stage 2’ Reopening

Gym patrons will be asked to wear a face covering during their workouts.

On June 5, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that with certain modifications, schools, day camps, bars and gyms in approved counties could reopen as soon as Friday, June 12, advancing California along the Pandemic Resilience Roadmap into what the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is calling an “expanded Stage 2.”

“As we continue to release guidance on how different sections can reopen with modifications, it is important to remember guidance doesn’t mean ‘go,’” said CDPH Director Dr. Sonia Angell in a news release. “Your local health officer will make the final decision about which sectors will open, guided by data specific to your community.”

According to the CDPH COVID-19 County Variance Attestation webpage, expanded Stage 2 moves the entire state methodically through opening further, and counties with variation attestation “may progress to open these sectors more rapidly, according to their county-specific plan for modification.”

As previously reported, overall guidance states that, before reopening, all facilities 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; and
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings, disinfecting protocols and physical distancing guidance.

Additional guidance for gyms includes implementing a reservation system and utilizing it to confirm those reservations 24 hours in advance, as well as asking if they or someone in their household exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms; taking patrons’ temperature and/or screening their symptoms upon arrival; reminding patrons in advance to bring a face covering and making face coverings available to anyone who arrives without one; and urging patrons to wear face coverings when entering and leaving the facility, as well as during workouts.

Additional guidance for restaurants, bars and wineries includes posting signage to remind the public to use face coverings while not eating and drinking, reminding guests to practice physical distancing, screening guests and visitors for symptoms upon arrival, providing low-touch menus such as disposable paper menus or non-touch chalk or white boards, and thoroughly cleaning each customer dining/drinking location after every use.

Day camps also have specific guidance as far as reopening, and the CDPH released interim guidance for schools and school-based programs to assist in planning for the 2020-2021 school year. The CDPH notes that as the science evolves and the school year draws closer, the guidance will be updated based on the most current information and COVID-19’s progress in California.

Angell also stated in the press release that just because some businesses are opening doesn’t mean the risk for COVID-19 is gone. “We all need to continue to keep physical distancing, wash our hands and wear face coverings in public.”

Jessica Mulholland, Managing Editor, CalChamber

For more COVID-19-related federal, state and local resources, visit the CalChamber Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage and access additional COVID-19-related HRWatchdog blogs.