County officials announced Monday, March 16, new emergency regulations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 including a ban on all gatherings of 50 people or more, the immediate closure of all adult entertainment establishments that serve alcohol and restrictions on in-dining options.
The regulations will go into effect at midnight on Tuesday, March 17, and will continue through March 31. County officials also announced there are now 55 cases across the county, up from 39 on Sunday, March 15.
The new regulations, which include several suggestions, are as follows:
All public or private gatherings of 50 people or more people are now prohibited, and all non-essential gatherings of any size are strongly discouraged.
All bars, adult entertainment establishments and other business establishments that serve alcohol and do not serve food shall close.
All restaurants and other establishments that serve food shall close all on-site dining. All food service shall be by delivery, pick-up or drive-through. Social distancing shall be required for people picking up food on site.
All business shall enact social distancing and increased sanitation standards and shall make every effort to use telecommuting for its workforce. All businesses shall suspend any policy or procedure requiring doctor verification for sick or other leave approval.
All public or private schools, colleges and universities shall not hold classes or other school activities where students gather on the schools campus. Parents of school-aged children shall take steps to ensure said children are not participating in activities prohibited by the order.
A strong recommendation is made that all persons that are 65 years or older, have a chronic underlying condition or have a compromised immune system shall self-quarantine themselves at home.
Non-essential personnel are prohibited from entering into hospitals or long-term care facilitates. All essential personnel who show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 shall be strictly prohibited from entry into hospitals or long-term care facilities.
Hospitals and health care providers shall take measures to preserve resources including delaying non-emergent or elective surgeries or procedures where feasible.
Hospitals, health care providers and commercial testing laboratories shall report all COVID-19 test results to the public health officer immediately after such results are received.
All persons arriving in the county shall be subject to a 14-day home quarantine and self monitoring if they had traveled to or through countries on the CDC’s Warning Level 3 Travel Advisory. This includes originating or connecting flights from these countries.
Persons exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate themselves in their place of residence until seeking medical care and treatment.
County officials said the regulations were shaped by recommendations from the CDC and state health officials.
Officials also said those who violate said regulations may be subject to fines or imprisonment or both and that the order may be enforced by the Sheriff’s Department or other police departments across the county.
The regulations do not prohibit operations at airports, public transportation hubs or or other essential businesses where people may congregate but can practice social distancing.
— Lyndsay Winkley is a reporter for The San Diego Union Tribune