New “Health Order” Regulations

The new “Health Officer Order” that took effect on Monday, Nov. 30, bars all public and private gatherings with people of multiple households, except for constitutionally protected outdoor church services and protests.

It also sets occupancy limits at various businesses, while also mandating face coverings and six feet of physical distancing.

The capacity limits are:

— essential retail: 35% maximum occupancy;

— nonessential retail (includes indoor malls): 20% maximum occupancy;

— personal care services: 20% maximum occupancy;

— libraries: 20% maximum occupancy;

— fitness centers operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy;

— museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy; and

— mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy.

The order allows most outdoor recreational facilities to remain open, including beaches, trails and parks. But face coverings are required. Also open are golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks and community gardens, but use is restricted to a single household at a time.

Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane.

Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.

Schools operating with limited numbers of students and day camps can remain open, adhering to reopening protocols. Schools and day camps with an outbreak, defined as three cases or more over 14 days, should close for 14 days.

Card rooms are closed, as well as playgrounds, except for those at child care centers and schools.

The restrictions will remain in effect until at least Dec. 20. The county already last week put an end to all in-person dining at restaurants.


— City News Service