FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA “STAY AT HOME” ORDER
The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.
Read the Executive Order (pdf)
See the list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (pdf).
When does the stay at home order go into effect and how long will we stay home? What areas of the state are covered?
The order went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The order is in place until further notice. It covers the whole state of California, and it exempts activity as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.
What can I do? What’s open?
Essential services will remain open, such as:
- Gas stations
- Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
- Laundromats/laundry services
- Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.
- Dine-in restaurants
- Bars and nightclubs
- Entertainment venues
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Public events and gatherings
- Convention Centers
- Hair and nail salons
Can the Order be changed?
Yes. The State Public Health Officer may issue orders as needed – for example if more information emerges about the public health situation – and issue new orders and directives as conditions warrant.
How does this order interact with local orders to shelter in place? Does it supersede them?
This is a statewide order. Depending on the conditions in their area, local officials may enforce stricter public health orders. But they may not loosen the state’s order.
Business and taxes
What businesses and organizations are exempt?
Businesses and organizations that provide critical infrastructure for the state are exempted, including health care and public health, public safety, food and agriculture and media. See the full list of exempt sectors (pdf).
I run/work at an exempted business or organization, as defined by the Order. Do I need to get an official letter of authorization from the state to operate?
No. If your business or organization is in the list of exempt sectors, it may still operate. You do not need to obtain any specific authorization from the state to do so.
Do I need to pay my taxes?
Yes, state and federal deadlines have been extended. All state taxes are now due on July 15.
Schools and childcare
My school is providing free grab-and-go meals and childcare. Are those still open?
Yes. It is essential to keep children fed and educated. School employees should report to work and focus on distance learning, school meals, and childcare/supervision.
Are daycares still open? Can my babysitter still come to the house?
Yes. Daycares are still open, but only for children of parents working in essential sectors. Daycare centers that remain open should employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements. Babysitters may also come to the house to care for minors of parents working in essential sectors.
Health care and helping sick relatives
What if I need to visit a health care provider?
If you are feeling sick with flu-like symptoms, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center.
If you need to go to the hospital, call ahead so they can prepare for your arrival. If you need to call 911, tell the 911 operator the exact symptoms you are experiencing so the ambulance provider can prepare to treat you safely.
What about routine, elective or non-urgent medical appointments?
Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, and elective procedures must/should be cancelled or rescheduled. If possible, health care visits should be done remotely.
Contact your health care provider to see what services they are providing.
May I still go out to get my prescriptions?
Yes. You may leave their homes to obtain prescriptions or get cannabis from a licensed cannabis retailer.
Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?
Yes. Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least six feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue and then washing your hands. If you have early signs of a cold, please stay away from your older loved ones.
Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
Generally no. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the order prohibits non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities except at the end-of-life. This is difficult, but necessary to protect hospital staff and other patients.
Can I still exercise? Take my kids to the park for fresh air? Take a walk around the block? Walk my dog?
Yes. So long as you are maintaining a safe social distance of six feet from people who aren’t part of your household, it is ok to go outside for exercise, a walk or fresh air. Gyms are closed.
Does this order affect hiking? State Parks?
No, you may still go outside so long as you practice social distancing of six feet. California State Parks have closed indoor facilities and campgrounds, but trails and outdoor spaces are still open. Spending time outdoors can lead to a number of overall health and wellness benefits like lessening anxiety, boosting creativity and getting your vitamin D. If you decide to make a trip, remember to keep social distance.
For information on National Parks, please visit their website here.
Can I walk my dog? Take my pet to the vet?
You can walk your dog. You can go to the vet or pet hospital if your pet is sick. Remember to distance yourself at least six feet from other pets and owners.
For updates, check https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/
There are steps you can take to help protect yourself against catching COVID-19.
- Practice social distancing. Social distancing will stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19. It requires the creation of physical space between people by minimizing the number of gatherings as much as possible and staying at least 6 feet from other people if you are forced to be in a public venue.
- To the extent possible, it is recommended to avoid visiting areas where people come together in close contact and can pass disease. If you must perform a critical activity such as grocery shopping, go when you think few people will be at the store.
- Follow the California Governor’s recommendation to self-isolate at home if you are over age 65 or have a chronic condition such as a compromised immune system, heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease. Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay away from large gatherings and crowds.
For additional information, visit the CDC Prevention page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
COVID-19 is thought to mostly spread person to person when people are within close proximity to each other. Respiratory droplets from an infected person who coughs or sneezes help to spread COVID-19 through the air. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
There are some reports that individuals who do not display any symptoms but are infected can be contagious.
COVID-19 can also spread through contaminated surfaces. It is thought that the virus can live on surfaces for a limited amount of time. If a person comes in contact with a contaminated surface and then touches their face, nose, eyes or mouth they may become infected.
For additional information, visit the CDC's Transmission page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html
Inyo County Board of Supervisors Meetings Move Online – Public Comments Taken via Email
To ensure social distancing guidelines are followed, and to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors will be conducting its meetings exclusively online for the time being.
Individual board members and various staff will report in from their homes and offices via video conference in order to carry out the people’s business.
The public is still encouraged to participate in the meetings, and will be able to do so online at: https://zoom.us/j/868254781. After clicking the link, individuals will be asked to provide their name and an email address in order to access the videoconference. Anyone who does not want to provide their email address may use the following generic, non-functioning address to gain access: email@example.com.
Viewers can provide public comment two ways:
Emailing the comments prior to the meeting, or emailing comments for individual agenda items by the time the staff report for that item has ended. At that point, all emailed comments will be read into the record, and the board will take that feedback into consideration as it deliberates. Please send comments for board meetings and individual agenda items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the board meeting there is the option to "raise your hand" within the zoom interface. To request time to speak, simply click the hand raising icon.
For clarification or additional information, or to be added to the weekly agenda email distribution list, contact the Assistant Clerk of the Board at the aforementioned email or at (760) 878-0373.
Inyo County Offices Closed to Walk-In Visitors
INYO COUNTY, March 23, 2020 – California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020 directing all residents to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors. Pursuant to the intent of Gov. Newsom’s Order, and in an effort to maintain continuity of operations while simultaneously ensuring that COVID-19 Social Distancing protocols are maintained, the County of Inyo has released the following office status update:
- Assessor Office, closed to walk-ins - call or email for appointments
- Auditor Controller, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Agriculture/Weights and Measures, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Administration, Independence / Administration, Bishop, modified lobby for social distancing, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Campgrounds, closed to overnight camping
- Child Support Services, closed to walk-ins– call or email for appointments
- Clerk Recorder, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- County Counsel, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- District Attorney, Independence / District Attorney, Bishop, modified lobby for social distancing, closed to walk-ins– call or email for appointments
- Environmental Health, closed to walk-ins– call or email for appointments
- Farm Advisor, closed to walk-ins – call or email
- Health and Human Services:
- Fiscal Division (Independence), closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Grove Street (Behavioral Health, CPS, APS/IHSS), closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Employment and Eligibility (Bishop), closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Employment and Eligibility (Lone Pine), closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Public Health Division, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Prevention Division, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Wellness Centers, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Libraries (all branches), closed to public – call or email
- Museum, closed to public – call or email
- Parks, open for day use
- Planning, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Probation, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Public Administrator/Public Guardian, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Public Works/Road Department, closed to walk-ins – call or email for appointments
- Sheriff Department, Please visit https://www.inyocounty.us/services/sheriff for information on access restrictions for the following location
- Veteran Services Office
- Inyo County Animal Shelter
- Inyo County Sheriff’s Substations
- Inyo County Jail
- Solid Waste – Landfills, open with modifications for social distancing
- Treasurer/Tax Collector, modified lobby for social distancing
- Water Department, closed to walk-ins – call or email
For information on how to contact specific county offices or departments, see https://www.inyocounty.us/services.
The County of Inyo is committed to keeping the public up to date with the most accurate and timely information. Regular updates and press releases regarding Inyo County’s COVID-19 response can be found at: https://www.inyocounty.us/covid-19 .
Inyo Superior Court Limits Operations to Mitigate for COVID-19
We are aware that other courts around the state have closed for a period of time, are considering closures, or are continuing operations but only hearing very limited cases. We will continue to assess whether any of those scenarios becomes necessary for Inyo County. In furtherance
In furtherance of compliance with the California Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control guidelines and recommendations, the Superior Court of California, County of Inyo, is taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of the community. These guidelines suggest that people maintain a six foot separation from others when in confined spaces.
Facility limitations at both courthouse facilities make conforming to these guidelines infeasible in most instances.
Therefore, effective Monday, March 23, the Superior Court of California, County of Inyo has taken the following steps to ensure public health and safety:
** All jury trials have been vacated and no jurors are currently ordered to appear;
** The court is open though the public counter is closed. People are encouraged to file their documents at the drop boxes located outside each court clerk office;
** Phone hours have been extended from 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-4:00. People with questions about non-traffic cases should call 760-872-6193. People calling about traffic related issues should call 760-872-3038 then 3 then 1 then 2;
** The Inyo Self Help office is open for assistance via phone and email only. To speak with the Self Help Center please call 760-872-6240;
** All non-emergency hearings are being continued. The court will notify parties of their new hearing dates;
The Superior Court of California, County of Inyo, recognizes that the current state of emergency is a rapidly evolving one. While these efforts effective today are steps to ensure public health and safety, changes may be made in the future as circumstances and additional information becomes available.
For questions – please contact 760-872-6193 or email email@example.com.
For more details on the delays or continuances impacting the full range of court activities, see www.inyocourt.ca.gov.
INYO COUNTY PROPERTY TAXES STILL DUE APRIL 10, 2020
From Inyo County Treasurer-Tax Collector Alisha McMurtrie.
I understand that this is a very stressful time, especially for those suffering direct impacts from this public health crisis, and my office is committed to helping in any way we can.
Our Independence office remains open to the public and is accepting payments.
I encourage you to use the online payments option through the County's website or your own bank’s online bill pay options.
The April 10, 2020 deadline for the payment of property taxes remains in effect and has not been extended.
California Treasurer-Tax Collectors are currently collaborating with State representatives to develop a uniform approach to penalty relief. I will release information as it becomes available.
The Transient Occupancy Tax remittance deadline has not been extended.
All of these local taxes provide critical support for the local hospitals, law enforcement, public health, fire response and more. I encourage those that have the ability to pay their property taxes to do so.
Should you need penalty relief consideration, please complete the Penalty Waiver Form (see below) and return to my office. I thank you for cooperation and understanding.
In Solidarity, Alisha McMurtrie, Inyo County Treasurer-Tax Collector.
For updates and relevant forms, see https://www.inyocounty.us/services/treasurer-tax-collector.
Text or call 2-1-1 for Current COVID-19 Information
Inyo County launches 211 live call center.
INYO COUNTY, March 30, 2020 – The County of Inyo is excited to announce a new text and live calling platform for Inyo County residents: 211 is the go-to public phone number to get accurate information about COVID-19.
If you live within the Inyo County boundary, and have a question that you need answered – you can call 211 or text 211-211. The public can expect to hear from a live person at the 211 call center; calls will be answered at all hours of the day, every day. The call center staff has constantly-updated local information from Inyo County officials and can get you the latest information whenever you need it. Bilingual staff is available as well.
211 is a partner in emergency response, providing reliable and accessible information during rapidly changing conditions. The County of Inyo is committed to keeping the public up to date with the most accurate and timely information. All COVID-19 Updates and Press Releases can be found by visiting: https://www.inyocounty.us/covid-19