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Please note the Imperial County Public Health Department will be closed to all walk-in services for the public. Department staff will be available to provide assistance by phone to members of the community who have questions related to any of the Department’s essential services.

Phone assistance will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The office will be closed for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. This shall remain in effect until further notice.

FAQ - Businesses-Employment-Government Operations

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“Essential businesses” may keep their facilities open (and are encouraged to keep them open) to continue providing essential services and products to the public.  Employees may leave home to go to these jobs.  

Effective 5/8/2020, in additional to essential businesses, the State and County’s recovery plan now allows for low-risk businesses to open with certain restrictions. 

These businesses include:   

  • Bookstores 

  • Jewelry stores 

  • Toy stores 

  • Clothing stores 

  • Shoe stores 

  • Music stores 

  • Florists 

Guidance for these business is available on the California Governor’s website:  https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/#guidance 

Non-essential businesses may keep facilities open only to maintain minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of an inventory, keeping the site secure, or ensuring that employees are able to work remotely.  The Order does not prohibit any employees from working from home. 

Families are strongly encouraged to limit the number of family members visiting the store to one person per family each visit. All businesses are strongly encouraged to enforce face-covering requirements and continue to practice social and physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from others to lessen the chances of getting sick and/or spreading illness. 

The Governor’s Order provides the following list of “Essential Businesses”:

  1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
  2. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets,
  3. Food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
  4. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  5. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  6. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  7. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
  8. Banks and related financial institutions;
  9. Hardware stores;
  10. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
  11. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  12. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  13. Laundromats, drycleaners, and laundry service providers;
  14. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not allow the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
  15. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  16. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  17. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
  18. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  19. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  20. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  21. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  22. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as allowed. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:
    • Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
    • Children shall not change from one group to another.
    • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    • Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

Please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for more information: https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19

As of April 10th, 11:59 pm, the use of face cover is required for all residents and visitors of Imperial County in addition to maintaining social distancing.

Yes.  You can go to work to maintain and operate essential infrastructure, including public works construction, construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness), airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

You and your employees are allowed to perform “Minimum Basic Operations” at your workplace, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible.  Face coverings are required if unable to maintain social distancing (6 feet distance away from others). Minimum Basic Operations include maintaining the value of inventory, ensuring security, and ensuring that employees can work remotely.  Other than to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations,” employees can only work remotely from their residences.

This Order requires that all schools stop holding classes at physical locations within Imperial County.  However, schools may provide distance learning to their students.  Employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students.  Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced-price lunches for takeaway or delivery, which many schools are doing.

Yes, this is permissible as construction to maintain the operation of essential infrastructure. 

No.  The Governor’s Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

No.  All suppliers of essential businesses are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating.  This includes businesses that supply food goods and prepared meals to grocery stores and other food retailers.

No.  The Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

Yes, the Governor’s Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

You and your employees are allowed to perform “Minimum Basic Operations” on site at your workplace. Face coverings are required if unable to maintain social distancing (6 feet distance away from others). If tending to the company’s labs is necessary to maintaining the value of inventory, the Order allows for this work to continue.  Other than that, your lab may only operate if it performs work exempted in the Order.

Yes.  If your business is primarily engaged in supply or repair of cell phones or other telecommunications devices, then it is essential and may continue to operate under the Governor’s Order.

Landscaping services may continue only if they are necessary to protect the safety, sanitation, or operation of essential businesses, such as weed abatement and other fire prevention, tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition, or clearance of irrigation infrastructure. Landscaping for cosmetic purposes may not continue.  Landscapers performing services under contract with governmental agencies should consult the relevant agency to determine whether their services are deemed essential. 

If they provide essential services as described in the Governor’s Order, then yes they can and should continue providing those services.  This would include non-profits operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and providing other critical services.

Your business can continue to operate its facility to carry out its essential business functions. You must maximize remote work and comply with social distancing requirements at the facility.

The facility cannot continue to carry out non-essential business functions.

No.  You may keep your entire store open if it primarily sells essential goods and supplies like food and telecommunication supplies.

The Cafeteria can operate like other food facilities.  It can serve food to the remaining employees, so long as the employees take the food away and do not eat it in the cafeteria.  The cafeteria should follow the social distancing requirements in the Order. 

No, essential government functions will continue, including first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, and law enforcement.  Other government functions or offices may be subject to reduced schedules or may be closed as part of the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Government employees can continue to go to work if they are designated as essential employees by their employer.  Each government entity is responsible for determining which of its workers are essential workers.

Many businesses are not allowed to operate under this Governor’s Order.  Essential Businesses, as defined in the Order, are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating.  If your work is not an Essential Business, you are not allowed to go to work and your employer is not allowed to require you to attend except to sustain Minimum Basic Operations, as that term is defined in the Order.  You may work from home if your work allows.

ALL employees of hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that provide healthcare, provide services to healthcare organizations, provide needed supplies to healthcare organizations, or otherwise maintain healthcare operations of all kinds may continue working. The use of Personal Protective Equipment should be implemented at all hospitals, clinics, or organizations providing care to patients. The Governor’s recent guidance allows essential workers over 60 to continue working, even though others in that age group are being directed to stay home.

If you work for an Essential Business, as described in the Governor’s Order, you can and should continue to work.  Certain employers, schools, and community organizations will be providing childcare for employees of essential businesses.  You may also employ a nanny or babysitter to provide home-based care for your kids.

Yes, bike repair shops are treated as an essential business (the same as auto repair shops) because they are necessary to facilitate essential travel.

Yes, janitorial services are allowed as necessary to health and sanitation.

Yes. Creation of new housing units, including both market rate and affordable housing units, is essential. The Order allows construction projects to proceed and new ones to begin if they contribute new residential housing stock to meet the County’s critical need for additional housing supply. 

Yes. Residential renovation projects of any kind that are currently underway may continue if necessary to a safe, sanitary, and functional home. Likewise, residential remodeling projects that are partly completed may continue if delaying completion would pose a safety, security, or sanitation risk to residents or impact the habitability of the residence. 

The Governors’ Order allows for minimum basic operations at non-essential construction sites. You may send employees to the construction site to secure the site and to ensure that it does not sustain damage. You may only continue construction on the project to the extent it is necessary to prevent damage to the project, e.g. completing a roof or ensuring that there is proper drainage after grading has been completed.

You must defer your remodel or renovation project unless it is necessary to restore your home to a safe, sanitary, and habitable space. 

Unless your construction project is a health care facility, it is only allowed if it is necessary to the operation or maintenance of “essential infrastructure,” as that term is defined in the Order.

Unless your work is exempted in the Governor’s Order, you cannot go to work at a physical location in the County.  You may work from home for any business if your employer allows it.

Deliveries can continue to be sent to people’s homes, and you may adjust your business model accordingly while this Governor’s Order is in place.

Employees and contractors of any governmental entity may continue to provide the services and products if the governmental entity determines that they are necessary to carry out an essential governmental function. 

Yes, cemeteries are essential infrastructure.

Daycare facilities may operate, but only if they comply with the mandatory conditions set forth below and only to provide daycare to the children of employees who are exempted under the Order.  This includes employees of essential businesses, employees who are providing for minimum basic operations of non-essential businesses, and governmental employees providing essential governmental functions.

  • Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children (meaning that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day);
  • Children cannot change from one group to another;
  • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group must be in a separate room. Groups cannot mix with each other.
  • Childcare provided must remain solely with one group of children. They cannot rotate between groups.

Home service workers may provide services to residences if essential to health, safety, sanitation, or the necessary operation of the residence. Generally, this will mean that plumbing, maintenance (to, for example, fix an interior or exterior water leak), pest control, or similar services necessary to maintain a safe and sanitary household are permissible. Purely cosmetic and other non-essential home services should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission. Home based childcare is also allowed under the Order. 

No. Your store may deliver items directly to customers’ residences.  Other than that, you may only maintain minimum basic operations, such as security and safeguarding of your inventory. 

The Governor’s Order allows nannies and babysitters caring for a child in the child’s own home to continue working.

Medical dispensaries can dispense under health care industry exemptions. Suppliers to medical dispensaries and licensed medical growers can operate as well.  Non-medical cultivation, supply, and dispensing are prohibited, except for deliveries directly to residences. 

Yes.  The Governor’s Order allows businesses to deliver products to people’s residences. 

Yes.  The Governor’s Order allows car dealerships to conduct vehicle sales online and then deliver the vehicle to the buyer’s home.  If a consumer has an immediate need to purchase a vehicle ( i.e. designated essential employee that needs to report to work, an employer that needs to maintain operations for essential business) and is unable to conduct the transaction online, sales by appointments can be conducted.  It is important that during the appointment, appropriate social distancing is maintained and other proper prevention measures are taken.

Yes.  The Governor’s Order allows businesses to deliver products to people’s residences. 

No. Gun shops are not essential businesses under the Governor’s Order. The Order allows delivery of inventory directly to customers at their residences in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but gun shops may not make sales from their storefronts.

Yes, so long as the service is necessary to maintain safety and sanitation. Allowable operations include routine maintenance work like cleaning, chemical balancing and adjustments, and filtration (necessary to, for instance, prevent pool algae from blooming) and safety-oriented repairs.

Yes, funeral home providers and mortuaries may continue operating to the extent necessary to preserve health, safety, and sanitation. This means that any employee necessary for the transport, preparation and/or processing of a body may continue to report to these facilities to conduct their work.

No. Real estate agents may only show homes to potential residents via video or livestream.