Guidance and Instructions for Safe Operations

The County of San Luis Obispo is following State direction on business restrictions and openings.   

Find your sector below to access State and local guidance documents for safe operations.  

Updated on November 16, 2020

Allowed to Reopen? Please Start Here

  1.  Find your industry sector in the lists below.
  2. Click on the name of your industry sector in the lists below.
  3. Identify when/if you are permitted to reopen. 
  4. Review the guidances for your industry sector.
  5. Some sectors are only permitted to operate out of doors.
  6. Implement details outlined in your guidance.
  7. Click on the "Ready to Reopen Toolkit and Self Certification Form" link.
  8. Complete your Self Certification form and retain at place of business.
  9. Option - Download your "Open and Safe" sign to hang at your business.
  10. Reopen!
  11. Questions? Call the Phone Assistance Center at 805-543-2444. 

Currently Permitted to Open

All businesses need to follow the below guidance and complete the self certification process.

State of California - COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening 

1. Agriculture and Livestock 
2. Auto Dealerships
3. Body Art

This includes tattoo, body piercing and permanent cosmetic facilities.  

4. Campgrounds and RV Parks
5. Car Washes
6. Cardrooms and Racetracks (Outdoor Operations Only) 
7. Casinos 
8. Childcare 

9.  Churches (Outdoor Operations Only)

10. Cohorts for Children and Youth in Supervised Settings

A cohort is a stable group of no more than 14 children or youth and no more than two supervising adults in a supervised environment. The group stays together for all activities, including meals and recreation. And this group avoids contact with anyone not in their group.

Local educational agencies, nonprofits, or other authorized providers must follow the guidance for cohorts of children and youth in controlled, supervised and indoor environments. These environments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • public and private schools
  • licensed and license-exempt child care settings 
  • organized and supervised care environments, like “distance learning hubs”
  • recreation programs
  • before and after school programs
  • youth groups
  • day camps

Guidance and directives related to schoolschildcareday campsyouth sports, and institutions of higher education are not superseded by this guidance for cohorts of children and youth and still apply to those specified settings, as well.

 11. Communications Industry
12. Construction
13. County Libraries

San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Cambria, Los Osos, and Morro Bay.

14. Day Camps
15. Delivery Services
16. Energy and Utilities
17. Family Entertainment Centers (Outdoor Operations Only)
18. Farmers Markets Guidance
19. Food Industry
20. First Amendment Rights - Religious Services, Cultural ceremonies, & Protests (Outdoor Operations Only) 

The State has made allowances for constitutionally protected gatherings to include in-person religious services, cultural ceremonies (which now includes wedding ceremonies but NOT receptions/celebrations), protests, and other constitutionally protected gatherings if they follow the State's COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies

Activities conducted at Places of Worship other than services are not allowed at this time, including group gatherings, potlucks, childrens activities, etc. 

Online services and activities are still encouraged to protect individuals who are most at risk for more severe COVID-19, including older adults and people with specific medical conditions.

21. Gyms and Fitness Centers (Outdoor Operations Only)

NOTE: This guidance pertains to gyms, fitness centers and studios (gymnastics, dance, pilates, yoga, etc.)

22. Hair Salons / Barbershops
23. Higher Education

24. Holiday Celebrations

General gatherings and special events are not permitted at this time.  CDPH has released group gathering guidance allowing for three households to gather outdoors for up to 1 hour.

Thanksgiving Holiday Guidance

Halloween Holiday Guidance

General Guidance for Holidays

25. Hotels, Lodging and Short Term Rentals

NOTE: Fitness centers in these locations must be closed. 

26. Individual Outdoor Recreation, such as outdoor playgrounds, charter fishing, equine facilities and archery

Note: Activities that involve physical contact between participants is NOT allowed, including rodeo, equine events and adult recreation leagues.  

27. Life Sciences

28. Mining and Logging
29. Movie Theatres (Outdoor Operations Only)
30. Music, Film and TV Production

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

31. Office-Based Businesses (Remote Work Required if not an Essential Business)

Note: Offices in non critical sectors must close in office operations starting July 16, 2020.  See Essential Critical Infrastructure Sector List to identify if you may remain open.

Telework is still encouraged to protect individuals who are most at risk for more severe COVID-19, including older adults and people with specific medical conditions.

32. Museums (Outdoor Operations Only)
33. Personal Care Services

This includes esthetician, skin care, and cosmetology services; nail salons and massage.  

34. Professional Sports Without Live Audiences 

Note: This category is not intended to allow youth sports or adult recreation leagues.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, athletes, coaching staff, medical staff, broadcasting staff and others at sporting facilities or events should abide by COVID-19 protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Retail staff should adhere to Retail guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

35. Public Swimming Pools (Outdoor Operations Only)

Note: Indoor swimming pools, indoor hot tubs, & spas are NOT allowed to be open currently.  

36. Public Transit
37. Real Estate
38. Restaurants (Outdoor Operations Only)

NOTE: Live music / entertainment is NOT currently allowed at any time. 

NOTE: Restaurants must provide full service, sit down meals on the same ticket as alcohol sales and remain open ONLY during the hours they serve sit down meals.  Bars must remain closed. Alcohol Beverage Control issued requirements for what constitutes a meal.  

39. Retail (Modified Operations Required)

NOTE: Maximum capacity for retail locations to 25 percent.

This category includes in-store retail, shopping malls and swap meets

40. Schools

 

 Reopening Guidance
 In-Person Instructions and Waiver Information

As San Luis Obispo County is in the Purple Tier, schools may NOT return for in-person instruction if they have not already reopened. 

The School Waiver Process is for elementary schools who wish to return to in-person instruction should SLO County return to the Purple/Widespread category. 

Additional Resources

Daily Health Screening Template

Daily Screening Result Templates:

 

41. Skilled Nursing and Residential Care

42. Supply Chains Supporting Retail - Logistics
43. Supply Chains Supporting Retail - Manufacturing

 

44. Wineries (Outdoor Operations Only)

Note: Outdoor operations only.

45. Youth Sports (Not Adult Rec League Sports)

46. Zoos (Outdoor Operations Only) 

   

Not Allowed to Reopen (Statewide) - Reopening Date TBD

The reopening timeline for these businesses is still to be determined by the state:

Businesses are encouraged to prepare for reopening by: 
  • Plan and prepare for re-opening
  • Make radical changes within the workplace
  • Adjust practices by employees and help educate customers
1. Adult Recreation Leagues

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here.

2. Bars, Brewpubs, Breweries, and Pubs

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here.

All Bars, brewpubs, breweries and pubs are to remain closed to the public.

Bars, Brewpubs and pubs that are permitted through Environmental Health as a resturant, may follow Restaurant Guidance.   

3. Community Centers / Convention Centers

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here.

4. Live Music at Restaurants, Wineries, Bars, Etc. 

Live music, even one musician, is not allowed at restaurants, wineries, venues, etc. at this time.

5. Gatherings and Special Events

NEW - Travel Advisory requiring 14 day self quarantine for visitors and returning California residents. 

General gatherings and special events with more than three families are not permitted at this time.  CDPH has released group gathering guidance.

In Purple/Widespread Tier - only Outdoor Private Gatherings are permitted. 

  • Wear masks and physically distance from other attendees.
  • Limit gatherings to no more than 3 separate households attend (including the host’s).
  • Do not attend if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising is strongly discouraged at outdoor gatherings and not permitted at indoor gatherings.

Private gatherings should be two hours or less, and people with a high risk of severe illness are strongly encouraged not to attend.

 

The State has made allowances for constitutionally protected gatherings to include in-person religious services, cultural ceremonies (which now includes wedding ceremonies but NOT receptions/celebrations), protests, and other constitutionally protected gatherings if they follow the State's COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies. Attendance at these indoor gatherings protected by the First Amendment must be limited to 25% of total capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees.

 
According to the CDC's Considerations for Events and Gatherings, the risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:
  • Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
  • More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
  • Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.
 Holiday Celebration Guidance

 

 Halloween

 State of CA Guidance for Halloween

 SLO County Guidance for Safer Halloween - English

 SLO County Guidance for Safer Halloween - Spanish

 

Thanksgiving 

 

 CDC Holiday Guidance
 Holiday Guidance from the CDC

 

6. Live Audience Professional Sports
  • Live Audience Professional Sports Guidance
    • NOTE: This guidance applies to live professional sporting events at outdoor stadiums and racetracks. Outdoor operations may resume in Tier 3 (Moderate/Orange) with capacity limited to 20 percent and in Tier 4 (Yellow/Minimal) with capacity limited to 25 percent. Ticket sales must be limited to customers traveling within a 120-mile radius. This guidance applies only to professional sports and does not apply to youth or adult recreational, amateur, semi-pro, or collegiate sporting competitions. 
7. Live Theatre

Live Theatre with audiences is not permitted at this time.

8. Nightclubs

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here.

9. Playgrounds - Indoor, including bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here.

10. Sauna / Steam Rooms / Indoor Hot Tubs

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here. 

11. Theme Parks
  • Theme and Amusement Park Guidance
    • This guidance applies to theme parks and amusement parks. Smaller theme parks (defined as parks with an overall capacity fewer than 15,000) may resume limited operations in Tier 3 (Moderate/Orange) with capacity limited to 25 percent or 500 people, whichever is fewer. Smaller parks operating in Tier 3 (Moderate/Orange) may only open outdoor attractions, and ticket sales must be limited to visitors residing in the same county as the park. All theme parks may resume operations in Tier 4 (Minimal/Yellow) at 25 percent capacity.
  • SLO County Best Practices for All Businesses
12. Waterparks

These best practices document is provided by SLO County to plan and prepare for reopening when allowed to do so.  When official guidance is provided by the State of California, it will be available here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. My business doesn't have a guidance document.  Is one coming? 
We will continue to post new guidances from the state and best practices from the county as they are created.  In the meantime, all businesses can utilize our SLO County Best Practices for All Businesses to start planning for their reopening.   
2. What size of group gatherings - in indoor or outdoor spaces - are currently allowable? 

As of October 9, 2020, outdoor private gatherings are allowed under the following conditions:

  • Attendees must be from no more than 3 separate households
  • Duration should be 2 hours or less

At any gathering, observe these safety protocols:

  • Wear a  mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently
  • Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Do not attend if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (seniors, those with certain medical conditions)

Read more details in the state’s private gatherings guidance.

3. Where can I find information about what to do with cases of COVID at my workplace?

Try these resources organizations COVID-19 resource pages:

 

CDPH

 

OSHA

 

AIHA

 

CDC

 

EPA

 

4. Can I require customers to wear masks or be required by a business to wear a mask? 

Yes.  In fact it is a statewide mandate and businesses must require masks be worn.
5. What do my risk assessment and procedures have to include? 
Your procedures should address all applicable guidance descriptions listed for your business sector.  After you read your business sectors guidance, consider document or creating a process flow chart (such as a map) for your businesses processes from beginning to end, then go back and identify where there might be potential for disease transmission between people or of high contact surfaces.  You will want to be sure you have procedures in place that address each of these high risk areas in additon to all applicable items in your state issued business sector guidance document. 
6. Does the state provide FAQs? 
Yes.  Visit the state's Question and Answer page for more information.  
7. How can I help? 

The health and safety of our residents and the economic health of our communities and businesses will require health, government, education, business, and community members work in concert now and through all phases of reopening.

In the same way that our local Shelter at Home Order has required each resident in our communities to modify behavior and practices to manage the spread of COVID-19, it is anticipated the phases of reopening SLO County will also require our communities to sustain and modify behaviors over time. 

We will all need to adapt to a new normal as the SLO County communities and commerce open gradually and safely, in phases.