The State’s Regional Stay Home Order instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible and to stop mixing between households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. The Regional Stay Home Order will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is this Regional Stay Home Order being implemented now? 
We are in the midst of an unprecedented surge in cases in SLO County and hospitalizations in California and across the country. Without immediate action many hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU) in California will reach capacity before the end of the year. ICU beds are a critical resource for individuals who need the most advanced support and care. Given the nationwide surge, the ability to add surge ICU capacity is limited by availability of ICU nurses and physicians. We need to protect our hospital capacity so those who need care—for such things as cancer treatment, heart attacks, and strokes—can get it. By taking this action, Californians are saving lives, protecting our health care delivery system and keeping those at highest risk and essential workers safe.
What businesses can stay open and what can't? 

Under the order, the following sectors are allowed to remain open with safety precautions:  

  • Schools 

  • Non-urgent medical and dental care 

  • Child care and pre-K 

 

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing: 

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise, without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted. Gyms in counties in a region that is impacted by the order must stop indoor operations. Outdoor gyms meet the essential workforce definition of an outdoor recreational facility for the purpose of facilitating personal health through physically distanced outdoor exercise and may continue operations. 

  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity, and 35% of capacity for standalone grocery stores, with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. Outdoor seasonal markets fall under these same rules and capacity limits.  

  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor access at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 

  • Hotels and lodging: Allow for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, provide accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations. When any California region is under a Regional Stay Home Order, no hotel or lodging entity in California can accept or honor out of state reservations for non-essential travel, unless the reservation is for at least the minimum time period required for quarantine and the persons identified in the reservation will quarantine in the hotel or lodging entity until after that time period has expired. Additionally, hotels and lodging entities in a county under a Regional Stay Home Order cannot accept or honor in-state reservations for non-essential travel. Hotels or other commercial and residential buildings may offer lodging for essential functions and travel including COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, accommodation for essential workers, or housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations. 

  • Restaurants: Allow only for takeout or delivery.  

  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.  

  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor activities only. 

  • Entertainment production: Industries, studios, and other related establishments such as establishments that provide content for professional broadcast can operate without live audiences. 

 

The following sectors must be closed (except to the extent that their operations fall within critical infrastructure): 

  • Indoor playgrounds 

  • Hair salons and barbershops 

  • Personal care services 

  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums 

  • Movie theaters (except drive-in) 

  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries 

  • Family entertainment centers 

  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering 

  • Limited services (laundry and auto repair are allowed) 

  • Live audience sports 

  • Amusement parks 

Where does this apply? 
This is in effect throughout Southern California, including all cities, towns and unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.
What are the regions for the Regional Stay Home Order, and what counties are in each region? 
 They are: 
  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity 

  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma 

  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba 

  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne 

  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura 

How is daily regional available ICU capacity calculated?  
Hospitals are required to submit information on the total number of available staffed ICU beds daily. This includes both existing staffed ICU beds and staffed ICU surge beds. To calculate regional ICU capacity the total number of adult ICU beds is calculated by removing neonatal ICU beds (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit beds (PICU) as well as standardizing current adult ICU capacity. Consistent with the goal of the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, this calculation ensures that sufficient ICU bed capacity is available for COVID and non-COVID related conditions.     
Is this mandatory or is it just guidance? 

It is mandatory. This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of California law.  

It is critical for everyone to follow the Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the whole community.  

All persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order. 

 
Who will be responsible for enforcing the Regional Stay Home Order? 

All Californians are being asked to follow this order to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.

The order provides a new tool for local officials & law enforcement personnel to use to protect public health and safety, should they need it.  

The State COVID-19 Enforcement Taskforce will continue to work closely with local officials to implement the order and coordinate strategic, targeted enforcement actions with the goal of adjusting behavior, interrupting high-risk actions and defiance of public health orders, and restoring compliance. 

 
How does the Regional Stay Home Order impact schools? 

The Order does not modify existing state guidance regarding K-12 schools. Schools that are currently open are able to continue to provide in-person instruction on school sites.  

  • Schools that are currently operating under an elementary school waiver are able to continue to provide instruction to students on school sites. 

  • Schools that reopened while their county was in a less restrictive tier are able to continue to provide instruction to students on school sites. 

  • All schools that have not yet reopened for in-person instruction are able to continue to serve small cohorts of students (e.g., students with disabilities) following CDPH Guidance. 

 

Schools are still required to follow the Schools Guidance issued by CDPH which outlines requirements for safe conditions, testing and tracing. Schools may be required to close if certain percentages of staff and students are diagnosed with COVID-19. All existing guidance applicable to schools can be found on the CDPH website. 

 
What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?  

You can still get your health needs addressed. Essential travel includes exemptions for medical appointments and services such as dialysis.  

It is advisable to contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services. Some services, especially elective procedures, may be postponed or canceled. 

If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center. 

Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency. 

 
Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?  
Leaving home to visit friends and family is not encouraged and is not allowed under the Shelter at Home Order. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.   
Can restaurants offer on-site dining for to-go orders at outdoor parklets or tables?  
Limiting mixing and movement of individuals from different households is critical in order to stop the transmission of the virus. Restaurants are still open for takeout, pickup, and delivery.   
Can I still get deliveries from online stores?  Can I order from online stores?  

Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.
 
 

Yes, you can place more orders from online stores. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are essential businesses that may continue to operate. 

How does the Regional Stay Home Order impact travel?  

The State’s Travel Advisory remains in effect. Hotels and lodging cannot accept or honor out-of-state reservations for non-essential travel, unless the reservation is for at least the minimum time period required for quarantine and the persons identified in the reservation will quarantine in the hotel or lodging entity until after that time period has expired.  

 

When the Regional Stay Home Order is in effect in a region, hotels and lodging can only offer accommodation for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.  

 
Is the State allowing drive-in activities?  
We strongly discourage drive-in or drive-through events, because the intent is for individuals to stay home. However, we also realize that this is an important activity in some communities and therefore are not prohibiting drive-through or drive-in events, as long as people follow public health guidelines.  
Can I use ride share or on-demand service or taxi?  
Yes, but only for essential travel. Do you best to follow social distancing requirements: cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands before and after rides, etc.  
Can I take public transportation?  

Yes, but only for essential travel.  

Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. When using public transport, you should maintain at least 6 feet away, including if you are on the bus or on trains.  

You want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing. Therefore, it’s important to only take public transportation for essential activities. 

Can I get my prescriptions or other health care needs?  Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?  
Yes. Drug stores and other medical supply stores can operate. When possible, you should have the drug store deliver your prescription medicine to your home.  
How will I get food and medicines I need if I must stay in my home?  
The Order specifically allows people to leave their home to buy food, purchase medicine, and purchase other necessary items. It also directs businesses selling those items to remain open and allows employees of those businesses to keep working and to ensure those businesses are operating.  
State limited stay at home order (10 pm - 5 am hours limitation): Are all businesses that are designated by the state as part of the critical infrastrucgture exempted from the hours limits under this order?  
Yes, activities associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure (essential workforce) - or required by law – are exempt from the hour limits under this order. See the COVID19.ca.gov Essential Workforce web page for full list of California's Critical Infrastructure workforce.  
Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper and on medicines?  

Individuals are encouraged to be prepared but to not purchase goods beyond their reasonably immediate use. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open.  

Continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.  

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 you by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands especially before and after eating or bathroom use, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.   
Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility?  

Generally, no. It is strongly recommended that you do not go to a hospital unless you are seeking emergency medical attention or accompanying a minor who is under 18 years old or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. 

Please use alternative ways to communicate with loved ones at nursing homes and residential care facilities. The residents at those locations are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. 

If you need to know more, please contact the facility you want to visit by phone before you leave.  

This is difficult, but it is necessary in order to protect hospital staff and other patients. 

 
What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?  
If possible, walk, or drive yourself to the healthcare. If someone else in your home is sick and can drop you off, that is another good option. You want to try to avoid exposing others to any germs you have, especially if you are seriously ill. You should consider calling ahead to a medical provider to get instructions.  
Who do I contact if I have questions?  

Visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903.  

A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available five (5) days a week from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM for questions related to COVID-19.  

Can I go buy pet food or take my pet to the vet?  
Yes. 
I receive mental health treatment; can I still go to their office?  
Yes, but perform good hygiene practices and social distancing.   
I am a fisherman; can I still go fish?  
Yes, if you are in the business of supplying fish to other establishments.  
How will the agriculture industry be impacted by this Order?  
Farming, ranching and livestock businesses which provide food are exempt from the Order. Businesses that provide services to these industries are likewise exempt. Those whose jobs include food production such as planting, harvesting, processing, packing and transporting may go to work but as much as possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements. 
I work in construction, how will this Order impact my job?  
Ongoing residential and commercial construction can continue, provided that Social Distancing Requirements are implemented to the extent feasible and otherwise provides for the health and safety of their employees.   
Are gatherings allowed?  
All gatherings with members of other households are prohibited in the Region except as expressly permitted in the State’s Order.  
Can I still go to church, synagogue or mosque?  
Worship and political expression are permitted outdoors, consistent with existing guidance for those activities.  
What about if I need medical care?  
Hospitals, medical facilities are exempted from the Order. You are free to go there and get medical attention.  
Can I get a haircut?  
Hair salons and barbershops, as well as other personal care services, must be closed while the Regional Stay at Home Order is in effect in SLO County. This includes outdoor operations. 
I own a business, what am I supposed to do?  

Certain sectors are allowed to remain open, with modifications, but all other sectors need to close. The following sectors must be closed (except to the extent that their operations fall within critical infrastructure): 

  • Indoor playgrounds 

  • Hair salons and barbershops 

  • Personal care services 

  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums 

  • Movie theaters (except drive-in) 

  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries 

  • Family entertainment centers 

  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering 

  • Limited services (laundry and auto repair are allowed) 

  • Live audience sports 

  • Amusement parks 

 
Can I pick up my prescriptions?  
Yes. 
Is there relief for small businesses?  
There is effort on the federal level to grant relief to small businesses. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text  
How do I prove that I am allowed to be outside?  
We are confident that citizens will adhere to their civic duty and follow the Order for the greater good of the community and comply with the order. At this time there is no requirement of proof that you are allowed to be outside your residence.    
I had tickets to an event, will I get my money back? 
You will have to work with the host of your event to see if the event is rescheduled or your money will be refunded.   
 Do I have to report to jury duty? 
The courts are under the jurisdiction of the State of California.  Please call the number on your jury service form for instructions as to whether you should appear.  If required to appear, practice strong hygiene and social distancing.   
What if I work in a different county that is not implementing this type of order?  
Travel to and from San Luis Obispo County is allowed for purposes of performing essential functions. If you work in a county that is not implementing similar restrictions and are required to go for work, please practice strong hygiene and social distancing while at work and comply with the order while in San Luis Obispo County.   
I am an Uber/Lyft driver, can I still work? 
Yes, when providing rides for essential activities or providing rides to people performing essential government functions, essential infrastructure, or essential business. 
My child is away at college, can I go pick them up and return home? 
Yes. 
Will cemeteries remain open? 
Yes, they can continue to employ people and maintain operations. We consider cemeteries an essential infrastructure. However, please implement social distancing.  
I operate a food bank that services dinner, can I still operate?
Yes, but have the food to go and try implement good hygiene and use social distancing. 
I operate a grocery store.  I am worried about people hoarding, lototing and too many people in the store at once, what do you recommend? 

We recommend (not require) the following: 

  • Increase security;  

  • Limit the amount of people in the store at once;  

  • Implement an organized line system where people are spaced at least a few feet apart (ideally 6 feet);  

  • Implement purchase limits on toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer (Example: 1 person/family can buy 1 package of toilet paper, 1 bar of soap, 1 sanitizer per shopping trip, etc.); 

  • Extend hours;  

  • Offer pick up or deliveries of grocery items; and  

  • Increase the frequency of cleaning. 

I don't have a washer/dryer in my home.  Can I leave to do laundry? 
Yes, you can go to a laundromat mat and other laundry service providers.  
I am homeless, how can I comply with the order? 
Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from the order but are strongly urged to obtain shelter. Governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable, and to utilize Social Distancing Requirements in their operation.