Orange County creating guidelines for when businesses reopen


The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a set of business guidelines Tuesday that could help inform the county’s eventual easing of stay-at-home rules that have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The county is seeking to “strike a balance between the need for continued protection from the disease and the need for the economy to function again,” Supervisor Don Wagner said.

“These guidelines are intended to state clearly the minimum that business owners and operators must do, in addition to following all applicable jurisdictions’ orders,” he said.

Employers should require customer-facing workers to wear disposable gloves or wash their hands or use hand sanitizer every 30 minutes, according to the guidelines.

“Face coverings should be provided to all employees,” the guidelines state. “All employees, before starting a shift, should have their temperatures taken and not be permitted to work upon a temperature reading above 100.4 degrees.”

Patrons “should also wear appropriate face coverings,” the guidelines add.

Businesses also should “make every effort to limit touch points,” according to the guidelines, and “significantly increase [the] frequency of sanitizing workstations and equipment.”

The guidelines also include wording related to physical distancing in the workplace — “a minimum of six feet should be maintained between customer-facing employees and the general public and, to the extent practical, between employee workstations. Where six feet … between workstations is impractical, face coverings should be worn.”

When practical, businesses also should allow telecommuting, according to the guidelines.

Regardless of what guidelines the county adopts, the state has the ultimate say on when and how businesses can get back up and running.

There could be progress on that front, though. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that businesses seen as presenting less risk of spreading the coronavirus could open within the next few weeks.

He said that call will be made based on data and shaped by public health considerations.

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