Business Compliance

Reopening Plan and Certification Process for Humboldt County Businesses

In preparation for further progress into Stage 2, an online application process to meet the state’s reopening requirements has been developed for Humboldt County businesses. Local businesses may now apply to reopen on a gradual basis consistent with state and local orders. While reopening will occur in phases and stages, completion of a Reopening Plan now is a step businesses can take to be ready when their sector begins to reopen.

Who should not submit a plan yet?

The following activities are not allowed, and a timeline for reopening has not been set by the state:

  • Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
  • Hospitality services, such as bars, wineries, tasting rooms and lounges
  • Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcade venues, pro sports, indoor museums, gallery spaces, and zoos
  • Community centers, public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Cultural ceremonies
  • Nightclubs
  • Concert venues
  • Live audience sports
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism.

As guidance for additional sectors is received, it will be incorporated into this process.

Who should submit a plan?

Retail businesses deemed essential that are already open to foot traffic must apply to remain open. Retail businesses that were open to delivery and curbside only may now apply to open to foot traffic with substantial social distancing precautions in place. Supply chains that have been opened to support the above businesses, in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, will also need to apply to remain open.

Medical offices are not required to submit reopening plans through the County of Humboldt, but they may submit plans to the “Office Workspaces” sector should they choose to submit a plan.

For other business types:  please review the list of forms linked below to see if the state has provided reopening guidance for your sector. If you are unsure which form to choose, please call the COVID Business Information Line at 707-268-2527.

Getting Started

To get started with plan submittal, please select the Reopening Plan form appropriate for your business sector. Fill out the form, submit it online and your submission will be reviewed. After review, we will reach out to you with either approval of your plan or a request for additional information.

Please note that all of the information you will need to complete your plan is included on the form for each sector, along with text boxes where you can explain in brief how state and local requirements will be incorporated into your specific business. The goal is a safer environment for workers, customers, and all county residents.

These forms do not allow you to save as you go, so please save your responses in a text or Word document in case you need to stop partway through or your internet connection is lost. The amount of time needed to complete the plan will vary by sector. Most sectors have four plan elements, but a few have as many as eight. We estimate you will need 30 to 90 minutes to complete the form.

To help you fill out the Reopening Plan Form, completed sample forms have been provided. There are also helpful references listed below the forms here. If you need additional guidance, please contact the COVID Business Information Line at 707-268-2527.

Reopening Plan Forms (Select Relevant Sector)

Agriculture and Livestock

Auto Dealerships

Child Care

Communications Infrastructure


Delivery Services

Dine-In Restaurants

Energy and Utilities

Food Packing

Hair Salons and Barber Shops

Hotels and Lodging

Life Sciences

Limited Services*

Logistics and Warehousing Facilities


Mining and Logging

Office Workspaces

Outdoor Museums

Places of Worship


Public Transit

Real Estate Transactions


Shopping Centers

* Limited Services includes services that are:

  • involving entry into residences or building
  • operating out of vehicles (auto repair, detailing, car washes etc.)
  • cleaning/janitorial
  • pet grooming and dog walking
  • landscaping and yard maintenance
  • laundromats, dry cleaners, and other laundry services (source)

Helpful references:

Reopening Guidance — Stage 2 Begins Friday  

The state has authorized the reopening of some businesses in Humboldt County beginning Friday, May 8. Gov. Gavin Newsom has outlined a four-stage approach for reopening. The first stage has been in place since the statewide Stay-at-Home Order took effect on March 16. Stage two will begin Friday with what the Governor calls a “soft opening” to gradually reopen lower-risk retail businesses that are able to serve customers curbside or through delivery as well as logistics and manufacturing supports for retail businesses. It is anticipated that the Governor will revise the state Stay-at-Home Order on May 7 and provide more specific guidance for businesses to operate safely. This page will be updated as additional guidance is released.

Guidance for Humboldt County Businesses:

Businesses that can reopen on Friday, May 8, with modifications in place:

  • Most retail businesses may open for curbside, pickup or delivery only.
    • Florists, toy stores, sporting goods stores, bookstores, and clothing stores are a few examples.
    • Shopping malls and seated dining services cannot reopen per the state Stay-at-Home Order.
  • Businesses that provide logistical and manufacturing support for retail businesses.

Businesses that plan to reopen on Friday, May 8, should have the following measures in place prior to reopening:

  • Wearing and requiring facial coverings for all employees and customers in accordance with the Order of the Health Officer.
  • Allowing for six feet of social distancing at all times for employees and customers.
  • Providing access to handwashing and hand sanitizer for employees and customers.
  • Frequently cleaning and sanitizing the facility following CDC reopening guidelines.
  • Adhering to a plan to identify and exclude sick employees from the workplace.

Additional measures will be required as the state modifies the Stay-at-Home Order. Certification will be required as Humboldt County moves further into stage two to allow storefronts and restaurants to open and serve the public inside of their facilities.

The Humboldt County Joint Information Center will be releasing information regarding the certification process based on direction from the state on stage two implementation.

Restaurant Pilot Program Ends

The County’s Compliance Certification program was a pilot program that began with restaurants on April 27 and was intended to measure businesses’ ability and effectiveness to follow Public Health guidelines and CDC mitigating measures in addressing COVID-19 concerns. The information gleaned from this program will be used as we work with the state to make the gradual move to the next stage of reopening. There will be more information available as the state continues to provide further guidance.