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Posted on: October 12, 2020

Oct. 12, 2020 - Up to Three Households Can Now Gather Under New State Guidance

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The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently released guidance for individuals and families to hold limited gatherings as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The guidance specifies state requirements to gather with people who live outside one’s household, but does not replace limitations on gatherings in any other sector guidance. CDPH outlines the following requirements for safer gatherings: 

  • Limit gatherings to no more than three households, including everyone present, and gather with those same three households over time. 
  • Collect names and contact information for all attendees in case contact tracing is needed.
  • Gathering outside is safest for everyone, but multiple groups of three households cannot organize to have a joint gathering, even outdoors. 
  • Do not attend gatherings if sick or if at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Maintain physical distancing of six feet between households at all times and practice good hygiene, including the regular use of handwashing or hand sanitizer and the avoidance of sharing items like food, beverages, serving utensils and containers.
  • Wear facial coverings in accordance with state orders. 
  • Limit gatherings to two hours or less. 

The State of California does not permit concerts or live musical events, whether located indoors or outdoors. If people are informally gathering to sing, chant or play instrumental music, everyone in attendance must be from one of three households and physical distancing should be maintained. Playing wind instruments, such as a flute or a clarinet, is strongly discouraged. If any of these activities occur, the following CDPH guidelines can help to limit potential spread: 

  • Facial coverings should be worn by all participants at all times.
  • Strongly consider increasing distancing beyond six feet when people are singing, chanting or exercising.
  • Limit volume of singing and chanting to decrease the spread of respiratory droplets. 

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich called the release of the guidance a helpful development, as gatherings of people who do not live in the same household have been a significant driver of the county’s COVID-19 cases. 

“We recognize that as this pandemic goes on, it is a struggle for people to avoid gathering altogether,” Dr. Frankovich said. “This guidance helps us all to minimize the inherent risk in coming together by limiting the size of the gathering and the number of different households coming together, while using all of the prevention strategies that have helped to keep our community safer.” 

Read the guidance in full at

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OCT12 Gatherings Guidance (PDF)
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