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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of businesses are considered essential, according to the Order of the Health Officer?

1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure (see additional information below)

2. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of: canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food and supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products).

3. This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

4. Farmers’ markets shall comply with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidance regarding Retail Food, Beverage, and Other Related Service Venues issued March 16, 2020;

5. Agriculture, food, and beverage cultivation, processing, and distribution, including but not limited to, farming, ranching, fishing, dairies, creameries, wineries and breweries in order to preserve inventory and production;

6. Businesses that are necessary to support agriculture, food, and beverage cultivation, processing, and distribution;

7. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;

8. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;

9. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;

10. Banks and related financial institutions;

11. Hardware stores;

12. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;

13. Businesses that support or provide Essential Infrastructure;

14. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;

15. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities— for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;

16. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;

17. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for drive-thru, delivery, or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under the Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site. Food trucks shall comply with CDPH Guidance regarding Retail Food, Beverage, and Other Related Service Venues issued March 16, 2020;

18. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;

19. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;

20. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;

21. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;

22. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;

23. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;

24. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;

  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in the Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:
    • Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
    • Children shall not change from one group to another.
    • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    • Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

Show All Answers

1. When does this Health Order become effective?
2. What does this Order do?
3. What does it mean to “shelter in place”?
4. What is the difference between “sheltering in place” and “social distancing”?
5. Am I allowed to leave my home while this Order is in effect?
6. What activities are considered essential?
7. Why is this Order in place?
8. What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?
9. Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?
10. How will I get food and medicines I need if I must “shelter in place” in my home?
11. What kinds of businesses are considered essential, according to the Order of the Health Officer?
12. What does it mean to provide “Essential Infrastructure”?
13. What about first responders?
14. Is this Health Order mandatory or is it just guidance?
15. Can I still seek non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, elective procedures, etc.?
16. What medical and health-related activities are considered essential?
17. How do I obtain medical or recreational cannabis?
18. What if my pet needs access to care?
19. Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?
20. Can I still get mail and deliveries?
21. Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?
22. Can I get my prescriptions or other health care supplies? Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?
23. Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
24. Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?
25. Where does this Order apply?
26. I run an “Essential Business,” as defined by the Order. Do I need to get an official letter of authorization from the County to operate?
27. Can I leave home to go to my church, synagogue, or mosque?
28. Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order in order to travel to/from a job outside the County? Does the Order allow me to leave the County?
29. Why are we doing this?
30. Can I leave home to exercise?
31. Are Humboldt County Parks open during the Shelter in Place Order?
32. Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?
33. Can I get a ride in my favorite ride share/on demand service or a taxi?
34. If I’m outside the county travelling for vacation or business, am I allowed to come home?