San Mateo County Reopening
The State of California has established a Resilience Roadmap with four stages: State Resilience Roadmap. The State determines, based on various public health criteria, when and how each county may reopen. On June 16, 2020, the State approved San Mateo County’s attestation, which allows San Mateo County to move with the State as it allows additional activities and businesses.
Accordingly, the Health Officer of San Mateo County issued a new Safer Community Order on June 17, 2020 that is effective at 12:01 am on June 18, 2020. The Order is here: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog. The new Order supersedes and replaces the prior Shelter in Place Order and is in full alignment with the State’s Order as of the time it was issued. This Order is in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the Health Officer.
All businesses approved for reopening by the State are permitted to reopen at this time, subject to all State requirements. If you have a question about what is open and what is allowed, you should begin by reviewing the State's answers to Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found here: State FAQ. Below, please see recent State-ordered closures in San Mateo County.
*UPDATE, AUGUST 2: The following sectors closed by the State of California Aug. 2, due to San Mateo County being placed on the State Monitoring List:*
Closures ordered for indoor operations for certain sectors which promote the mixing of populations beyond households and make adherence to physical distancing with face coverings difficult. Within those sectors, those that are not able to continue their business through outdoor operations must close that portion of their business effective immediately in order to further mitigate the spread of the virus. This applies to the following sectors/events:
- Gyms and Fitness Centers
- Places of Worship
- Indoor protests
- Offices for Non-Critical Infrastructure Sectors
- Hair Salons and Barbershops
- Personal Care Services (including nail salons and massage parlors). Shops that offer tattoos, piercings and electrolysis may not be operated outdoors and must close.
*These actions remain in effect until further notice*
*UPDATE, JULY 13*
The following remain closed statewide – including in San Mateo County – under the governor’s emergency order:
- Dine-in restaurants (indoor)
- Wineries and tasting rooms (indoor)
- Movie theaters (indoors)
- Family entertainment centers (indoors)
- Zoos and museums (indoors)
- Cardrooms (indoors)
- Brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs (indoor and outdoor)
Outside dining is still allowed.
All industry or sector guidance documents that have been issued to date, including all infectious control measures outlined in those guidance documents, including the use of face coverings, which is mandated statewide, apply in outdoor settings, and thus must be adhered to. Outdoor operations may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other sun shelter, but only as long as no more than one side is closed, allowing sufficient outdoor air movement.
This page previously contained detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the County’s Order, which was previously more restrictive than the State Order. They have been removed because our current Order is designed to track the State’s Resilience Roadmap.
If you don’t find the information you are seeking, you can call the hotline set up by the State (the County does not operate this number and cannot ensure a response): (833) 544-2374 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m., 7 days a week)
You can also provide the State input on reopening here: California Recovery Roadmap Survey.
What County-Specific Restrictions Are Still in Effect?
Face Coverings: With specified exceptions (including but not limited to certain individuals, specified activities or locations and Social Bubbles), individuals must continue to wear Face Coverings as described in the Order. In general, even when not required by this Order, individuals (except for children aged two years or less) are strongly encouraged to wear Face Coverings when in public.
Social Distancing Requirements: With specified exceptions (including, but not limited to, Social Bubbles), all individuals must adhere to Social Distancing requirements as set forth in the Order.
Social Distancing Protocols for Businesses: All businesses permitted to continue operations are required to post a Social Distancing Protocol for each of their facilities in the County frequented by personnel or members of the public, as specified in the Order. Social Distancing Protocol: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog.
Health and Safety Plans for Businesses: The Order requires all businesses to develop, implement and share detailed written Health & Safety Plans that demonstrate how they will comply with the detailed State guidance for that business.
No Mass Gatherings: Gatherings of over 50 persons are prohibited unless a larger gathering is specifically allowed by the State. For example, the Order’s limitation does not supersede the State’s specific rules for protests or gatherings associated with places of worship, which can exceed the 50-person limit when in compliance with State guidelines. Please see the State’s website for more information: State FAQs
Other Orders: Individuals and businesses must comply with all other Orders by the Health Officer (for example, quarantine, isolation, laboratory and congregate care). These Orders can be found here: Health Officer Orders and Statements.
For Businesses: Can I Reopen My Business and If So, How?
Businesses that were already allowed to operate under the County’s prior Shelter in Place Order may continue to operate in compliance with State requirements and Federal, State and Local laws and regulations and consistent with a written health and safety plan developed consistent with State guidance.
Certain businesses that were not allowed to operate under the County’s prior Order may be allowed to reopen now that the County has an approved variance.
The State’s webpage provides the industry-specific guidance and requirements for businesses allowed to be open:
State Industry-Specific Guidance (Earlier sectors)
State Industry-Specific Guidance (Later sectors)
After you click on the above links, find and select your industry sector, review the guidance, create and implement a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 plan, and post your completed health and safety plan so the public is aware that you have complied with State guidance. If you cannot find applicable guidance, your business might not be allowed to reopen yet. The State has created a checklist for some sectors, which can be used as a framework for the plan. If no checklist exists, a business must still create a plan.
For Individuals: What Can I Do?
Follow State guidance: You may engage in all activities allowed by the State. Continue to monitor State guidance for prohibited activities: State Guidance
Interactions within Social Bubbles: You may interact with other individuals outside of your household in a “Social Bubble” which is defined as a group of twelve or fewer people from different households or living units who have agreed amongst themselves to only socialize with members of their group. A Social Bubble must be maintained for a minimum of three weeks. You can only be a member of one Social Bubble at a time. While face coverings and social distancing are always recommended, members of a Social Bubble are relieved of these requirements when with members of their Social Bubble in outdoor settings in the same manner as if they belonged to a single household or living unit.
Interactions outside of Social Bubbles: While gatherings of any size outside of a single household or living unit remain discouraged because they carry significant risk of exposure to COVID-19, you are allowed to participate in public and private gatherings of up to 50 people. To the extent the State allows gatherings of more than 50 people (for example, protests or gatherings associated with places of worship), such activities do not violate the County’s Order. For clarity, a mass gathering is a specific, organized meeting or event bringing together particular individuals from multiple households at the same time for a group experience, often with a start and end time, like a party or conference. Accordingly, businesses that are capable of following the State guidance (as well as social distancing requirements) and merely happen to have more than 50 customers at a time (such as movie theaters, card rooms, restaurants) would not be violating the Order, as that would not constitute a gathering under the Order. Participants of gatherings of any size must adhere to Social Distancing and Face Covering Requirements unless it is a small outdoor gathering of individuals belonging to the same Social Bubble.
Monitor your health: Under CDC guidelines, individuals who are experiencing fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms should stay home except to get medical care. This can prevent transmission of COVID-19 to others. If you’re not sure if this applies to you, check your symptoms with the CDC’s Symptom Screener.
Be safe: Crowded settings, especially those indoors, increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Comply with the County’s Face Covering Order, stay 6 feet away from others, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as frequently as necessary. Higher-risk individuals (over 65 or with serious medical conditions) should consider continuing to stay home until Stage 4. Minimize errands by getting groceries delivered or asking for help from friends or family.
Access community resources:People who are experiencing homelessness or unsafe living conditions where they cannot afford safe shelter are encouraged to try to stay with family or friends, identify housing options, or access emergency resources such as shelter. They can also call 211 or one of the Core Service Agencies located throughout San Mateo County: San Mateo County Core Service Agencies
Where can I get more information?
The County has additional information for the General Public, Healthcare Providers, regarding Children, Older Adults, Face Coverings and businesses regulated by Environmental Health, which can be found here: https://www.smchealth.org/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions and here: https://www.smcgov.org/covid19-face-covering