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California Eases Restrictions on Private Gatherings

The guidance goes into effect in San Diego County on Saturday

By Brenda Gregorio-Nieto • Published October 10, 2020 • Updated on October 10, 2020 at 11:17 pm #san-diego-ca (CNT) City News And Talk

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released new guidance Friday that now allows private gatherings to include up to three households. 

The guidance goes into effect in San Diego County on Saturday. The updated plan replaces prior gatherings guidance issued on September 12 and March 16.

The guidance states the gatherings must take place outdoors and keeping the gathering smaller as it lowers the risk of contracting COVID-19. The guidance also states that the host should collect the names of all attendees and contact information in case contact tracing is needed later. 

“Gatherings may occur in outdoor spaces that are covered by umbrellas, canopies, awnings, roofs, and other shade structures provided that at least three sides of the space (or 75%) are open to the outdoors,” the CDPH website says. 

Additional guidance includes:

For any gatherings permitted under this guidance, the space must be large enough so that everyone at a gathering can maintain at least a 6-foot physical distance from others (not including their own household) at all times. 

Seating must provide at least 6 feet of distance (in all directions—front-to-back and side-to-side) between different households.

Everyone at a gathering should frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. A place to wash hands or hand sanitizer must be available for participants to use.

Shared items should not be used during a gathering. As much as possible, any food or beverages at outdoor gatherings must be in single-serve disposable containers. If providing single-serve containers is not possible, food and beverages must be served by a person who washes or sanitizes their hands frequently and wears a face covering. Self-serve items from communal containers should not be used.

Anyone with any COVID-19-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, night sweats, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, muscle or body aches, headaches, confusion, or loss of sense of taste/smell, should stay home and not come into contact with anyone outside their household, the CDPH guidance said. 

Anyone who develops COVID-19 within 48 hours after attending a gathering should notify the other attendees as soon as possible regarding the potential exposure. 

People at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, like older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, are strongly urged not to attend any gatherings.