California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 (commonly known as the "Safer at Home, Stay at Home" order) to preserve public health and safety throughout the entire State of California.

As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, all California State's residents were ordered to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.

With this order, the California Department of Public Health seeks to establish consistency across the State of California to ensure that it mitigates the impact of COVID-19. The State's primary goal is to "bend the curve, and disrupt the spread of the virus." The "curve" references the line graph indicating the number of new patients over time. So as to not overtax the State's health care system, the order will help reduce the number of critical patients at any one time.

Exempt businesses include:

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

Temporarily closed businesses include:

  • Dine-in restaurants (take-out services permitted at all restaurants, including alcoholic beverages which otherwise would be restricted under State law from being consumed off the premises)
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention centers
  • Hair and nail salons

After further consideration, and due to the increased density of visitors to State Parks over the past few days, the State has modified operations at certain State Parks, including closing parking and motor vehicle access.

Pursuant to order, the California State Public Health Officer has promulgated a list of "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers" to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners in their efforts to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers have been identified from the following sectors:

  • Health Care/Public Health
  • Emergency Services Sector
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Other Community-Based Government Operations and Essential Functions
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Financial Services
  • Chemical
  • Defense Industrial Base

The order further stresses that, even when engaged in unrestricted activities or otherwise, residents need to practice "social distancing" at all times. Furthermore, the order directs the State Office of Emergency Services to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance.

There is no expiry date of the order. It will remain in effect until further notice. The order is statewide and not intended to supersede any county or municipal orders such as those in place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and the many other local government across the State of California.