The ability of the County to open up safely depends upon the responsible conduct of all of our local businesses, which engagement and cooperation will help the County make the case for expanding more quickly to future phases of reopening as permitted by the State. The County is at a critical moment, with six new COVID-19 cases today, increasing the number of cases in the County significantly. If we as a community do not take care, especially when reopening businesses, we risk sending the County backwards to Stage 1, instead of continuing to move forward. Even a single business can stall the County from further reopening and possibly cause the County to revert backwards to more restrictive shelter-in place-orders.
Please remember that violation of or failure to comply with the Mendocino County Health Officer’s Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq., Cal. Penal Code §§ 69, 148(a)(1)). Pursuant to Mendocino County Urgency Ordinance 4461, regulatory fines maybe imposed, for business up to $10,000 per violation, and for individuals of up $500 per violation.
New activities now permitted under the current revised Health Officer’s Order, effective May 22, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., include limited dine-in restaurants and limited in-person shopping at retail stores. However these businesses may not begin operation, or expand existing services until Self-Certification is complete as follow:
Self-Certification must be completed as follows:
- Restaurants opening for dine-in service must complete a self-certification prior operating for dine-in service. Operating without the self-certification is a violation of the Health Order that may result in strict enforcement with penalties.
- Retail establishments for in-store shopping must complete a self-certification prior operating for in-store shopping. Operating without the self-certification is a violation of the Health Order that may result in strict enforcement with penalties.
- Self-Certification is required within 7 days of May 21, 2020, for all businesses allowed to re-open under Stage 2 prior the May 21, 2020 Health Order, including retail for curb-side pickup and delivery, outdoor business, lower risk business, limited services, manufacturing, construction business not allowed in Stage 1, and offices not previously open in Stage 1.
Self-Certification must be submitted here: https://www.mendocinocountybusiness.org/
Businesses not permitted to operate in Mendocino County during Stage 2 reopening, per State rules:
- Personal services: hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
- Wellness services: non-medical massage, chiropractic
- Bars, winery tasting rooms, lounges, nightclubs
- Entertainment venues: movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcades, live audience sports, indoor museums and gallery spaces, concert venues, convention centers, festivals, theme parks
- Hotels/lodging for tourism
- Campgrounds and RV Parks except as state below.
Campgrounds and RV parks are closed except for essential workers providing services in Mendocino County, others traveling to Mendocino County for business reasons allowed in the Shelter-In-lace Order, full-time tenants and persons who do not have a primary residence. The owner/operators of these establishments are required to obtain verifiable proof of tenant status prior to allowing tenants to use or occupy the facility.
All individuals (and businesses) must follow County and State Health Officer orders which are issued under the authority of California law. As a condition of re-opening, current orders require, among other things, local business compliance with state and local industry-specific guidance and submission of self-certification forms. State Statute explicitly provides that Health Officer orders may be enforced by the local sheriff or other peace officers of the County. Violation of the Orders may subject a person or business to criminal or civil penalties, as well as other legal consequences. In particular, any business that violates the Health Officer's orders risks committing negligence per se and exposes itself to civil liability for all damages created by any viral transmission that occurs at their place of business.
For more information on the County of Mendocino Shelter-In-Place Order please visit the County website at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order, or contact the COVID-19 call-in center at (707) 272-6052.