Updated March 22, 2021
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Dealership Operations and Health Requirements
Most California Counties in Less Restrictive Red Tier; Occupancy Limited to 50%. (Updated March 22, 2021)
As of March 19, most California dealerships are located within counties with a red tier COVID risk level. This includes dealerships in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Sacramento counties. Various other counties, particularly those in the Central Valley, remain in the most restrictive purple tier.
After incorporating this information, the following represents our best understanding of the current status of vehicle sales operations in California:
- Counties Not in the Purple Tier (Most California dealerships)
- Key Limitations: 50% indoor occupancy limit.
- Applicable Jurisdictions: Click here for your county’s status.
- Purple Tier Counties
- Key Limitations: 25% indoor occupancy limit. (This includes dealership sales and parts departments. It’s unclear if this includes service departments, but dealers should use their best efforts to reduce occupancy in all areas.)
- Applicable Jurisdictions: Click here for your county’s status.
Dealerships should note that in addition to the above-mentioned occupancy limits, they must observe all other health and safety requirements (e.g., face coverings, social distancing, sanitation, etc.).
Regardless of what occupancy limit applies in your county, it’s a good idea to use your best efforts to limit the number of persons inside your dealership. In the event a health inspector visits your dealership, they will want to know that you are taking these restrictions seriously and are taking necessary precautions to mitigate risk. These occupancy restrictions should be implemented in conjunction with other safety precautions, such as social distancing, daily employee symptom checks, face coverings, and the reporting of “outbreaks” to local health departments.
The State of California and various local jurisdictions have issued orders that greatly impact dealership operations. Outlined below is a summary of these requirements.
Local Jurisdictions Adopt Travel Quarantine Requirements. California recommends that people quarantine for 14 days following non-essential interstate travel. (Click here.) However, several local jurisdictions are now requiring residents to quarantine following non-essential travel. On December 28, the Los Angeles Public Health Department imposed a requirement that residents quarantine for 10 days following travel outside of LA County. (Click here) Santa Clara County has also imposed a requirement that residents quarantine for 10 days following non-essential travel more than 150 miles outside the County’s borders. (Click here.) These orders should not be read to apply to dealership employees that commute to work from outside LA or Santa Clara counties, as such commutes are considered “essential” travel.
A 10 Day Quarantine Is Now Possible For Employees That Come in Close Contact With an Infected Individual. (Updated December 23, 2020) Last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) adopted revised quarantine guidance that allows asymptomatic close contacts (within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) to discontinue quarantine after Day 10 from the date of last exposure with or without testing. (Click here) This reduces the quarantine period from 14 to 10 days.
All exposed asymptomatic contacts permitted to reduce the quarantine period to less than 14 days must:
• Adhere strictly to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including wearing face coverings at all times, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others and the interventions required below, through Day 14.
• Use surgical face masks at all times during work for those returning after Day 7 and continue to use face coverings when outside the home through Day 14 after last exposure.
• Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through Day 14 and if symptoms occur, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health department or healthcare provider and seek testing.
Also, dealers considering allowing employees to return after 10 days instead of 14 days should note that Cal/OSHA has not updated its regulations on COVID-19 exposure, which require a 14 day quarantine period. (Click here.) Therefore, dealers that wish to continue requiring a 14 day quarantine period still have a basis to do so.
Statewide Operation and Health Requirements. All dealerships in California should review and implement the statewide guidance on COVID-19 dealership operations. (Click here.) All dealerships should post a copy of the state COVID-19 checklist to demonstrate that they are reducing the risk and are open for business. (Click here.)
On July 24, the California Department of Public Health issued a “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” that summarizes key requirements to operate a business in the current pandemic environment. This includes following industry-specific guidance and checklists and response protocols for when employees contract COVID-19. You can download the COVID-19 Employer Playbook by clicking here.
Face Masks. On June 18th, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance requiring Californians to wear face coverings statewide in many circumstances, including in most public indoor settings (such as inside dealership showrooms). Workers must wear face coverings in many additional circumstances, such as when they are working in spaces visited by members of the public or when they are unable to physically distance from others. Dealers throughout California are encouraged to promptly review this guidance, which can be accessed by clicking here.
CNCDA began remote operations on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Since this time, CNCDA staff has been in continuous contact with local and state officials on issues involving coronavirus and your business. Our legal hotline (916-441-2599) continues to operate and staff is fully accessible by phone or email to our members. And we are continuously developing compliance resources (such as this website and member alerts) to help our members during this difficult time.
This website is designed to provide California new motor vehicle dealerships with resources on issues involving the coronavirus (COVID-19). CNCDA will use its best efforts to continue to update this website, but this situation is rapidly evolving. Please also note that the materials on this website are for educational purposes, and are not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact competent counsel. For the most current information, please visit government websites for your jurisdiction or call CNCDA at 916-441-2599.
Media contact: Jenny Dudikoff, 916-599-5415