[UPDATE: November 14, 2020]

After wavering on the brink after many weeks, San Diego County has just moved from Tier 3 (“red”) back to Tier 4 (“purple”) effective November 14, 2020. In accordance with this designation, the County of San Diego’s public-health officer issued a new, more restrictive order. [Update: 11/16/20]: Gov. Newsom “pulled the emergency brake” on reopenings statewide, effective 11/17; see STATE OF CALIFORNIA page.

[UPDATE: September 3, 2020]

Over the summer, it became clear that earlier reopenings were too much, too soon, causing some unfortunate spikes in the pandemic. As a result, there were certain rollbacks from the reopenings. 

The County has now begun to issue orders in accordance with the newly revised statewide 4-tier system that went into effect in late August. San Diego County began this new phase in phase 3, “red,” which is the third most restrictive category. Most of California has begun in the phase 4, “purple” tier. See CA Blueprint for a Safe Economy.


[UPDATE: May 21, 2020]

Gov. Gavin Newsom has just announced more progress in easing some of the statewide Stage 2 phase of the COVID-19 orders that began in early May. Certain rural counties were given permission at that time to reopen some activities.

The May 18th state orders allow other areas to open up a bit and to submit plans for approval. San Diego County submitted a plan on May 19th, that was approved by California on May 20th.

This is a rapidly developing – and complex – story that we’ll update frequently.


[April 1, 2020]

“This is an extraordinary time for the rule of law, when all citizens must keep advised of rapidly changing and electronically disseminated pronouncements affecting how they live and work.”

In addition to laws and rules from the federal and state governments, every person or entity in a local area must pay careful attention to their city and county authorities who have some say about matters including personal restrictions as well as special benefits like moratoria from evictions. There are also special funds available at the local level.

A fundamental challenge, though, is determining which of several overlapping rules may apply. There are no easy answers at this time.

Contact FPLG (619) 780.3839

According to the County Public Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, “[t]he key to decreasing cases is wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, avoiding gatherings and following other public health recommendations. We understand that people have COVID fatigue, but we have to do what we know works.”

Jose A. Alvarez (11/10/20)

…[T]he [San Diego] County Containment Plan includes mandatory protective measures for hygiene and sanitation, social distancing, face coverings, and screening at workplaces and public places. The Plan also incorporates the County T3 Strategy to decrease COVID-19 morbidity and mortality through testing, tracing, and treatment (including isolation). This strategy promotes “accessible COVID-19 testing for everyone.”

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. San Diego County Public Health Officer, (5/19/20)

San Diego County officials will try to make a case to the governor that the coronavirus outbreak has been contained enough locally to allow more businesses to reopen under a pilot plan.

Gary Warth, San Diego U-T (5/19/20)

[I]n Los Angeles County — the center of coronavirus cases in California, with more than 1,900 deaths — officials have long said reopening the economy will be more difficult than in other parts of the state less hard hit. The idea is to avoid a reopening that occurs too quickly and causes more outbreaks.

Colleen Shalby et al, The Los Angeles Times (5/19/20)



Remote-Work Costs: Must Nonprofit Reimburse?

[June 5, 2020] Among the many adjustments that employers - including nonprofits - have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic is the abrupt switch to remote work for some or all of their employees. That includes making sure that everyone in the workforce has needed hardware, software, and internet and phone connectivity.  California is among the jurisdictions that initiated early and mandatory stay-at-home orders for a large portion of the population and economy. There [...]

Filing Deadlines Extended for Nonprofit Organizations

[April 24, 2020] By the third week of March 2020, governments at all levels had begun to respond to the many questions and issues raised by the COVID-19 emergency, including - most notably - the curtailment or suspension of operations and activities by individuals and entities on account of new stay-at-home orders  and recommendations.  The necessary federal emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act was made in mid-March. The [...]

UPDATE: The CARES Act and Nonprofits

[March 27, 2020] The third prong of the Congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 747) - is now before the House of Representatives, having passed the Senate on Wednesday. The House is expected to approve it today with overwhelming support; voting is expected to begin shortly.  It could be signed at the White House and in effect before the end of this weekend. [...]

Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

Ten days ago, we posted Funders Must Step Up - Right Now! (March 16, 2020).   That same morning, influential blogger Vu Le had posted Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for. Mr. Le has long been a vocal critic of many foundations’ viewing the five percent payout figure in the tax code as a ceiling instead of what it is: a floor.  During that week, as most of us were [...]

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The devastating pandemic has brought sudden and profound challenges for all of us.  In What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation, (March 16, 2020), the experts from BoardSource write:  “As the world responds to the threats of COVID-19, many nonprofits and their boards are wrestling with difficult questions and decisions.”  A rewrite of that sentence may be in order; every nonprofit and its board is flying blind in [...]

The Charitable Sector: COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

America's charities request $60 billion infusion of support to help the most vulnerable March 18, 2020 The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic facing the country is having a profound impact on the economy and has greatly expanded the need for charitable organizations to provide additional services in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, the economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a contraction in contributions and other sources of revenue which are the lifeblood of many charitable [...]

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the news media focused on the minutiae of the primary-election horse race. This week, Americans have been forced to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the nonprofit sector, the emergency becomes a double-barreled crisis: we are both victims and saviors. This is not an unfamiliar conundrum; there are frequent natural disasters that devastate one area or another. This nation’s charitable organizations - and, in particular, the social [...]

Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, 2019). This morning, it’s a [...]

Small Business Association Disaster Loan Guidance and Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an existing program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that extends disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by disasters.  On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the SBA announced that the program will be available to claims arising from COVID-19.  The SBA will work with state officials to offer loans of up to $2 million.  “These loans may be used to pay [...]

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