[UPDATE: November 14, 2020]
California’s new system for evaluating progress in the COVID-19 pandemic has been in place since late August. According to that plan, there have been forward movements for certain counties but – most recently, in response to the worsening infection rates around the nation including California – there have been reclassifications as well from the “red” tier to the most restrictive “purple” tier. San Diego County has just moved from red back to 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]: Because of the alarming rise of cases in recent days, the governor has “pulled the emergency brake” on reopenings. Effective 11/17, most of the state will revert back to the most stringent restrictions; that is, effectively move back to the “purple” tier.]
For other jurisdictions, there are state-by-state online compilations of COVID-19 related orders including protocols for phased reopenings. See, for instance: Bouncing Back: A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols (Last updated: October 29, 2020) Littler Mendelson LLP
[UPDATE: September 3, 2020]
This summer was marked by unfortunate (though predictable) rollbacks from the rapid (though in stages) reopening of California in May and June of 2020. Too many Californians lowered their guard and the state’s coronavirus cases spiked dramatically.
In response, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new system for monitoring counties and moving them back and forth to and from various levels of restriction, according to the severity of disease outbreaks.
[UPDATE: May 25, 2020]
On May 18, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced important modifications to the Phase 2 Plan for gradually reopening California that he had announced on May 8, 2020. (The State of California has been under lock-down since mid-March with encouraging results that haven’t mimicked the overwhelming of health care facilities occurring in other locations.)
On May 25, 2020, the Governor’s Office approved the limited resumption of religious services statewide, subject to health and safety restrictions.
The new rules vary to a large extent county-by-county, with the most (current) easing occurring in the smaller, rural locales. They also vary industry by industry; some segments of the nonprofit sector are treated differently than others. These complex rules are developing.
[April 1, 2020]
The current response to COVID-19 on the state levels involves: the Governor’s office, state departments and agencies, and the California Legislature.
The state’s central pandemic-response website is: CA.gov: California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response.
It includes all of the official actions and declarations by Governor Gavin Newsom, as well as action and information from the state’s executive branch. As with the federal level, many California agencies are involved in this response, enforcing existing laws, regulations, and rules, and updating guidance for the current circumstances. The references listed here are just a few of the many in effect.
In mid-March, the California legislature unanimously enacted S.B. 89 which amends the budget to make a massive appropriation on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legislature is in recess until about mid-April, but that date could be changed.