After a confusing start yesterday, the County of Orange has revised the public health order issued yesterday by County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick.

According to the revised order, in accordance with state-issued guidelines, in order to protect and preserve public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • All movie theatres, gyms and health clubs must close
  • All bars and other establishments that serve alcohol but do not serve food must close.
  • All restaurants and other business establishments that serve food can provide pick-up, delivery and drive-thru services – but must close onsite dining.

The new order states “It is important for Orange County businesses to remain open while practicing social distancing.”

The revised order also states “nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household, family, or living unit, or the utilization of caregivers” and “does not prohibit activities such as attendance at regular school classes, going to work, or performing essential services. In accordance with state guidance, certain activities are essential to the functioning of our County and must continue. Hence, with respect to the prohibition on Gatherings, this Order does not apply to
essential public transportation, airport travel, shopping at a store, mall, or farmers’ market, or charitable food pantries and distributions, or to congregate living situations, including dormitories and homeless encampments.”

The County added that “the Order and Guidance” may be revised and/or extended t any time” since the coronavirus pandemic “is a rapidly evolving situation.”

Click here to read the amended public health order.

The poorly-written original order issued on March 17 caused significant confusion, and within hours the County was scrambling to correct it.  A press release issued hours after the original order stated:

“Today’s order from County Health Office Dr. Nichole Quick is NOT an order to shelter in place it is not a lockdown.”