The City of Newport Beach has released a list of Frequently Asked Questions about California’s Stay at Home Order and related Newport Beach closures and updates. The questions and answers are categorized into four sections:
- About the Stay at Home and Emergency Orders
- Recreational Activities/Dining/Tourism
- Industry / Business / Employee Information
- Community-Specific Matters
About the Stay at Home and Emergency Orders
Is the Governor’s Executive Order still in effect?
Yes. Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that went into effect March 19, 2020, requiring all California residents to stay at home except for essential errands (groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.).
The State’s process for easing the Stay-at-Home order spans four separate stages:
- Stage 1 focuses on safety and preparedness
- Stage 2, divided in two phases, provides the first opportunity for non-essential businesses to open, with operational modifications
- Stage 3 allows for the reopening of higher risk workplaces
- Stage 4 lifts all restrictions
What types of businesses are open and what types of activities are permitted?
Essential service industries have remained open throughout the COVID-19 response, such as gas stations, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
Stage 2 businesses opened in late May and early June, including restaurants, retail outlets, offices, shopping malls, day care facilities, outdoor museums, car washes, and pet grooming. Houses of worship were also permitted to reopen. On June 19, many Stage 3 businesses and activities were permitted to resume.
However, based on the increased number of local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Orange County public health officials closed some industry sectors in July 1 that were previously reopened.
The following businesses/industries are currently open in Orange County as of July 10:
- Restaurants (for outdoor dining only)
- Nail salons
- Tattoo and piercing shops
- Body waxing
- Skin care and cosmetology
- Day camps, campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation
- Gyms and fitness facilities
- Hotels for leisure travel and tourism
- Outdoor zoos and museums
NOTE: Organized youth sports, which had been allowed in the June 19 reopening, have been closed by the County of Orange until further notice. Bars (indoor and outdoor) and indoor dining facilities in Orange County were ordered by the State to close on July 1 for a minimum of three weeks, subject to an extension based on COVID-19 indicators.
The following businesses/industries are currently NOT permitted in Orange County as of July 10:
- Organized youth sports
- Indoor and outdoor bars
- Indoor dine-in restaurants
- Indoor wineries and tasting rooms
- Indoor family entertainment centers
- Indoor movie theaters
- Indoor zoos and museums
- Indoor cardrooms
- Outdoor playground equipment
- Indoor playgrounds such as bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag
- Live theater
- Concert venues
- Theme parks
- Higher education
What are the latest rules on face coverings?
The California Department of Public Health on Thursday, June 18 released updated guidance that requires Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. A growing body of scientific research has shown that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease and that the use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will reduce the spread of COVID-19. A face covering is meant to protect others in case you are infected. Public health officials emphasize that face coverings are not substitutes for physical distancing – keeping six feet away from others – and regular hand washing.
When does the Stay at Home order end?
The Governor has not announced an end date.
Will the City of Newport Beach, County of Orange, or State of California enforce the Governor’s Order?
The Governor has asked Californians to follow the order to keep our communities healthy and to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. He also expects Californians to “self-regulate,” noting that it is incumbent on all of us to adapt our behaviors to the evolving coronavirus response.
What is the local Emergency Order?
On March 15, City Manager Grace Leung, serving in her capacity as the City’s director of emergency services, issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency. It was ratified by the City Council on March 18. This action enables the City to access federal and state resources if needed and to potentially recoup City funds spent responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The order remains in place until it is terminated by the City Council.
Where can I get more information?
- The California Department of Public Health provides information at ca.gov.
- You can also find information on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
- The Orange County Health Care Agency’s coronavirus hotline is 714-834-200.
- The City of Newport Beach website has information at gov/covid19 and an email signup for COVID-19 information.
Are the beaches open in Newport Beach, and under what conditions?
Newport Beach has fully reopened its beaches and most beach-related amenities. Parking lots, restrooms, the Peninsula Boardwalk, and the Newport and Balboa piers, are open to the public.
Face coverings are not required on the beaches, but social distancing is strongly encouraged. City fire pits remain closed.
What recreational activities are permitted?
Most recreational activities are allowed with social distancing. This includes harbor activities such as boating, kayaking and paddleboarding. Basketball and volleyball are permitted on City courts. Hiking trails and the dog park are open. Tennis and pickleball courts are open.
What recreational activities are not permitted?
Playground equipment remains closed under the State and County orders.
What is the status of the Senior Center and City Libraries?
The OASIS Senior Center and all library branches remain closed to the public.
The Senior Center continues to deliver meals and provide assistance to our senior community. Library curbside pickup and online services are available at www.newportbeachlibrary.org.
How can I access online recreation and library programs?
The City has established an Online Recreation Center that offers classes and activities.
The Newport Beach Public Library offers free resources at www.newportbeachlibrary.org and through its e-Branch. NBPL card holders can place materials on hold and pick them up curbside. The service is available at all NBPL locations, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What about summer camps and the Junior Lifeguard program for 2020?
Outdoor day camps and the Junior Lifeguard program will proceed this summer with modifications. For more information on summer recreation programs visit www.campnewport.com For information on Junior Lifeguards visit http://nbjg.net/
Is short-term lodging allowed?
Yes, with a temporary restriction: Renters must stay for a minimum of three nights. The three-night minimum will end when the City lifts the local Emergency Order.
Is fishing allowed on the Piers and the jetty?
Industry / Business / Employee Information
Is City Hall open?
City Hall is closed to the public as of July 13, based on concerns for the health and safety of employees and the public as COVID-19 cases increase throughout the state and County of Orange. However, all City services will continue through phone, email and drop-off/pickup.
The closure will be in place until further notice. The City, in coordination with Orange County health department, will monitor COVID-19 data for indications that COVID-19 cases are flattening or declining.
How can I apply for a permit or conduct a plan check?
For planning, building, public works or fire permit applications, customers will be asked to leave applications in a designated drop box outside City Hall. Plan checks and revisions can be submitted for review by email or drop box. For development services related questions please call 949-718-1888.
How can I make payments to the City?
The Cashier’s Office will accept payments online.
How do I know if my business can reopen, and under what conditions?
We encourage business owners to review the information provided by the State and determine if your business fits one of the categories provided. We recommend that businesses review the guidelines for the State’s “Resiliency Roadmap” and follow key safety advice.
The State has more information and a list of questions and answers for various economic sectors here: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/
All businesses permitted to operate under the order should implement social distancing practices (maintaining six-foot distance from others) and other preventive measures.
What help is there for small business?
Please visit our website for a list of local, state and federal resources available to help small businesses:
I’m now out of work, what should I do?
Please visit our website for the resources available from the State and others to assist those whose hours have been reduced or are out of work:
Does the City have resources available to help employers and workers as they work from home or seek other employment?
Yes. We have a web page of free resources available from the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations such as SCORE and the Small Business Development Center.
Why is the six-foot separation important?
According to the Centers for Disease Control website, the virus is thought to mainly spread between people who are in close contact (defined as within about six feet). It spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The now airborne droplets can land in the mouths or noses or possibly be inhaled into the of those nearby. Some studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
What is the City doing about people who aren’t following the six-foot-separation directive?
Our response is in line with what neighboring cities are doing and more importantly, it is in line with Governor Newsom’s expectations. He has not called for enforcement of the social distancing directive. Rather, he is asking Californians to self-regulate and change our behaviors to conform with the Stay at Home order and social distancing directive.
Where can I get information on the number of local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations?
The County provides updated information daily at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc
There are several important things to keep in mind about the number of local cases.
- The city-by-city figures reflect the place of residence for those who have tested positive, not necessarily where the transmission
- The data provided does not reflect all COVID-19 cases in a given community. Those who are asymptomatic and have mild cases may not be tested, and therefore not reflected in the
- The city-by-city numbers should not be interpreted to reflect where transmission is geographically focused or not, because COVID-19 is present in all communities in the county.
How can I get tested for COVID-19?
If you have a health care provider, contact your health care provider first.
If those who do not have a health care provider, the Orange County Heath Care Agency has released a list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Please visit the County’s web site at this link for a list of approved testing locations:
How can I participate in a City Council meeting?
The City live streams meetings through its website (www.newportbeachca.gov) and broadcasts the meetings on cable television channel NBTV (Cox Channel 852 and Spectrum Channel 3).
Members of the public may provide written comments prior to the meeting. You can submit your questions and comments in writing for City Council consideration by sending them in advance of the meeting (24 hours is preferred) to the City Clerk at [email protected].
You can also participate via telephone. If you are watching the meeting on NBTV or via the livestream, phone numbers for the public to call and to comment on specific agenda items will be posted on the screen. The telephone numbers will also be listed after agenda item titles on City Council agendas.
Consistent with in-person Council meetings, callers will have three minutes to provide comments on an agenda item.
The Civic Center Community Room is open for members of the public to attend, comment and watch the broadcast.