On September 14, 2021, Contra Costa County issued Health Order No. HO-COVID19-57 (the “Order”) mandating certain Contra Costa County businesses and operations to verify its patrons and employees are either fully vaccinated or have a recent negative COVID-19 test result in response to the surging number of COVID-19 delta variant cases.  The Order takes effect at 8:00 a.m. on September 22, 2021.

Who does this apply to?

The Order applies to any business, non-profit, or higher education entity (“Covered Entity” or “Covered Entities”) engaged in the operation of: (1) establishments or events where food or beverages are served for patrons’ consumption on-site (e.g., dining establishments, bars, theaters, and other entertainment venues) and (2) fitness facilities (e.g., gyms, recreation facilities, yoga studios, and dance studios) where patrons engage in activities that typically involve elevated breathing.  Covered Entities must verify patrons 12 years of age and older are fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of entering their establishment starting September 22, 2021 and verify employees who work in indoor areas are fully vaccinated or provide COVID-19 test results for each workweek starting November 1, 2021, with limited exceptions and subject to applicable federal, state, or local laws requiring accommodations.

What are the limited exceptions?

The Order does not apply to: (1) masked patrons entering a Covered Entity’s establishment solely to perform a brief transaction (e.g., picking-up or delivering food or goods), (2) places of worship and other religious institutions, (3) residential facilities, (4) child care facilities, (5) K-12 schools, or (6) entertainment venues with concession stands (e.g., movie theaters) if food or beverages are not served to patrons who do not provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within the prior 72 hours.

What is an acceptable proof of full vaccination?

To be fully vaccinated, at least two weeks must have elapsed since an individual received a final dose of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) or World Health Organization (“WHO”) authorized COVID-19 vaccine.  The Order allows for the following proofs of full vaccination:

What types of COVID-19 tests are acceptable?

A nucleic acid or antigen test to detect infection of a person with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Order does not limit or modify Contra Costa County’s August 2, 2021 Health Order No. HO-COVID19-51 for Wearing Masks in Indoor Settings.  Businesses and individuals with questions should contact experienced counsel for guidance on new policies and practices.