Why is this Order in place?

This Order is in place to address the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID19 in Merced County. There is substantial community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people. One big challenge in controlling the transmission of the virus is that many people who have it don’t have symptoms or have mild symptoms. However; people can easily spread the virus even if they don’t feel ill. The virus can also last on many surfaces (from hours to days). 

 Unfortunately, this virus can cause severe symptoms in some people and can also be fatal. Some who get the virus, especially those over 60 years old, those who have weak immune systems, and those with various medical conditions (see below for a full list), can end up with serious complications that include fever, pneumonia, and in some instances death. Currently there is no approved treatment or cure for COVID19.  That means that people who get very sick need medical intervention such as oxygen or help breathing. 

 Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order, it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed. We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill.  Our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services.  

 For these reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to slow down the spread of the virus. Doing so will help to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed. If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions. We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community. The best way to do that is to “socially isolate” yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.

Show All Answers

1. What does this Order do?
2. When does the Order go into effect?
3. How long does the Order last?
4. Can the Order be changed?
5. Where is the Order in effect?
6. Who issued the Order?
7. What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?
8. Why is this Order in place?
9. What is the difference between “stay at home” and “social distancing”?
10. Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need or I am not performing an essential activity (as defined under the Order)?
11. Can I still get my mail and deliveries?
12. Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?
13. Can I go out to do my laundry or have my laundry done?
14. Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?
15. What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?
16. Can I still seek not yet authorized to reopen medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, elective procedures, etc.?
17. Should I stock up on essential items such as food, toilet paper, and medicines?
18. What should I do if I’m sick? If I or a family member need immediate medical attention, can I leave home to go to the doctor or hospital?
19. Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?
20. Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
21. Can I leave home to attend services at my church, synagogue, mosque or place of worship?
22. I operate a funeral home. Are funeral services allowed?
23. Can I host a memorial service or a traditional ceremony in my home and invite family and friends to attend?
24. What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?
25. Can I leave home to exercise?
26. I feel anxious being home, can I go to a park? Can I travel to a County park or open space if I social distance?
27. Are Parks open and can I visit them?
28. Can I take my kids to the playgrounds at the park?
29. Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?
30. Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?
31. Can golf courses remain open, if i social distance myself from others?
32. Can I go to a restaurant, café, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other foodservice locations?
33. I don’t cook, can I leave my home to purchase meals?
34. Can I walk my dog/pet?
35. Can I take my pet to the vet, pet hospital, or groomer?
36. How can I access free or reduced-price meals for myself or my family?
37. Can I carry out a court-ordered visit with my kids?
38. Will all business offices and stores be required to close?
39. What are “Essential Businesses” required to do to operate?
40. I run an essential business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to get an official letter of authorization from the County to operate?
41. I work for an eligible business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to have a letter from my employer or other documentation to travel?
42. I operate a farm, am I allowed to continue my operation and have employees report to work?
43. What if my business is not yet authorized to reopen? Does this Order require that I close my business facility?
44. I currently receive benefits through Merced County’s Human Services Agency. Will this order interrupt my benefits?
45. Does this Order require that schools shut down?
46. Will this order prevent companies working on vaccines and testing for COVID-19 from continuing to do that work?
47. I am in the business of manufacturing food that I supply to grocery stores and other food retailers. Am I required to close?
48. Does the Order require that businesses stop work that is necessary to our health care system?
49. Can my company continue construction on a health care facility?
50. What other construction is allowed to continue?
51. My business principally manufactures, supplies, or repairs cell phones. Can it continue to operate?
52. Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?
53. What if some of the work my business does at its facility is essential and some is not yet authorized to reopen?
54. I operate a “big box store” that sells some clothing in addition to groceries, electronics, and hardware. Do I close off the part of my store that is not yet authorized to reopen?
55. What if I have a cafeteria at my worksite. Can it continue to operate to serve workers who are carrying out work exempted in the Order?
56. Is the local government shutting down?
57. I work for the government, Can I continue to go to work?
58. What do I do if my employer requires me to go to work?
59. I work in a hospital or medical clinic, but I’m not sure I’m essential. Should I continue to work? What if I’m over 60?
60. What do I do about my kids? I have to work.
61. Can bike repair shops continue to operate?
62. Can my company continue to provide janitorial services?
63. Can grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food retailers remain open?
64. If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?
65. Can warehouses and distribution centers that supply businesses that ship and deliver stay open?
66. I work for an essential infrastructure organization, can I leave home to go to work?
67. What if I want to go to work at a physical location in the County and I’m not sick?
68. Can I operate a business that sells things that can be delivered to people's homes? Can I shift more of my business to a delivery model?
69. My business provides critical services and products for the federal government that we are required to provide on a time-certain basis- can we continue to manufacture these products?
70. I work in a cemetery - can I go to work?
71. Are daycare facilities allowed to operate?
72. Can home service workers who clean homes continue to provide their services?
73. I am a nanny. Will I get in trouble if I go to work?
74. Can I get a ride in my favorite ride share/on demand service or a taxi?
75. Can I take public transport (bus, subway, train)?
76. Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order to travel to/from a job outside the Bay Area? Does the Order allow me to leave the County?
77. I am currently on vacation outside the County—does the Order allow me to return home?
78. If I’m outside the County travelling for business-does this Order allow me to return home?
79. I’m visiting and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short-term rental. What should I do? Can I go home?
80. What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?
81. What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home? How will I access those sorts of services?
82. What do I do about my loved one who needs care from me?
83. What are the guidelines for staying at home under the Health Officers latest Health Order dated May 8th, 2020?
84. Are baptism services allowed?
85. What businesses are authorized to open under stage 2.5?
86. What are the specific guidelines that businesses must follow in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19?
87. Child Care Facilities
88. Child Care Centers