Updated Shelter-in-Place Health Order – Frequently Asked Questions- What’s Changed?

Press release from the Humboldt County COVID19 – Joint Information Center:
Humboldt COunty COVID-19 Information

On March 30, Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich issued an update to the Humboldt County Shelter-in-Place Order. This updated order addresses Humboldt County residents’ concerns regarding tourism, essential business and more.

Here are some of the questions Humboldt County residents had about the previous order and some answers from the updated version.

Q: The first Health Order said “people at high-risk of severe COVID-19 illness” should stay at home to the extent possible, except to seek medical care. Who is considered high-risk for severe COVID-19?

A: The updated order clarifies that the following people are considered high-risk, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • People ages 65 and older
  • People who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
  • People of any age who have other high-risk conditions, including:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised including because of cancer treatment
    • Severe obesity (BMI>40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, e.g. diabetes, renal failure or liver disease.

Q: How have the rules about using parks and recreational facilities changed?

A: There are clearer and expanded restrictions that apply to all public parks, private designated parks and recreational areas.

  • All communal structures/facilities (equipment, courts, picnic tables, gazebos, etc.) in public parks are closed.
  • In public parks, any space that does not allow for 6 ft of social distancing when in use shall be closed.
  • Walking, hiking and biking are permitted in open areas or designated trails, but not on trails and pathways that do not allow for 6 ft of distance.
  • Golf courses are closed.
  • Participating in team sports is not allowed.
  • If a park is closed by the authority that controls it, then it is closed.

Q: Are there any changes to the definitions of “Essential Business or activities”?

A: The following Essential Businesses have been added to the list of businesses permitted to operate under the order:

  • Construction related to Essential Business
  • Businesses that supply or support first responders
  • Home appliance stores
  • Animal care facilities that provide food, shelter, veterinary and/or routine care and other necessities of life for animals
  • Car rental and retail necessary for Essential Business.

The following businesses are NO LONGER CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL:

  • Businesses that supply products to enhance “quality of life.” This includes video rental stores, saunas, sporting goods stores, etc. Craft stores are still permitted to operate as they supply essential goods for businesses to operate from home.

Q: Are there any changes to rules about food purchasing or distribution?

A: Yes. Essential businesses providing food may not allow for self-service by the customer, which includes the sharing of utensils for self-service or other similar food items which can’t be washed by the customer before eating. That means no bulk foods, no salad or hot food bars, no self-serve bakeries at grocery stores, etc.

Q: What is being done to discourage tourism and non-essential travel into Humboldt County?

A: The new order of the updated health order prohibits people managing rental properties from renting to non-County residents. This includes hotels, motels, short-term/vacation rentals and campgrounds.

However, this restriction DOES NOT apply to out-of-County residents who are engaged in:

  • Essential Activities
  • Essential Government Functions
  • Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations
  • Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities, or other vulnerable people
  • Law enforcement or court order
  • People already within the County who are homeless and seeking shelter.

Q: When does the updated order take effect? When does it end?

A: The updated order is effective 12 a.m. on March 31, 2020, and is in effect until rescinded (canceled) by the Health Officer.



  • Question answered

    “Construction related to Essential Business”

    That’s what I had thought.

  • Question answered

    “The following businesses are NO LONGER CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL:

    Businesses that supply products to enhance “quality of life.” This includes video rental stores, saunas, sporting goods stores, etc. Craft stores are still permitted to operate as they supply essential goods for businesses to operate from home.”

    So music stores are to be closed, even for curbside service?

  • well if they are going to take our freedoms without martial law then we shouldnt be paying any taxes. all those funds we pay for these services should be withheld.

    • As good an excuse as any…..

    • I agree that no one should be paying taxes. Forgiving all tax liability for individuals who earned less than 1 million would be a great stimulus. But martial law should not be require in order to make be behave rationally.

    • You have the freedom to die of this plague & share it with your friends…if you want to.
      I don’t want to and I don’t want you to either.

  • This essentially makes tourism illegal for the time being. Is the hotel clerk going to ask “why are you here, where ya heading and where ya coming from?” Will they then say “GTFO” if they do not like the answer?

    • By this time I think the tourist know Calif was closed down. The only travelers staying at motels are the ones going to care for someone sick and that is allowable. If I was in health care I would think to stay at motel before think it would be ok to mingle with roommates. We need empty rooms for those in need not people looking at big trees and big waves.

  • No bulk food? Thats fuckin stupid. This is getting real commie real quick. Soon the choppers and tanks will b here. Fucking peons.

    • It means bulk foods that you scoop from a bin into your bag dumbass, not a 25 lb bag of beans. Good grief

      • Bug on a Windshield

        Eureka Co-op told me the gravity bins will stay. They will probably have a designated employee to scoop from the other bulk bins for you.

        I also asked (half jokingly) about produce, which, according to this press release, falls under both bulk and self serve. Produce will still be available, for now. Things are changing almost daily.

  • Shelter Cove – A very small community 25 miles from Redway. We have ONE what you would call a “grocery store” and gas station, which is definitely an essential service as we are essentially cut off from town. Well as of tomorrow, patrons (well known community members) will no longer even be allowed inside the General Store! Orders must be placed over the phone or a list filled out and given to the clerk to shop for you!

  • Mary Ella Anderson

    I agree that banning the purchase of bulk rice, flour, honey, oil and so on is really a short sighted and HUGE over-reaction, probably by people who have never purchased anything but toilet paper in large amounts. Just suppose that somehow a corona-19 virus gets into the rice bin. Does it live on the rice? Will it contaminate the entire bin? Won’t boiling the rice kill the virus? Or should we douse it with alcohol so it can’t be eaten at all? Nobody eats raw rice. Or are we scared of rice because it might be “Chinese”? I follow the guidelines, but I draw the line at what I choose to eat.

    • It is not large quantities that are being banned, it is scooping food from a bin in the store into a bag that is the “bulk sale” that is being banned. You can still purchase a 20 pound bag of rice if it is direct from a distributor.

      • Why Are the Transit bus running ect.
        Seriously ugh
        Humboldt County is in for a Huge Epidemic or pandemic crisis!
        With Covid19
        Some are taking this Pandemic Serious an a lot are not.
        Everyone an Everything is Essential !!!
        Be safe Everyone!!!

  • My son is living in the Republic of Georgia where they have banned ALL travel within the country except essential travel. No more than three people in a car, all masked, passengers in the back seat. Curfew from 9pm to 6 am, subject to arrest for violating. Shop at the closest store to where you live (plenty of food available). The government is paying everyone’s utility bills for the next 90 days. Of course they have universal health care.
    They have fewer than 115 cases and NO DEATHS. They have been on top of this since early February.
    America is fucked, and you not wanting to protect yourselves and the rest of us is just LAME

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