A Few Hours After SCOTUS Punts on California Case, Governor Newsom Announces that “Regional Stay Home” Order That Would Prohibit All Indoor Religious Services


This morning, the Court punted away Harvest Rock v. Newsom. A few hours later, Governor Newsom announced a new “stay at home” order that could apply to huge portions of the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced Thursday the framework for a regional stay-at-home order, with the expectation that most of the state will fall under the more stringent requirement in days, with the Bay Area lagging a week or two behind. No regions have been placed into this regional stay-at-home order at this time.

Newsom said the state has created five regions by grouping counties based on hospital networks: Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

Regions will be required to implement shutdown rules when intensive care unit capacity falls under 15%, and the governor said state projections show all regions except the Bay Area reaching this point in early December. It’s estimated the Bay Area will follow in mid- to late December.

Regions that fall under the stay-at-home order will have 48 hours to close several business sectors including all dining (both indoor and outdoor), bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons and barbershops. The order expires three weeks after it is implemented but can be extended.

The Governor’s explanatory site explains that “places of worship and political expression” can “allow outdoor services only.” In short, all houses of worship will be shut down. Shopping malls stay open at 20% capacity. But churches must close. And the order lasts for three weeks. Just enough time to frustrate Supreme Court review. This awful game of whac-a-mole continues.

The petitioners in Harvest Rock should file a motion for reconsideration, and seek an injunction pending appeal.

I’ve pasted below the fold the specifics of the program:

The Regional Stay Home Order would be in effect for 3 weeks after the trigger and instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. This limited closure will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.

In any region that triggers a Regional Stay Home Order because it drops below 15% ICU capacity, the following sectors must close:

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Critical infrastructure
  • Schools that are already open for in-person learning
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Child care and pre-K



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