Public Health Emergency Quarantine Order for COVID-19
DATE OF ORDER: April 10, 2020
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120275, et seq.)
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SONOMA (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:
- This Order is in effect until rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer or the State Health Officer.
- California is in a State of Emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a substantial danger to the health of the public within the County of Sonoma. COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. This Order is issued based on scientific evidence and best practices as currently known and available to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County of Sonoma (“County”) places it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons before the onset of symptoms. Thus, all individuals who contract COVID-19, regardless of their level of symptoms (none, mild or severe), may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19 and no specific treatment.
- The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County places it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons before the onset of symptoms. Thus, all individuals who contract COVID-19, regardless of their level of symptoms (none, mild, or severe), may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19 and no specific treatment.
- To help slow COVID-19’s spread, protect vulnerable individuals, and prevent the healthcare system in Sonoma County from being overwhelmed, it is necessary for the County of Sonoma Public Health Officer (“Health Officer”) to require the quarantine of persons exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. Quarantine separates individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 from others, until it is determined that they are not at risk for spreading the disease.
All household members, intimate partners, caregivers of a person with COVID-19, and those contacted by the disease control program as having been exposed to a person with COVID-19 must quarantine themselves. These persons are required to follow all instructions in this Order and the Public Health guidance documents referenced in this Order.
Violation of this Order is a crime, punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.
(Health & Safety Code §§ 120275 et seq.)
Quarantine Requirements for Household Contacts, Intimate Partners, Caregivers of Persons with COVID-19, and Other Persons Notified by the Disease Control Program
Close contacts to persons with COVID-19 (“cases”) are defined as individuals who:
- Live in or have stayed at the case’s residence; OR
- Are intimate sexual partners of the case; OR
- Provide or provided care to the case without wearing a mask, gown, and gloves. OR
- Are determined by the disease control program through contact tracing as requiring quarantine.
This contact occurred while the case was determined to be infectious. A case is infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms began and until they are released from isolation.
Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing, healthcare workers and first responders who are household members, intimate partners, or caregivers of a person with COVID-19 are not subject to this Order under the following circumstances:
- The worker informs their employer about the worker’s close contact to a lab-confirmed Case; AND
- The worker is asymptomatic, and the worker’s employer determines, based on staffing needs, that the worker needs to report to work; AND
- The worker returns to work with an isolation mask.
All individuals who have been identified as close contacts to a person with COVID-19 must immediately take the following actions:
- Stay in their home or another residence through 14 days from the last date that they were in contact with the person infected or likely to be infected with COVID-19. Individuals are required to quarantine themselves for the entirety of the 14-day incubation period because they are at high risk for developing and spreading COVID-19.
- Quarantined persons may not leave their place of quarantine or enter any other public or private place except to receive necessary medical care.
- Carefully review and closely follow all requirements listed in the “Home Quarantine Instructions,” posted on https://socoemergency.org/ and attached to this order.
- If a quarantined person becomes sick with fever (fever is a body temperature of 100.0F, or higher), cough, or shortness of breath (even if their symptoms are very mild), they should isolate themselves at home and away from other people and follow the “Home Isolation Instructions,” posted on https://socoemergency.org/ and attached to this order. This is because they are likely to have COVID-19 and if so, can spread it to vulnerable individuals.
The Sonoma County Health Officer may take additional action(s), which may include civil detention or requiring an individual to stay at a health facility or other location, to protect the public’s health if an individual who is subject to this Order violates or fails to comply with this Order. Violation of this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Blanket Isolation Order requires individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate themselves. The Blanket Quarantine Order requires others in the same household and in close contact with the COVID-19 positive person to quarantine. Previously, the Health Officer issued orders requiring people to isolate and quarantine on a case-by-base basis. The new blanket orders replace the need for those individual orders and apply to all persons with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in Sonoma County.
The Blanket Orders will remain in effect until the Health Officer determines that the risk of infection for most people in Sonoma County is low enough to safely lift the order.
Individuals who become subject to the isolation and quarantine orders shall be released from the order when they satisfy the criteria spelled out in the order.
The Sonoma County Health Officer may take additional actions such as civil detention or requiring an individual to stay at a health facility or other location to protect the public’s health. Failure to comply with the orders is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine, or both.
Your healthcare provider or testing facility will give you detailed written instructions explaining everything you need to do, what you cannot do, and how long you must remain in isolation or quarantine. Detailed instructions about how to isolate and quarantine at home are also available at SoCoEmergency.org.