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COVID-19: SoCal Shelter in Place Orders

MSK Client Alert
March 23, 2020

On March 19, 2020, the City of Los Angeles (“City”), the County of Los Angeles (“County”), and the State of California (“State”) each issued separate “shelter in place” orders in response to the Novel Coronavirus. Each generally requires that residents stay home unless they are engaged in work which the orders define as “essential.” Unfortunately, the orders are not consistent in how “essential” is defined. Moreover, on March 20 the State issued an updated order and expanded its definition of “essential.” For example, the State order now defines the following types of workers as essential: “Workers supporting the entertainment industries, studios, and other related establishments, provided they follow covid-19 public health guidance around social distancing.” The City and County orders, by contrast, do not currently include entertainment workers as “essential,” even though a significant portion of California’s entertainment workers are in Los Angeles.

Although Governor Newsom’s office has publicly stated that it is working to reconcile the State order with the various local orders, it is unclear when this will happen. Because it is difficult for companies to figure out what they can and should do, a careful review of each order that applies is needed.

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