Requirements and Guidelines for Approved Business Sectors

As California moves into Stage 2.5 of its Resilience Roadmap, every Merced County business should take steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and create a safer environment for workers and customers.The Governor’s statewide industry specific guidelines, including applicable checklists, are provided below. These specific guidelines is designed to help businesses within the approved sectors meet the five requirements before reopening. Before reopening, all facilities must:
  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

In addition, businesses may use effective alternative or innovative methods to build upon the state’s guidelines. Please be advised that your business may be required to follow state licensure requirements. Please consult with your business’ applicable licensing authority as required.

Review the state’s guidance, guidelines, and checklists that is relevant to your industry and workplace, prepare a plan based on the state guidance for your industry, and put it into action. When complete, your industry/workplace specific checklist is to be posted in your workplace.

All Industries

The Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening provides guidance for employers to help them plan and prepare for reopening their business and to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. The guidance and links in each section are provided to give employers the tools they need to open safely and mitigate risks associated with COVID-19.

Industries Approved in Merced County

*If an outbreak or cluster of three or more COVID-19 cases occurs in a local restaurant or other business, the Merced County Public Health Department is required to publicly report that information in order to in order to identify other people who may have been exposed. Business owners and patrons alike are strongly encouraged to follow social distancing and health protocols to help prevent an uptick in cases.

The guidance for the agriculture and livestock industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the agriculture and livestock industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The guidance for the automobile dealerships and rental operators industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the automobile dealerships and rental operators industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for campgrounds and outdoor recreation to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. The Merced County Public Health Department has issued additional golf guidance to help provide clarity for golf courses and driving ranges.  

The Merced County Public Health Department has issued additional guidance to help provide clarity for youth sports/activities, which must be followed until specific guidance for youth sports/activities is developed by the State and posted at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/.

Follow this guidance for cardrooms, race tracks, and satellite wagering to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for cardrooms, race tracks, and satellite wagering in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

In working with tribal governments, CDPH and DIR have released guidance on how to reopen casinos with reduced risk of transmission. Tribal governments should make determinations on when to reopen based on how they align with the current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening and the Governor respectfully requests that until a surrounding or neighboring local jurisdiction has progressed into Stage 3, tribal casinos remain closed.

Follow this guidance for casinos to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for casinos in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

All childcare facilities can open with necessary modifications. The updated guidance for the childcare industry provides guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of children, providers, and families. As programs begin to reopen and other programs transition from emergency childcare for essential workers to enhanced regular operations, all providers must apply new and updated policies and requirements and must update their emergency preparedness plan.

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for childcare in your facility to show employees and families that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for operation.

The guidance for the communications infrastructure industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the communications infrastructure industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

This guidance for the construction industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the construction industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The updated guidance for day camps provides guidelines to create a plan for safe re-opening. Implementation of these guidelines should be tailored for each setting. Implementation requires training and support for staff and adequate consideration of camper and family needs. All decisions about following these recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other authorities, and should depend on the levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health and healthcare systems, among other relevant factors.

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for day camps in your facility to show employees, campers, and families that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for operation.

Recreational team sports are not permitted and will be subject to separate guidance.

The guidance for the delivery services industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the delivery services industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The guidance for the energy and utilities industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post  the checklist for the energy and utilities industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The guidance for family friendly practices for employers provides guidelines for family-friendly practices to keep employees safe and be responsive to their needs in order to ensure continued productivity. As workplaces reopen, employees will require both child care supports and workplace flexibility. Work-life balance policies will become even more important and continued investment in family-friendly workplace policies by employers is critical.

The guidance for facilities that process or pack meat, dairy, or produce provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for facilities that process or pack meat, dairy or produce in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for gyms and fitness centers to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Guidance last updated July 1, 2020. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for gyms and fitness centers in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Recreational team sports are not permitted and will be subject to separate guidance.

Hair services provided indoors must be closed. Follow this guidance for hair salons and barbershops providing services outdoors to support an outdoor safe, clean environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for hair salons and barbershops providing services outdoors at your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for hotels and short term rentals for tourism and individual travel to create a safer environment for workers and patrons.

 Follow this guidance for hotels and lodging to create a safer environment for workers and customers.

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for hotels, lodging, and short-term rentals in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The guidance for the life sciences industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the life sciences industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

This guidance for Limited Services provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.Faith-based counseling can reopen within the following parameters:
  1. Counselling services are permissible in-person where the service cannot reasonably be practiced remotely;
  2. Counselling services should adopt state guidance on Limited Services, where applicable;
  3. This designation does not permit gatherings beyond counselling to members of a single household.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for Limited Services in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.
The guidance for businesses operating in the logistics/warehousing industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post  the checklist for the logistics/warehousing industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.
The guidance for the manufacturing industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the manufacturing industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.
The guidance for the mining and logging industries provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the mining and logging industries in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for movie theaters and family entertainment centers to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for movie theaters and family entertainment centers in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020 and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This guidance for office workspaces provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.

Faith-based office workspaces can reopen within the following parameters:

  1. Faith-based facilities are considered “offices” only for those employed by the organization and where the facility is their regular place of work.
  2. The employer should implement state guidance relating to offices before reopening the facility for employees;
  3. This designation does not to permit gatherings of non-employees, such as the organization’s congregation.

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for office workspaces in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for restaurants providing outdoor dining, take-out, drive-through, and delivery to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance and prepare a plan in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for outdoor museums to create a safer environment for workers and patrons.

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for outdoor museums in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

  • Indoor operations of nail salons, skin care, waxing, and massage must be closed.
  • All indoor and outdoor services for tattooing, piercing, and electrolysis must be closed.
  • Some services may be provided outdoors, like nails and massage. Follow this guidance for personal care services provided outdoors to support an outdoor safe, clean environment for workers and patrons. This guidance applies to services that require touching a client’s face, like facials and waxing. This guidance also applies to esthetic services, skin care, cosmetology, nail services, and massage therapy. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for personal care services provided outdoors at your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

This additional guidance for places of worship  provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers and visitors. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for places of worship in your workplace to show workers and visitors that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

This guidance for the port industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the port industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Professional sports may resume training and competition without live audiences, subject to approval by county public health officers. They will review local epidemiological data, including cases per 100,000 people, rate of test positivity, local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, athletes, coaching staff, medical staff, broadcasting staff and others at sporting facilities or events should abide by COVID-19 protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should follow the guidance for office workspaces.

This guidance for public transit agencies provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for public transit agencies in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

This guidance for businesses operating in the real estate industry provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for the real estate industry in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this guidance for restaurants, wineries, and bars to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for restaurants, wineries, and bars in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Per the Governor’s orders, bars are not able to operate in Merced County.

This guidance for retailers provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.

Retailers and shopping malls can re-open for delivery or curbside pickup, along with the manufacturing and logistics sectors that support retail. Retail does not include personal services such as beauty salons but does include the sale of goods, such as:

  • Bookstores
  • Jewelry stores
  • Toy stores
  • Clothing and shoe stores
  • Home and furnishing stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Florists

Retail stores identified in the essential workforce list can open for in-store shopping. They include:

  • Retail facilities specializing in medical goods and supplies
  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail that sells food or beverage products, and animal/pet food
  • Fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops
  • Hardware and building materials stores, consumer electronics, technology and appliances retail

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for retail in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Follow this updated guidance for schools and school-based programs to create a safer environment for your students, families, and staff. This guidance applies to in-person learning and distance learning. Guidelines for sports and extracurricular activities consistent with the California Interscholastic Federation statement are also included. Check the answers to frequently asked questions related to schools. Find all details in the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools (PDF).

Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for schools in your facility to show students, families, and staff that you’ve taken steps to mitigate COVID-19 spread.

Elementary education waiver:

This guidance for shopping centers provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.

Interior stores in shopping malls can do curbside pickup with modifications.


Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for shopping centers in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The support for working families provides information to help you locate child care, find assistance to pay for child care, and connect you to additional supports for your family. As stay-at-home orders are lifted for additional industries to promote California’s economic recovery, the need for child care and other supports for working families increases.

The guidance for youth sports provides guidelines for all youth sports programs, including school-based, club, and recreational programs. Check the questions and answers about youth sports.

Review the guidance and prepare a plan to support a safe environment for players, coaches and trainers, families, spectators, event/program/facility managers, workers, and volunteers.

Follow this guidance for zoos, museums, galleries, and aquariums to create a safer environment for workers and patrons. Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for zoos, museums, galleries, and aquariums in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

The guidance for day camps provides guidelines to create a plan for safe re-opening.  Implementation of these guidelines should be tailored for each setting. Implementation requires training and support for staff and adequate consideration of camper and family needs. All decisions about following these recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other authorities, and should depend on the levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health and healthcare systems, among other relevant factors.

The following are not open

The following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in Merced County at this time:

  • Bars, Brewpubs, Breweries, and Pubs (Unless otherwise allowed by Alcoholic Beverage Control)
  • Indoor playgrounds such as bounce centers, ball pits, and laser tag
  • Live theater
  • Sauna, steam rooms, and public hot tubs
  • Nightclubs
  • Concert venues
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Higher Education (in person), except where supporting essential workforce activities, including but not limited to providing housing solutions, COVID-19 response, and training and instruction for the essential workforce.

*This is a rapidly evolving situation and information is being updated as it becomes available.  The links provided on this web page are for your convenience, but should not substitute for a thorough review of all applicable guidance on the California Department of Public Health and other regulatory agency websites for updated guidance and requirements.

Page Updated: August 4, 2020, 9:30am

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