To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, gatherings as described below should be postponed or canceled across the state of California for at least the remainder of the month of March.
This applies to all non-essential professional, social, and community gatherings regardless of their sponsor. Gatherings that do not meet the aforementioned criteria should only be conducted when they are essential—that is, if the activity is essential and could not be postponed or achieved without gathering, meaning that some other means of communication could not be used to conduct the essential function.
The timely implementation of aggressive strategies that create social distance and those that reduce close contact of people not regularly together, including limiting gatherings, has proven effective in prior pandemics at delaying rates of transmission and reducing illness and death.
By decreasing the prevalence of disease across California we will:
This guidance will remain in place at least through the month of March. As with all guidance that relates to COVID-19 response, authorities will revisit this guidance on a regular basis to evaluate the continued public health need for it and to evaluate if any elements need to be changed. To stay informed, continue to monitor this link:
What is Social Distancing and how is it achieved?
Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. The key is to minimize the number of gatherings as much as possible and to achieve space between individuals when events or activities cannot be modified, postponed, or canceled.
Although the Department expects most events with more than 250 attendees to be postponed or canceled, we emphasize that the venue space does matter. Achieving space between individuals of approximately six feet is advisable. Additionally, there is a particular focus on creating space between individuals who have come together on a one-time or rare basis and who have very different travel patterns such as those coming from multiple countries, states or counties.
What can be done to a make a gathering safer if it is essential or small?
Examples of Essential Events this Does Not Apply To
The goal of this recommendation is to prevent people physically coming together unnecessarily, where people who have the infection can easily spread it to others. This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services.
Certain activities are essential to the functioning of our state and must continue. Hence, this does not apply to essential public transportation, airport travel, or shopping at a store or mall. Other specific guidance can be found on the CDPH website to help people take actions that can protect them in those settings.
This does not apply to congregate living situations, including dormitories and homeless encampments. For more information on what can be done to protect homeless individuals, please see the Guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF).