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COVID-19 Update: Beginning to Loosen Restrictions

Lake County, CA (April 23, 2020) – Five weeks have passed since the initiation of the Shelter-in-Place Orders.  The orders that went into place on March 18 were instituted to protect the public’s health from the imminent threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak in neighboring counties.

Since the anticipated surge in coronavirus cases has not materialized, we are taking the first steps toward loosening up some of the restrictions that limit social mobility and business activity in Lake County.  The Governor’s Orders have the ultimate authority, however; local Public Health Orders can be more restrictive, but not less.

At 2:00 pm today April 23, some loosening of restrictions will go into effect (with restrictions aimed at maintaining social distancing).

Today’s Addendum to the Shelter-in-Place Order is not intended to further restrict the ability of families living within the same household to engage in Essential Activities.  The intent is to enable additional opportunities for individuals and business to resume relatively low risk activities, while observing social distancing, and gathering in groups no larger than two.

Please see the Order for specifics:


  • Recreation that will be allowed:

    • Golf courses can open in a limited way.

    • Hiking and jogging at parks that are open.

    • Canoeing, kayaking, and other paddle-propelled, hand-launched watercraft are allowed in the lake, excluding sailboats.

    • Highland Springs Shooting Ranges can open.

    • Other solitary recreational activities that do not involve physical contact or group activity (like shooting baskets, Frisbee golf, archery) will be allowed.

    • Fishing from the shore.


  • Businesses

    • Pet grooming.

    • Real estate transactions can be pursued.  They should be done as much as possible virtually, but can be done in person when necessary.

    • Note: While there has been public interest, hair salons and cosmetology are still not permitted to operate, under the Governor’s order.

This loosening will hopefully allow the community to get some relief from staying inside all the time.  However, significant health risks associated with COVID-19 do remain.


Particularly as restrictions begin to loosen, it is essential that people:

  • Maintain social distancing, keep good hygiene, and preferably wear masks when out.

  • Vulnerable populations (over 65 and/or with chronic medical conditions) should continue to stay safe at home.

  • We discourage people from crossing county lines, since this is an important way that the virus spreads.

The economy is a primary concern now, due to the terrible impact these public health measures have had on business.  Once the governor makes some changes in the order, we can begin to loosen some restrictions.  These will happen on a step by step basis, with a lot of planning.  A few groups are already working on plans to begin to relax the restrictions in a safe and equitable way.


We continue to have 6 confirmed cases in the County.  If the numbers begin to rise, we will always be prepared to tighten restrictions back down, in order to prevent big surges in infection.  We know these social distancing measures can be effective, and we have them available, if necessary.


Thank you to everyone who has been cooperating with these measures, and we hope to be able to make some progress in opening more businesses soon.  We also want to thanks the hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes for the great work they have been doing to prepare for the infections, and in keeping people healthy during this challenging time.


For Lake County-specific Coronavirus information, please continue to visit the Lake County Health Services Department’s website,  The Lake County Coronavirus Response Hub has additional valuable resources:


If you still have questions, send an email request: [email protected].                                           


You can also call during business hours: 707-263-8174


Thank you for continuing to respect and protect your neighbors, by exercising precautions, as consistent with State and local Health Orders.


Gary Pace MD, MPH

Download Order

Download Spanish version
Download Spanish Order

Water Faucet
Urgent Health Advisory

Effective immediately, people on private water systems whose tap water comes from their own private intake into the lake, in the Oaks Arm and Lower Arm of Clear Lake should not drink the water.

More info