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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates in Your State

Please see below for the most up to date information from the governor’s office and various state agencies regarding COVID-19 orders that impact small businesses.

Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has taken executive action that does the following:

  • Declares a state of emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19.
  • Gives discretion to the Employment Development Department to waive the one-week waiting period for disability insurance applicants who are unemployed and disabled as a result of the virus. The order delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings. The order directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria. The order readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals.
  • Orders the protection of ongoing social safety net programs in the state.
  • Allows local government flexibility.
  • Orders all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.
  • Halts evictions for 60 days if a tenant is unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The tenant or a family member must have been current on rent prior to the outbreak; unable to work, working reduced hours or missed work to care for a child and the tenant must be able to retain documentation to explain the change in financial circumstances.
  • Offers a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Additionally, the order extends the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund by 60 days to accommodate tax and fee payers.
  • Allows for the immediate use of funds to support the state’s continuing efforts to protect public health and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Restricts water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Expands consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10%. The order also gives additional tools to the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, among others, to take action against price gougers.
  • Orders that food sector workers subject to a to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19; or is prohibited from working by the Food Sector Worker’s Hiring Entity due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19 must be provided with COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.
  • Grants a 60-day extension for customers on several Department of Motor Vehicles deadlines, including for recently expired drivers’ licenses and identification cards and suspending late fees from being applied to expired vehicle registrations.
  • Stops debt collectors from garnishing COVID-19-related financial assistance.
  • Creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption for accessing workers’ compensation benefits applicable to Californians who must work outside of their homes during the stay at home order. Those eligible will have the rebuttable presumption if they tested positive for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19 and confirmed by a positive test within 14 days of performing a labor or service at a place of work after the stay at home order was issued on March 19. The presumption will stay in place for 60 days after issuance of the executive order.
  • Orders each county elections officials to transmit vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all voters who are, as of the last day on which vote-by-mail ballots may be transmitted to voters in connection with that election, registered to vote in that election.

The following emergency rules have been issued in response to COVID-19:

  • The Division of Workers’ Compensation has drafted emergency amendments addressing medical-legal evaluations in response to COVID-19. The emergency rule adds new the following QME Electronic Service Emergency Regulation in Response to COVID-19, which addresses serving medical-legal reports electronically and QME Emergency Regulation in Response to COVID-19, which addresses telehealth evaluations.

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