Active Health Orders

Legal authority for County Health Officer orders addressing the COVID-19 pandemic is in the California Health and Safety Code, which grants broad powers to the Health Officer to protect public health during local emergencies and prevent the spread of contagious diseases. The statutes include Health and Safety Code sections 101040 and 120175. As actions taken under this statutory authority, Health Officer orders are measures taken to preserve the public health, which is an exercise of the police power contained in the California Constitution. 


Health Orders for the General Public

Social Distancing Order

Date of Order: 1/25/2021

Contra Costa County is urging residents and businesses to continue practicing health safety measures and avoiding risky activities after the State lifted its regional stay-at-home order Jan. 25, 2021.


Contra Costa County is in the purple tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Health guidelines regarding physical distancing and use of face coverings outside the home remain in effect, as do occupancy caps for indoor businesses and requirements limiting close-contact gatherings of people from different households. Click to view the State’s industry-specific guidance.


Some significant changes resulting from Contra Costa County’s return to the purple tier include:

  • Restaurants may offer outdoor dining, following the state health guidelines.

  • Hair salons, barber shops and personal services such as nail salons may reopen following state health guidelines.

  • Outdoor social gatherings involving 25 or fewer people, from three or fewer different households, are now permitted.

Click below to read the following documents:​

Requiring Face Coverings

Date of Order: 7/5/2020

This Order requires that all individuals in Contra Costa County, over the age of 2 years, wear face coverings in accordance with guidance issued by the State of California. Subject to the exemptions set forth in the State Face Covering Guidance, including but not limited to exemptions in industry guidance documents issued by the State of California, individuals and businesses in the County must comply with the following local requirements, as applicable: 

  • Individuals shall wear Face Coverings when less than 6 feet away from any person who is not a member of the individual’s household or living unit. 

  • Individuals must wear Face Coverings when inside or on the grounds of, or waiting in line to enter, any business. 

  • All businesses must

    • Require their employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face covering 

    • Provide face coverings to workers or reimburse workers for the reasonable cost of obtaining them

    • Take all reasonable steps to prohibit any member of the public who is not wearing a face covering from entering and must not serve that person if those efforts are unsuccessful

Click below to read the following documents:

Mass Quarantine Order

Date of Order: 2/25/2021

This order supersedes HO-COVID19-38 (December 10, 2020), the order requiring the quarantine of persons exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. Quarantine separates individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 from others until it is determined that they are not at risk for spreading the disease.

Based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this order includes a new exception from the quarantine requirement for specified persons who have been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Click below to read the following documents:

Mass Isolation Order

Date of Order: 8/5/2020

All individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately take the following actions:

  1. Isolate themselves in their home or another residence following all requirements listed in the “Self-Isolation Instructions for Confirmed Cases.”

  2. Tell their close contacts that they need to quarantine themselves, following the “Home Quarantine Instructions for Close Contacts.” Close contacts who should be notified to self-quarantine are people who were near them during their infectious period, as further described in the health order below. The infectious period commences 48 hours before symptoms began (or, in the absence of symptoms, 48 hours before the date of administration of a positive test) and ends when the isolation period is over (see Section 4 of the health order below). Close contacts of an individual who has COVID-19 are persons who, during the individual’s infectious period, were within six feet of the individual for 15 minutes or longer.

The isolation period will be one of the following:

  • Individuals without symptoms must isolate for 10 days from the date of a positive test.

  • Individuals with symptoms must isolate until:

    • At least 24 hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of both fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms if present AND

    • At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms started.

  • Individuals with symptoms and hospitalized in the intensive care unit must isolate until:

    • At least 24 hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of both fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms if present AND

    • At least 20 days have passed since their symptoms started.

Click below to read the following documents:

Vehicle-Based Gatherings 

Date of Order: 5/15/2020


Outdoor gatherings during which participants stay in their vehicles are now permitted in Contra Costa County if organizers follow instructions in a new health order.


The new order, which takes effect May 19, provides new options for religious organizations that have been unable to hold services since COVID-19 began spreading in the county, and for schools planning graduation ceremonies.


Click below to read the following documents:


Additional Health Orders

Requiring Testing at Healthcare Facilities

Date of Order: 9/24/2020

This Order is intended to increase COVID-19 testing within Contra Costa County.


It requires timely testing of essential workers, as defined by the state of California, and requires healthcare facilities do not restrict the frequency of this testing by more than 7 days between tests. It also ensures that healthcare facilities do not require screening by a medical professional before scheduling testing.


Additionally, healthcare facilities are required to perform testing of:

  • Persons with symptoms

  • Persons who are close contacts to someone who has tested positive with COVID-19

  • Persons the health department recommends getting tested


Click here to read the full health order.

Requiring Testing of Residents & Personnel at Residential Facilities

Date of Order: 5/29/2020

Each Facility that is subject to this Order is a congregate living facility that houses many Residents who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing serious health outcomes. To prevent virus transmission, it is important for each Facility to follow best practices for infection control, to respond quickly and appropriately when suspected or confirmed cases of infection are identified through screening and testing, and to report information about test results, supply levels, and other factors. Best practices to reduce the risk of viral transmission include monitoring for signs of infection in the Residents and Staff, separating and testing those with symptoms consistent with suspected infection, and testing Residents and Personnel who have no symptoms on a repeated basis to identify asymptomatic infections.

Click below to read the following documents:



Requirements for Residential Care Facilities

Amended: 6/26/2020

There is an increased risk of COVID-19 among persons living or working in licensed healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, shelters, group homes and drug treatment recovery houses. To help slow COVID-19’s spread and protect vulnerable individuals, it is necessary to implement the following additional preventative measures:

  • Requirements for individuals entering certain licensed and other specified facilities

  • Temperature screening and self-evaluation for COVID-19 symptoms

  • Masking of all staff and visitors while in facility

  • Minimizing staff working in multiple facilities

If a facility has no outbreak of COVID-19, the facility may offer communal dining and group activities to residents of the facility, following health and safety precautions. Participation is limited to residents who are not in isolation as the result of a COVID-19 test or awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.

Click below to read the following documents:


Authorizing Testing and Processing by Commercial Clinical Laboratories

Date of Order: 5/1/2020


This Order authorizes the testing of individuals who (1) meet the criteria for testing; (2) do not have orders from their personal physicians; and (3) provide specimens for collection at sites in the County operated by or on behalf of OptumServe or its subsidiary, Logistics Health, Inc. (collectively “OptumServe”), under contract with the State of California.  This Order also serves as an assignment of such tests for processing to clinical laboratories under Section 1288 of the California Health and Safety Code and requires the reporting of test results to the individuals tested.

Click to read the full Health Order 

Directing all Laboratories Conducting COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests to Report COVID-19 Test Information to Local and State Public Health Authorities

Amended: 9/16/2020

This Order requires that all laboratories conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests comply with mandated reporting requirements, including promptly reporting all individual positive, negative, and inconclusive test results electronically to the California Department of Public Health and, in limited cases where electronic reporting is not possible, to the Health Officer. 


This Order has been updated to require reporting of COVID-19 antigen testing to public health officials.

Click below to read the following documents: