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. 


Requiring All People to Wear Masks in Indoor Public Settings

Date of Order: 8/2/2021, Amended: 8/6/2021, 9/1/2021, 10/14/2021

In order to slow the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, all people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings in in Contra Costa County until further notice, beginning August 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Public settings include but are not limited to business offices, retail stores, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meeting rooms and State and local government facilities where services are provided to the public.

This order does not apply to people in the following circumstances:

  • When alone in a room.

  • When actively eating or drinking.

  • When swimming or showering.

  • When receiving care or other service that requires removal of the face covering, including by way of example and without limitation, medical care requiring exposure of the nose or mouth, cosmetic services involving the face, and dental procedures.

  • When participating in a religious activity at a religious gathering, to the extent that removal of face coverings is necessary for participation.

  • When performing live in an indoor public space, if everyone present is fully vaccinated.

  • When exempt from wearing face coverings under the State Face Covering Guidance or other applicable California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance. The State Face Covering Guidance exempts the following individuals from wearing masks:

    • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.

    • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask, including persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.

    • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

    • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined.

  • Effective November 1, 2021 at 6:00 a.m:

    • When in an office, fitness facility, college classroom or employee commuter vehicle, or in an organized gathering in any other indoor setting, under all the following conditions:

      • There are no more than 100 persons present, and the group of persons present gathers on a regular basis;

      • The employer, host or organizer verifies that all persons present are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine;

      • The employer, host or organizer can control access to the space, and the space is not open to the general public;

      • The employer, host or organizer maintains a list of the individuals present;

      • The employer, host or organizer posts signage prohibiting entry by persons who have a cough, fever or other symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19; and

      • None of the persons present has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, is awaiting results of a COVID-19 test, or had a known exposure to a person infected with the COVID-19 virus within the last 14 days.

On October 7, 2021, Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano announced the criteria he will use to lift the indoor-masking order in Contra Costa County:

  • The county reaches the CDC’s moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission tier and remains there for at least three weeks; AND

  • There are fewer than 75 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county; AND

  • One of the following conditions is met:

    • 80% of the total population is fully vaccinated

    • Eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds


Click below to read the following documents:


Requiring Proof of Vaccination or Negative Test Result for High-Risk Businesses

Date of Order: 9/14/2021

Business establishments that serve food and drinks and fitness facilities are required to exclude patrons 12 and older from certain indoor areas if they do not show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result from the past three days. Workers who work in indoor portions of these businesses are required to show proof of full vaccination or weekly test results.

We want to keep Contra Costa County businesses open and safe. Places where people remove masks to eat and drink indoors and where people breathe heavily during exercise, increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Click below to read the following documents:

Requiring Quarantine 

Date of Order: 9/14/2021

This order supersedes HO-COVID19-55 (August 24, 2021), 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.

Close contacts of persons diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to quarantine themselves, with exceptions for certain persons fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, certain essential workers in critical infrastructure sectors, and students in K-12 school settings under specified circumstances. This order revises a modification applicable to asymptomatic individuals not fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, consistent with updated guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health. Under this order, these  persons who are required to quarantine can end the quarantine period after day 7 if they are test negative for the COVID-19 virus on or after the fifth day after the last date of exposure, instead of on or after the sixth day.

Click below to read the following documents:

Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine Verification for First Responders

Date of Order: 8/13/2021

This Order of the Health Officer requires law enforcement agencies, fire protection agencies, emergency medical response entities, and non-emergency medical transport entities to require certain workers who respond to emergency calls for assistance at specified health care and other high risk facilities in Contra Costa County, or provide non-emergency medical transport services involving patients at these facilities, as part of their usual duties, to either undergo routine testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 or prove they are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, effective as of September 17, 2021.

Click below to read the following documents:

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.

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:

Requiring Isolation 

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:

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