COVID-19 Notice: Barton Health is prepared to care for those with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please read our up-to-date information, including changes to our visitor policy and elective surgeries/ procedures here.
  • 530.541.3420 | 2170 South Avenue, S. Lake Tahoe, CA

COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Orders

State-wide and county-wide orders are in effect in our area. These orders have been issued to help mitigate the ongoing person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Summaries for our region can be found below, or jump to the FAQs.


California's COVID-19 Website

The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health are ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except for essential needs.

The order went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020 following the Declaration of Emergency issued on March 4, 2020. The order is in place until further notice. It covers the entire state of California. As of May 8, the stay home order was modified. We are now in the first phase of Stage 2. This means in addition to essential activity, curbside retail is allowed, along with the infrastructure to support it. As of May 12, offices, limited services, and outdoor museums are also permitted to open. Social distancing is still strongly encouraged, if you go out, keep at least 6 feet of distance.

El Dorado County has met the criteria to move further into California's "Extended Stage 2" phase which also allows for dine-in restaurants and destination retail, should these organizations implement the State's guidelines for their industries.

What’s open?

Essential services will remain open, such as:

Stage 1

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Food
    • Grocery stores
    • Farmers markets
    • Food banks
    • Convenience stores
    • Take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Health care providers
  • Childcare for essential workers
  • Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

Stage 2

  • Curb-side Retail
  • Manufacturers
  • Logistics
  • Childcare for those outside of the essential workforce
  • Office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)
  • Select services: car washes, pet grooming, and landscape gardening
  • Outdoor museums, and open gallery spaces and other public spaces with modifications

Extended Stage 2 (for approved counties including El Dorado County)

  • Destination retail, including shopping malls and swap meets
  • Dine-in restaurants (other amenities, like bars or gaming areas, are not permitted in Stage 2)
  • Schools with modifications (El Dorado County schools will continue distanced learning through the end of the 2019-20 School Year)

What’s closed?

  • Dine-in restaurants (except in counties approved for Extended Stage 2, like El Dorado County)
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues with limited capacities, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, and arcade venues, and pro sports
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention Centers
  • Indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos and libraries
  • Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Limited-capacity religious services and cultural ceremonies
  • Concert venues
  • Live audience sports
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism – non-essential travel
  • Higher Education

Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, and elective procedures must/should be cancelled or rescheduled. If possible, health care visits should be done remotely.

You may leave your home to obtain prescriptions.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

Generally, no. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the order prohibits non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities except at the end-of-life. This is difficult, but necessary to protect hospital staff and other patients.

Can I still exercise? Take my kids to the park for fresh air? Take a walk around the block?

Yes. So long as you are maintaining a safe social distance of six feet from people who aren’t part of your household, it is ok to go outside in your neighborhood for exercise, a walk or fresh air. Gyms are closed.

Can I walk my dog? Take my pet to the vet?

You can walk your dog. You can go to the vet or pet hospital if your pet is sick. Remember to distance yourself at least six feet from other pets and owners.

Can people still go hiking or visit State Parks?

Californians can walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods as long as they continue to practice social distancing of 6 feet. This means avoiding crowded trails & parking lots. To help reduce crowds, State Parks is modifying operations at some parks, including closing vehicular access and parking lots to reduce density of visitors. A list of closures can be found on the CA State Parks Website. Everyone has the responsibility to “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick. If people cannot maintain social distancing, they need to leave the park.

El Dorado County

El Dorado County's COVID-19 Website

On April 3, El Dorado County issued a no-travel Order to reduce the number of visitors and other non-full time residents in the Lake Tahoe basin.

City of South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe's COVID-19 Website

Vacation Home Rentals: The City of South Lake Tahoe has sent out information to all VHR owners and local hotels requesting cooperation to gain compliance with the non-essential travel ban currently in place state-wide. Potential vacationers have been warned that visiting South Lake Tahoe at this time puts the health and safety of the community at risk, and depletes local resources. Local businesses are urged to comply with the county and the governor’s orders and ensure they’re doing everything in their power to maintain the health and safety of our community.


Nevada's COVID-19 Website

On April 1, 2020, all Nevadans were ordered to Stay at Home. Nevadans are authorized to continue patronizing essential businesses, reporting to work as an essential worker, and participating in outdoor activities so long as they practice aggressive social distancing. Additionally, the statewide shutdown originally set to expire on April 30 was extended and will now expire in mid-May. As of May 9, Nevada entered into Phase 1 re-opening, during which individuals are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, and to wear masks in public, as well as continuing to follow aggressive social distancing protocols. In Phase 1 most businesses and facilities may re-open under strict social distancing guidance except buffets, bars, nightclubs and taverns, gyms and fitness facilities; strip clubs and brothels; spas, tanning salons, massage parlors, body art, body piercing establishments; and gaming establishments.

Gatherings of groups of 10 or more are prohibited in any indoor or outdoor area including public facilities, recreation facilities like basketball courts and baseball fields, parking lots and private clubs. Homeless population is exempt.

Hiking, walking and running are okay, as long as there is six foot distance and individuals do not congregate in groups beyond their household members.

Douglas County

Douglas County's COVID-19 Website

Douglas County is following Nevada state orders and is working in tandem with Carson City Health & Human services (Quad County coordination). The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s cooperation with the Governor’s directives, and is advising everyone to please stay at home and to please keep juveniles under close watch.

Shelter-in-Place FAQs

What does shelter-in-place mean?

State and county mandates for a shelter-in-place order mean that you and your household members should stay home except for essential needs. Essential needs may mean that you have a job outside the home that is essential. It also means that you can make essential errands, like going to the grocery store. Other examples include obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor, purchasing necessary supplies such as personal hygiene products, or providing necessary care and supplies to family members in another household.

If you have to leave the home for an essential purpose, it’s critical that you practice thorough personal hygiene, wear appropriate protective clothing, like a cloth face mask, and keep a distance from others of at least six feet.

States are beginning to transition into further stages of re-opening and other businesses/ activities may be permitted. It is important to continue to adhere to Shelter-in-Place orders while incorporating the newly allowed purposes into your routine safely.

I have a second home in Tahoe, can I shelter-in place there?

No, per El Dorado County guidelines, sheltering-in-place away from your ordinary residence is not an essential function unless you need to make repairs to your second home. On April 3, 2020, El Dorado County issued a no-travel Order to reduce the number of visitors and other non-full time residents in the basin.

Can I go for a walk? Or go to the beach?

People are encouraged to go outside to get fresh air and for activities like walking, biking or hiking but the key is to stay within your neighborhood. Keep a six foot distance from anyone you might encounter and only include people within your immediate household. If you have to drive there, it’s not advised that you visit.

South Lake Tahoe-area State Beaches are currently closed (through May 15, 2020), including:

  • Pope-Baldwin National Recreation Bike Path
  • Pope Beach
  • Camp Richardson Resort
  • Camp Richardson Corral
  • Fallen Leaf Campground/Beach
  • Tallac Historic Site/Beach
  • Kiva Picnic Area/Beach
  • Kiva Beach/Tallac Point
  • Taylor Creek Visitor Center
  • Baldwin Beach
  • Nevada Beach
  • Sand Harbor
  • Round Hill Pines

Can I go to the grocery store?

Grocery stores are open as an essential need. However, community members should limit the amount of trips they make to the grocery store to protect themselves, as well as essential workers.

Meal plan ahead and try to limit trips. Practice personal hygiene: wipe down grocery store carts, wear a cloth face mask and keep a six foot distance from others.

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after each trip and wipe down any contact surfaces, including door handles, the steering wheel, etc.

As an extra precaution, wipe or wash cans and boxes of food before storing them to reduce possible virus content. Throw out disposable packaging.

When you’re done, wash any tables, countertops, or other surfaces that were touched by your groceries or grocery bags. And wash your hands again.

How can my children stay active? Can they go on playdates? Can they go to the playground?

Encourage your child to play outdoors—it’s great for physical and mental health. Take a walk with your child or go on a bike ride. Be sure to limit your outdoor activities to members of your household. Practice social distancing of at least six feet if you encounter others.

Playdates are not allowed with people outside of your immediate household members. Children can connect in other ways such as reaching out to family and friends via phone or chat. They can write a letter or a card to family that they may not be able to connect with.

Because the virus can remain on surfaces for a prolonged period of time, visiting a public playground is not advised and many playgrounds have closed during this time.

Should I wear a mask when I go out in public?

Per the CDC, in light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting.

This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions.

A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms.

A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example).

Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

The CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including dogs and cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Only a few of the pets reported to be positive showed signs of illness.

Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible infection:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
  • There is a small number of animals around the world reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after having contact with a person with COVID-19. Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.

Can I travel?

Because community spread is a known mode of transferring and contracting the virus, state and county mandates implore residents to not travel in order to prevent spreading COVID-19.

Travel plans should be canceled or postponed for the time being in order to help flatten the curve.

Can I be fined?

At this time, individuals are not being fined.

Communities like San Francisco, have started to issue citations and fines for individuals failing to abide by the shelter-in-place order. The hope is that our community can keep each other accountable without imposing consequences, but fines could be a possibility in the future if the order is not followed.

Barton Health has been preparing for COVID-19 since the outbreak was first observed. Learn more about COVID-19, including symptoms, how to get help and what Barton is doing.

back to top